Arriving at Adrien Albou’s apartment and being greeted with freshly baked croissants, whose butter trace could still be noticed on the plate, was, truth to be told, slightly unexpected. I had a more ‘Papa was a rolling stone’ by The Temptations kind of vibe in mind. Or Lenny Kravitz jamming in a corner, a not so unusual scenario in the designer’s American pop culture inspired home, because yes, that’s how cool Albou is. Shortly after, it became clear to me that this diversification – offering croissants one day, jamming with Kravitz the other – this easy-going sense of cool goes very well with Adrien’s brand, Garçons Infidèles.
Worn by celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, and described by the critics as unisex, grunge, and easy-going, the just three-years-old Garçons Infidèles has already cultivated a distinctive image. The pieces are edgy, with details so unique that it would make even skeptics crave for more while humming The Rolling Stones’ ‘I can’t get no satisfaction‘. Albou is wearing one such design when I meet him – pants with palm tree prints and a pastel shirt. “It’s 100 percent my design and vegan cotton,” he tells me.
Vegan cotton? This is how you work? Eco-friendly?
“Not really, but I was looking to find some new fabrics for the spring/summer collection. And my vibe at the moment was vegan and friends around me were vegans. So we started talking about how good it is for the environment. And voilà — I have been focusing on that.”
That’s refreshing. And the brand… how did it all start?
“I started my brand because it was hard for me to find the perfect look and the perfect outfit to go with my rock and roll vibe. My brand is mainly focusing on rock and roll and my first collection was a tribute to The New York Dolls. The singer, David Johansen had this perfect outfit – flare pants, heels, the perfect shirt – and I realised that is how I want to dress and how I want to dress people. This unisex vibe, exclusive vibe, with amazing shapes and fabrics.”
You talk a lot about artists and music. I’m assuming your design is inspired by music?
“Every new collection that I create is a tribute to, and mainly focusing on, music. For example the SS 20 collection is a tribute to the 90s. It’s called Baby Grunge and it’s the fun part of the 90s. It’s rock and fun. Because my brand is not sad, depressive, and angry rock and roll, it’s funny rock and roll. That’s who I am and that is reflected in all my collections.”
What was the reason for your interest in fashion in the first place?
My mother is a fashion designer and my grandmother was a fashion designer. I grew up around fashion. In fact, I was born and raised in the fashion world. My mother is the founder of the French brand Paul and Joe. And before I could even walk and talk, I started watching runway shows with my parents, in both New York and Paris. So fashion and style have always come naturally to me. Growing up I’ve always dressed differently, but without ever being extreme for that matter. I was always wearing something cool, but special and out-of-the-ordinary. Which is how I would describe the clothes that are in my dressing room. I’ve kept the same state of mind during my creation process and through all of the collections I’ve created.”
Same state of mind you say… what is that?
“I always have the artist that inspires me in mind when designing. My collections are all about paying a tribute to the them. Serge Gainsbourg for example is with me every season. Tailoring is the most important thing. A very nice funky shirt, with crazy prints, high waist, nice boots… pure perfection!”
So why the name Garçons Infidèles [meaning unfaithful boys in French, editors note]?
“It’s fun and it’s really about music because I’m unfaithful towards music. I listen to everything – new wave, rock and roll, electronic, rap. And actually the first artists that started wearing my design were rappers!”
So you’re unfaithful towards just music…?
“Yes! [laughter] But fine, to be honest, I’m also unfaithful towards fashion. If you see my look book from when I started, it’s different from the one today. But I need to change my mind all the time, it’s important if you want to stay relevant as a designer.”
What’s on the horizon for Garçons Infidèles?
“There’s a lot to come. I am working on my new line called GI Denim. It is a big line of denim. And I’m also working on my music label GI Label. At the moment we are also focusing on the US and working on having more retailers there.”
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Paris