Paul Helbers is an athleisure expert
Designer Paul Helbers is a one-trick pony when it comes to his way of designing.
The fashion expert previously directed men's collections at Maison Martin Margiela and helmed Louis Vuitton's men's division for Marc Jacobs' until launching his own label, Helbers, earlier this year (16). He presented his second menswear range in Paris last weekend (24-25Jan16), which was full of his signature athleisure pieces mixed with more tailored pieces, using lighter and looser materials for spring/summer 17.
Quizzed on whether his former roles, most recently consulting brand Callens on its women's athleisure wear, impacted his current work Paul insists his love of the style has long been present.
"I've always been working this way," he told Fashionista. "At the end of the day, everybody can only do one thing very well - I'm a one-trick pony. With my own label in the '90s it was based on the construction of sportswear but in tailoring fabrics, but I didn't have the level of experience I had from Vuitton and Margiela then. I've since (learned) how you can use those materials without compromising the elegance or the aesthetic. It's the way you like to dress, and I just think maybe now, there's more room in fashion to explore this direction than there was before."
Recalling his time at Margiela the designer describes the label as a "great school" which taught him to think before he sketches rather than jumping straight into producing and editing.
Since departing Louis Vuitton in 2011, with Kim Jones taking his spot, Paul has focused on finding the ideal sources and partners to work on his own pieces, as how his clothes are made is an important aspect of the business for the designer.
"All of my factories are in Italy for the moment, mostly near Venice," he added. "I like spending time with people inside those factories, really explaining. The way we draw is very articulate. We spend a lot of time in sketching out the ideas and details, and that's kind of what guarantees for us the way the collection goes."