esther bancel fall winter collection 2023 2024 paris fashion week
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January 27, 2023
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Sustainable and gender-neutral clothing, Esther Bancel launched a new collection.

Our editor met Esther Bancel who was about to show her new collection at Paris Fashion Week. A discussion about inclusivity and sustainability in this industry that for once no longer shows "the trend".

Dany Niederhauser: We really do feel the French design spirit, it's pretty traditional. The silhouettes are smooth and there is a touch of poetry that you bring to the collection. Is there a real inspiration by the poetry or is it us who fantasize the French charm?

Esther Bancel: There are some people who tell me it's a punk style at the same time, so I'm very happy that you see the poetic and soft side that is close to my heart but that not necessarily everyone sees. It's kind of like who I am, I created a clothing brand also to exorcise my fears and I like to see beauty everywhere and make the things that terrify and scare me softer. I think that comes across in this collection.

DN: It feels like armor and at the same time we find a soft touch with the hand painted pieces. And that's where we found its poetic and tender feel...

EB: Yes, I love working on an ultra structured military base, something apparently hard and secure, like a first bulwark and bring to this armor a sense of vulnerability maybe. I like delicacy, sensitivity and lots of inspiring butterflies or flowers that may seem a bit kitschy but are also important to me.

DN: We can say that you bring fluidity in all this stiffness… 

EB: You’re absolutely right it's a bit of a hybrid fashion between these two things.

DN: Esther Bancel is especially a slow-fashion house, how today can we change our way of consuming, towards a more ethical and sustainable fashion?

EB: Today we offer to produce only to order and it is really a Master Tailor who assembles the pieces. Just that, it was a real challenge to find a workshop in France that can make a real tailor. That they agree to produce that when I have orders not to make 50 pieces at once and perhaps the loss of profit is also present for them. But it was so essential when we see what fashion is today and the ecological disaster it causes. The houses produce so much beautiful fabric even in their wastes, so it is necessary that we do something with all of this and what is really nice is that the companies like LVMH really take part in the game with internal organizations that will allow to get back their end of stock and to sell them to younger designers in smaller quantities. 

DN: Since 2019 you manage your brand, you don't follow the crazy schedule of 48 seasons a year set by the fashion week calendar…

EB: (Laughs) At the same time, even if I wanted to, it would not be possible to keep a calendar like Chanel with so many collections per year. 

DN: We agree on that, but what have you learned during these years of running your brand? 

EB: I learned to be a woman entrepreneur, before being an artist. You realize that when you start a brand, the design and creation part is not the most important part, even if I would like to do only that during my days. Get up in the morning, put on a painter's shirt and draw. But unfortunately it's not possible, there are still a lot of things to manage, in fact you have to be at 360°, manage your communication, your marketing, the customer relationship which is very important for me.

DN: I have read something very interesting about you, in 2016 you created the organization French Fashion Union, which today still gathers thousands of entrepreneurs in the textile industry. Is the collective today would not be the secret of independent fashion designer?

EB: When I was studying fashion in my last year, we had to create a collection for the end of the year. It was a difficult task, I lived in Lyon, not in Paris, so it was hard to find the supplier, the samples, the textile prints. And then one Sunday I talked to Morgan and he told me to create a Facebook group to exchange tips. So I proposed to the class on Monday, we created the Facebook group and it worked so well that the other classes started to join our group, until we had a thousand people. When I came to Paris in 2017, the group started to explode, there were a lot of young designers who needed information to create their brand. I think we are more than 8000 today. It's a group that I stopped managing a few months ago, I couldn't handle it anymore. I'm really for a collaborative lifestyle and I think it's important to unite to go further together because we are stronger. Everyone has a lot to share with us. It's sure that in a utopian way I would like that everybody help each other and that we can all work together, but I tried to do it in my own small way at least.  

models : Houria

shot by : Mickael Gomes

mua : Justine Sirabella


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