A place where time isn’t important, neither memory. Asia in an unspoken story featuring timeless pieces by Luca Xavier Tanner, photographed by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
I understand your brand was founded just this past year, what sparked the interest to pursue fashion and start your own brand?
I founded my label in 2020 after I arrived back from my Internship at Eckhaus Latta in New York. It was very inspiring to see what a fashion label could make as an impact, believing in their core values and staying true to themselves. Before, I was questioning if staying in fashion and starting my own label would be the right step.I graduated in 2019 and I knew that I did not want to work for a bigger fashion brand, as I was not convinced about their hierarchy and the endless work a freshly graduated fashion student has to put to maybe achieve a good position. Living and growing up in Switzerland where there is an important heritage in textiles but a less extensive in fashion design, I decided to present my collection twice a year in Zurich and stay open to requests coming from abroad. It is important for me to have fun in what I’m doing and to have a good team around me where everybody is contributing. Without these I wouldn’t have founded the brand.
What about your design process, how do you start working on a collection?
Before working on a collection, a lot is already happening in my head. Simultaneously I am creating, deciding, building and analysing the potential designs. If I think I am on the right track I will start sketching and looking for references. Those could be a nice collar, a nice painting with a good color combination or architecture with a nice construction. I focus on knitting techniques and a research is done right from the beginning. It should bring something new and modern to the knitwear.
How has your work evolved since you started the label?
I think the evolvement can be seen precisely in work by not overdoing it but keeping it simple and readable. To me it is very important that the collection is well understood at the first glance. During my studies I was pushing and trying too hard difficult constructions, which, in the end was not readable for the audience anymore. Many opportunities are evolving organically with partnerships and manufacturers for which I am thankful.
“Somatic, tactile and challenging – when designing new pieces, the human body is always in focus.” You claim fashion is a tool of nonverbal expression for all of us. Can you tell us more about what fashion means to you and where do you look for creative inspiration?
The human body itself is a tool in our daily life. With the body we can go from place a to place z. We can modify it. Then there are the five senses. With this, fashion should add the fabric’s tactility of the touch and what I think would be wonderful is to include what you have seen in your life, where you have been, your growing up and your personality in your daily wardrobe. Expanding your senses and opening a dialogue through your closet. ‘Challenging’ is a keyword I always put to remember to question ourselves, going in a new direction and to challenge myself in pattern making.
What aspects of the fashion industry would you like to change if you could?
Fashion companies should acknowledge, and the end consumers should be aware that behind each garment there is a person sewing it. Before Covid-19 a lot had to be changed in the fashion industry and a lot of designers had time to rethink their own working-methods and their message they were sending out. I hope we are going to see their thinking steps in real life soon. The pandemic shed lights on wrongdoings like fast fashion companies not paying their orders to their manufactures abroad, seamstresses not paid fairly or losing their job. We cannot accept and allow these happen. In the luxury segments I would love to see great shows and presentations again going back to the era of Thierry Mugler. I think fashion should be fashion and if brands want to create ‘instagrammable’ looks, then they should pollute as little as possible during production and after with their advertisement. Maybe it would be good to recategorize fashion differently and to declare the meaning and the attention behind it. For example “Haute Couture”, fashion from designers with a limited production amount, a category of designer houses creating merchandising for Instagram or selling it online. Also, to keep the human/analogue touch in the communication/visuals is important to me.
What future plans are ahead for Luca Xavier Tanner?
We are very excited to present our first handbag collection this summer. I like designing useable and multifunctional accessories. Working with accessories is going to be a big part of the label. At the end of February we are going to present our new collection in Zurich. For this collection I designed shoes with the traditional Swiss shoe manufacturer Kandahar. The shoes give a nice add to the colour palette and gives a comfortable function.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Luca Xavier Tanner / @lxtanner_
Styling assistant : Selin Celik / @selinceliks
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ilavarini
Interview: Maylyn Bertorelli / @twiggymay
Model: Asia at Fashion Model / @asia.zebraska @fashionmodel.it