Evanbenjamin swiss fashion designer duo
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October 12, 2022
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Born from love at first sight; EvanBenjamin

An afternoon in the countryside with the Swiss designer duo behind the EvanBenjamin brand; a talk about creating an identity, owning a brand and taking the big steps.

Dany Niederhauser: You recently celebrated the 4th year of EvanBenjamin, with a new collection "Born from love at first sight". Congratulations, this is certainly your most successful collection... 
Benjamin Bühler: Thank you! I'm glad you like the collection. We wanted to offer a spontaneous spirit as this, symbolizes a new beginning for the brand. We then thought of using our slogan because we really fell in love at first sight. At that time, we were both designing on our own, and then became a couple and finally, we said to ourselves; why not build a brand together? It’s something we individually wanted for a long time, but figured we would do it later on, in order for us to develop contacts. And then it came to: why would we wait? why wait to get older?  
Evan Giusto: In the first collections, we didn't quite have our identity yet, we were still looking for ourselves. It was a mix of everything we liked, there was no real direction. In the second to last collection, the theme was "Jealousy", we went all over the spectrum, and we had a multicoloured collection. We then focused more on general cohesion. This collection’s the first one that’s not fully experimental, the previous collections didn’t have as much of a common thread.
Benjamin: we were looking for our identity and all these years helped us to build our image, what we wanted with our brand...
Dany: What did you learn during these 4 years of managing your brand?
Benjamin: I’d say Everything (laughs). Because, when you launch a brand, like everyone else, you see the creative side, doing fashion shows, doing photo shoots, etc... but you don't grasp all the other aspects, you have to be a manager, a salesperson, an after-sales person, a stylist, a marketer, an art director, a party organizer...
Evan: Yes, it's very demanding and it's also important to make clothes that not only look good but also express a committed message. It's important to make people feel comfortable in the clothing while bringing out their confidence... 
Dany: we can see the research and genuine precision behind each of your artistic choices; I, for example, saw the small details of the slits on the shirts and on the pants, can you talk about your process?
Benjamin: we started the collection with the formal suit wardrobe idea. Classical work wear is just a shirt and suit, it’s a very basic look and can almost be boring sometimes. We wanted a challenge with that, started to cut inside, to make some openings, remove the buttons, sewing using other techniques. Then, we started to buy clothes in thrift stores. And realized that by deconstructing the garment we would showcase more things, a little bit more strength, something more structured.
Evan: We revisited the suit apparel, even in the dresses, I don't know if you've seen the simple dress with the square shoulders and then you just have the chest pocket that is usually found on suit jackets. All around, Revisiting the power suit in all its glory!
Dany: So, there are also a lot of sequins in your designs, Benjamin used that material a lot on his own, is it something that you also used to work with Evan?
Evan: No, not at all and you know what, I ended up liking it a lot. Sequins was something that I didn't expect to work so well and it's true that we both brought our essences to this project, we included each other’s wants and desires in the brand.
Benjamin: Yeah, we mixed our identities to create a singular entity.
Evan: we really like sequins, shiny things in general and even better if It’s silver...
Benjamin: it brings an 80's vibe with it, something a little bit more joyful too, and adds to the suit materials and wools we use.
Dany: So, you’re inspired by the power of love and what else fuels your creativity ?
Evan: Yeah, there's love, there's confidence that inspire us a lot. We also play with wardrobe as well, we mainly focus on men's fashion, because is still pretty coded and conservative. We try to make it as fun and boundary pushing as possible.
Dany: Is it about gender fluidity too ?
Evan: It is about gender neutrality.
Benjamin: Nowadays, that's what we're trying to be; more inclusive, and not to have too many labels on the clothing. 
Dany: You are going to moving to Paris in the next few weeks. Is your moving there an essential step for the brand's development?
Benjamin: It's so funny because we were just talking about it after the show.
we really just wanted Paris, Paris, Paris !
Evan: In order to develop your brand, and then grow, you have to be willing to move and have changes...
Benjamin: To be honest, from the beginning, we always said to ourselves; Paris... I studied there and then came back to launch the brand in Switzerland with Evan. But we told ourselves that we were eventually going to move to Paris. After this collection, we asked ourselves some questions, and thought that now that we had established ourselves it would be the next big move.
Evan: Our last launch, which you just saw, was a huge amount of work, other collections were 16 to 18 looks, this one is 28, so almost double. There were 400 people at the show, including a lot of press, bloggers, and people from the fashion industry. Initially, we weren’t sure about the idea of relocating. Is it a good move considering that we’ll have to develop the brand over there? We have more contacts here and we are starting to build our business here in Switzerland. It's delicate to leave just when you start to build your customer base…
Benjamin: Yes, but we worked a lot abroad too, and have had contracts even in London, or in Paris. And being far, we have had problems with delivery, and delays. Parcels that don't always arrive on time for shootings, for the celebrity who's going to wear the clothes... so that was the biggest problem. Although facing some or more difficulties, I want to feel confident in the fact that it still is possible to grow in Switzerland.
Evan: But, There’s a lot to go through to be able to live here, grow the brand and be financially independent… All in all, we'll still keep a foot here, in the sense that we'll come back regularly for fittings and events in Switzerland.
Benjamin: Plus, now everything will be faster, the stylists will be able to come and pick up the clothes directly on-site. Now we always have to send everything by mail, it must arrive the next day or the day after tomorrow, it's always been a stress. Now, it’s going to be less of a problem.
Dany: What are some other challenges?
Evan: People here are less interested, but also it can be a good thing as in other places it is quite competitive. Now we're in a niche where it's full of fashion designers, we have to build up a clientele there too. The advantage of going to Paris for the Swiss is that we are much more credible, so people will be "ah it's a Swiss brand that is in Paris, so I'll buy from them because it’s different “. It's a crazy bet, but we are for sure going to make it work. It’s going to be great!

Special thanks to Evan and Benjamin who gave us a deeper understanding of their creative process !

Photographic credit goes to @campeland
Images courtesy for the collection goes to EvanBenjamin

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