We continue our conversation with Jungho Geortay- the Belgian designer at the helm of the French label Armor Lux. Today we learn about Saint Paul- his personal project- a menswear label thats known for its outrageously clever prints.
You can catch Saint Paul at Capsule Berlin.
JG: A few years ago, I began dreaming up mischievous prints for shirts, produced as single pieces, each bearing a message concealed in a hidden spot (often inside the collar) and named after the calendar day corresponding to their creation. It was more like a personal project, only for my own use. By that time, I was just leaving Kenzo to enter the Jean Paul Gaultier team, but I needed to do something of my own. I was encouraged by Elisabeth Paillié, a journalist, when I showed her my project, and I was supported by the Printemps Design at Beaubourg, who were the first to market my shirts in packs that repeated the same prints. I decided to create my own label referencing my second name, PAUL. (www.welcometosaintpaul.com)
WATM: You are also the designer of Armor Lux. How do you manage to design both?
JG: Actually I am currently head of designs for 3 labels: Armor Lux Héritage Menswear & Womenswear, for more than 5 years; Saint Paul since 2009; and also CABBEEN who is a big Chinese brand.
I really enjoy working with Armor Lux and somehow the brands are matching together. Actually, since they like my work, we also did a collaboration (Saint Paul by Armor Lux) last year winter.
It is exciting and challenging working for different brands; you have to understand each brand's market and make sure you are lifting up the collections' quality, but at the same time keeping the brand spirit and DNA.
But Saint Paul is really my own story, my own playground where I can express what I really want to as a designer.
WATM: Youre also a stylist- what are you working on?
JG: Saint Paul is like a laboratory where we can test some new products. We are fortunate to collaborate with designer/tailor Mr. Smith (who is the tailor in house for Givenchy and Kenzo menswear) for our winter jacket project, where we have designed a signature pocket, molded like a 3D pocket popping out of the fabric. (We will have some exclusivity on the jackets at Tomorrowland Japan)
And our Chinese client is a real opportunity: CABBEEN wants to be the first menswear Chinese luxury brand in the forthcoming future, so I am helping this exciting brand to reach their goal. China is a very different, exciting and growing market for menswear, greatly different from the rest of the world.
WATM: How would you describe the mission of the Saint Paul brand?
JG: I am hoping to bring something new, different, and wearable to the menswear market. I believe that designing can also be combined with business. I want to create a recognizable style, but I also want real people to wear it. I think it is still time to bring something fashionable, creative, and wearable.
JG: My inspiration can come from anything; I like to play with codes, surprises, or giving a new sense to existing trends. Since I am in touch with lots of fabric suppliers, trends, and manufacturers, I think that Saint Paul ideas come from what I see, but I always want to manage it with a different angle and new meaning. For instance, camouflage prints are becoming a landscape where postmen are harassed by dogs barking...Sailor stripes with a 3D pocket effect... My clients like that my shirts are really different, full of surprises but not too loud.
WATM: Where are the shirts manufactured?
JG: Prints are made in Holland, shirts are made in Morocco. All the shirts are cut by hand, size by size, since patterns need to be carefully placed.
WATM: Any plans to add other categories to the collection?
JG: We want to go step by step. We have already widened the collection range: we now have classic shirts made of Italian cotton, Printed T shirts, jackets.. In the future, we want to grow as a real brand, but we are still testing our market and growing carefully.
WATM: Do you have a favorite shirt?
JG: Maybe I should speak of this spring summer favorite, since I am a real fashion consumer and like to change! This SS, I really enjoy wearing my Bandana print: the print is placed as if you were wearing a Bandana around the neck, but when you look closer, the print is actually made of small African masks and details. And I also love my pineapple prints on an oxford printed base.
WATM: Whats new for SS14?
JG: Aside from the shirts, we are currently launching a tie collection, made of our own exclusive prints, and also printed jackets.
WATM: If you could create a key word or tagline for the upcoming SS14 season, what would it be?
JG: The elegance of Wood.
WATM: Where do you live?
JG: I live in Paris but my office is in Brussels. Our office is based in a modernist building made in 1935 by architect Adrien Blomme: minimal, modernist style. Very Belgian. I like Scandinavian design, so we have lots of wood mixed with soft fabrics and some poppy colors.
WATM: Please describe your personal style:
JG: Playful,unique and fun. Western meets Asian. Cross cultural meet up.
WATM: Tell us about any upcoming travel plans.
JG: I am leaving to China next week for my Chinese client, and than heading to Hong Kong for business. We are actually looking for investors, and Asia is a good place to start.
WATM: Have you bought anything awesome recently?
JG: Two pairs of Grenson Shoes. I love the design and the quality of that label. Also I am about to purchase a second hand 1950's shelf that I have seen in Brussels.
Please complete this sentence: _Dreams_ make the man