SILWET

SILWET

Lenny Guerrier

Please introduce yourself.
My name is Lenny. I grew up in a Parisian suburb and now live in Paris. I have been working in fashion for 10 years. I am the co-founder of Lapaix, an art space located on Rue de La Paix in Paris. I am also a former co-founder of the brand Niuku, and now the founder of fashion brand Silwet.
What does the word "Silwet" mean, and when did you start working on the project?
I have been working on Silwet for almost two years, following the end of my venture at Niuku. I wanted to launch a fashion label that would rethink the system and the ways we sell, show and communicate.
Everything had to be in tune with what I am, with my inspirations, my desires and my taste, starting with the choice of a name. Silwet is the French word silhouette written in Haitian Creole. It defines the concept of the brand. I don't want to show collections anymore, but silhouettes.
Is Silwet more a philosophy than a fashion brand?
I think it is! It's very linked to my experiences from the last 5 years, to what I have learned about fashion and to the opening of Lapaix, which exposed me to new mediums such as contemporary art, photography and design.
At our official launch on April 11th, I showed the first pieces of that project and delivered a topical message about differences of gender, skin colour, religion and sexual orientation. Silwet will be used as a platform to start a dialog. So in that aspect, it is more than a fashion label.
"Fashion is a dialog. Not a monologue." [SILWET]
Inclusion is a new fashion and beauty trend. According to you, how can we spot authenticity and opportunism?
I find it pretty easy for a consumer to make the difference between authenticity and opportunism. Unknown brands are the ones that start every movement, this is the underground. Big brands put up with it because of social media and the strength of the public that is asking to see different styles.
I am just showing my reality through the visual identity of Silwet and our casting. The faces you see in our portrait series are the faces of people I have already worked with and know personally.
Silwet has just launched a range of tees and hoodies. Will you always stick to basics, or should we expect more creative pieces in the future?
I wanted to start with pieces that interest every type of men and women. We came up with a particular form and volume on the t-shirt, referring to the Fruit of the Loom and Russell tees we used to wear back in the day. About the hoodie, we noticed that there is only one type of sweatshirt available, with a central pocket, a hood and two strings. So we reworked it to offer something recognisable without a big logo.
It is also more simple for a consumer to buy a t-shirt and a hoodie than a €700 coat.
Prior to launching Silwet, you opened and closed a concept store called Coïncidence and co-founded fashion brand Niuku with Kadiata Diallo. What have you learned from those experiences that you will apply or definitely not repeat at Silwet?
One thing I will not repeat is to follow the rhythm, as in the rhythm of the fashion industry. You can see it at big brands, creative directors are drained. We see more and more burnouts, and we are talking about people who have whole teams of assistants and unlimited budgets.
Of course, fashion is an industry, not a art, but I think that we can rethink the way it works, thanks to the internet, to social media and to the way people consume fashion.
What made you decide to stop Niuku?
We are different personalities and had different wishes. I wanted to do things my way, without making compromises. I am also getting older and more mature and I had other desires. The best thing to do was to part ways.
So, do you find it easier to run a fashion label alone than with one collaborator or more?
I do find it easier! Age plays a part. I am at a point where I trust my taste and choices on the concept and the art direction. It allows me to express myself the way I want to, and at my own pace.
But, thanks to my experiences and me meeting new people, I can surround myself with inspiring, creative people to help me develop this vision. Team work makes the dream work.
Why should people care about Silwet ?
I am passionate about fashion and clothing. I look at everything, I get informations, I pay attention, and I notice that, today, something is missing in the men's wardrobe. I think that there is room for Silwet in that market, for us to offer silhouettes and timeless pieces. Fashion is also the second most-polluting industry on the planet, and most of our materials come from destocking. This is also a way to contribute.
I think that all of these little details will make people want to join our movement. Silwet is a brand that includes. This is the foundation of the Silwet project.
The “Homosapiens” collection and exhibition was an introduction. What’s next for the brand?
The second phase of the launch is coming in June! We already showed our first silhouette composed of the hoodie, the t-shirt and new, elegant high-waisted pants. This look was inspired by the skateboarders of Place de la République.
We will communicate on the second phase by sharing new pictures and videos, mainly on Instagram at @silwet_paris, and host a special event. An e-shop is also coming soon. It will stock our first pieces in limited quantities.
Interview by Iggy Nko
Photos by Julot Bandit and Nico Bustos.
www.silwet.paris

SILWET

Lenny Guerrier

Please introduce yourself.
My name is Lenny. I grew up in a Parisian suburb and now live in Paris. I have been working in fashion for 10 years. I am the co-founder of Lapaix, an art space located on Rue de La Paix in Paris. I am also a former co-founder of the brand Niuku, and now the founder of fashion brand Silwet.
What does the word "Silwet" mean, and when did you start working on the project?
I have been working on Silwet for almost two years, following the end of my venture at Niuku. I wanted to launch a fashion label that would rethink the system and the ways we sell, show and communicate.
Everything had to be in tune with what I am, with my inspirations, my desires and my taste, starting with the choice of a name. Silwet is the French word silhouette written in Haitian Creole. It defines the concept of the brand. I don't want to show collections anymore, but silhouettes.
Is Silwet more a philosophy than a fashion brand?
I think it is! It's very linked to my experiences from the last 5 years, to what I have learned about fashion and to the opening of Lapaix, which exposed me to new mediums such as contemporary art, photography and design.
At our official launch on April 11th, I showed the first pieces of that project and delivered a topical message about differences of gender, skin colour, religion and sexual orientation. Silwet will be used as a platform to start a dialog. So in that aspect, it is more than a fashion label.
"Fashion is a dialog. Not a monologue." [SILWET]
Inclusion is a new fashion and beauty trend. According to you, how can we spot authenticity and opportunism?
I find it pretty easy for a consumer to make the difference between authenticity and opportunism. Unknown brands are the ones that start every movement, this is the underground. Big brands put up with it because of social media and the strength of the public that is asking to see different styles.
I am just showing my reality through the visual identity of Silwet and our casting. The faces you see in our portrait series are the faces of people I have already worked with and know personally.
Silwet has just launched a range of tees and hoodies. Will you always stick to basics, or should we expect more creative pieces in the future?
I wanted to start with pieces that interest every type of men and women. We came up with a particular form and volume on the t-shirt, referring to the Fruit of the Loom and Russell tees we used to wear back in the day. About the hoodie, we noticed that there is only one type of sweatshirt available, with a central pocket, a hood and two strings. So we reworked it to offer something recognisable without a big logo.
It is also more simple for a consumer to buy a t-shirt and a hoodie than a €700 coat.
Prior to launching Silwet, you opened and closed a concept store called Coïncidence and co-founded fashion brand Niuku with Kadiata Diallo. What have you learned from those experiences that you will apply or definitely not repeat at Silwet?
One thing I will not repeat is to follow the rhythm, as in the rhythm of the fashion industry. You can see it at big brands, creative directors are drained. We see more and more burnouts, and we are talking about people who have whole teams of assistants and unlimited budgets.
Of course, fashion is an industry, not a art, but I think that we can rethink the way it works, thanks to the internet, to social media and to the way people consume fashion.
What made you decide to stop Niuku?
We are different personalities and had different wishes. I wanted to do things my way, without making compromises. I am also getting older and more mature and I had other desires. The best thing to do was to part ways.
So, do you find it easier to run a fashion label alone than with one collaborator or more?
I do find it easier! Age plays a part. I am at a point where I trust my taste and choices on the concept and the art direction. It allows me to express myself the way I want to, and at my own pace.
But, thanks to my experiences and me meeting new people, I can surround myself with inspiring, creative people to help me develop this vision. Team work makes the dream work.
Why should people care about Silwet ?
I am passionate about fashion and clothing. I look at everything, I get informations, I pay attention, and I notice that, today, something is missing in the men's wardrobe. I think that there is room for Silwet in that market, for us to offer silhouettes and timeless pieces. Fashion is also the second most-polluting industry on the planet, and most of our materials come from destocking. This is also a way to contribute.
I think that all of these little details will make people want to join our movement. Silwet is a brand that includes. This is the foundation of the Silwet project.
The “Homosapiens” collection and exhibition was an introduction. What’s next for the brand?
The second phase of the launch is coming in June! We already showed our first silhouette composed of the hoodie, the t-shirt and new, elegant high-waisted pants. This look was inspired by the skateboarders of Place de la République.
We will communicate on the second phase by sharing new pictures and videos, mainly on Instagram at @silwet_paris, and host a special event. An e-shop is also coming soon. It will stock our first pieces in limited quantities.
Interview by Iggy Nko
Photos by Julot Bandit and Nico Bustos.
www.silwet.paris