At Paris Fashion Week, MAEKAN together with BYBORRE did a series of interviews with some of the brand’s closest collaborators and friends revolving around BYBORRE and GORE-TEX’s collaborative project: The Hybrid Edition. In this project, BYBORRE’s cutting edge knitting techniques meet GORE-TEX’s recent INFINIUM material technology to create a collection of eye-catching performance wear.
Listen to Jey Perie talk about his creative beginnings and what The Hybrid Edition means to him by clicking play above, keep reading for the transcript, and find a short video below.
My name is Jey Perie and I am the creative director of Kinfolk. It’s a store, it’s a bar, it’s a nightclub in Brooklyn, New York and the store is a selection of menswear from all around the world and we also have our own brand called Kinfolk. It’s graphic-heavy and it’s about the culture that we support here in New York.
I come to Paris maybe three, four times a year. I’m originally from the south of France so sometimes I come through here to go see my family, sometimes I come here for work. There’s always a good reason to pass by Paris. My favorite spot here … I mean it’s always around food, right? If I have a budget or if someone else is splitting the bill, Caviar Kaspia is the sexiest place in Paris. I like to go to Chez Omar or Chez Janou in the Marais. There’s very good Italian food actually in Paris too. There’s a great selection of Japanese udon and ramen here. So yes it’s a great food scene here.
I started designing clothing … Really my first real experience was with Kinfolk. I’ve been in the industry for 10 years and before that in Japan I was mostly on the marketing side of it. So with Kinfolk, they gave me the creative direction and they wanted me to create the brand. You know it’s a small company so I was like designer but also like head of production because me and my assistant back then when we started used to go to the Garment District in New York and put a collection together. I learned a lot. You know, how complex it is to make clothes. Making T-shirts is already something, but when you try to deal with wash houses and dye houses and the shrinking. I mean this is science. A lot of people that don’t come from that world like myself, we need to learn as we go and mistakes can be expensive, I’m sure you guys know that. But it’s such a beautiful process and it’s great to see the final product hit the store like being worn on the streets by our community.
“A lot of people that don’t come from that world like myself, we need to learn as we go and mistakes can be expensive, I’m sure you guys know that. But it’s such a beautiful process and it’s great to see the final product hit the store like being worn on the streets by our community.”
Fashion as an industry and as a business is changing so much, so there’s some exciting opportunities there and I’m very happy to be part of it right now in trying to find solutions for a small brand to be more sustainable in terms of business but also things like dropping collections whenever we we want to. We try not to be under the dictation of season and collections. You know, I’m not a high fashion brand. I have no ambition to make one, we’re mostly in culture before being in fashion and we use clothing as a canvas. For me, I want to get away from the repetition of fashion and create drops when there’s a cultural relevancy to it. Also I carry more traditional brands in my store. They’re more on the traditional schedule, they have a huge backbone of factories and they’re great at what they do and I’m stoked to work with brands that follow that business model. I think the two can cohabit and it’s exciting when there’s an established traditional brand that’s sitting next to more cultural small projects. I that is what makes fashion a very rich industry.
For me, hybrid is a new way to create functionality by mixing two elements that historically were not mixed to create a new way to function and you can see it in cars, in fabrics, in the way we consume. It’s a very relevant world for our time I think.
When I really want to get in details about what I do, it’s very hybrid in the sense that I do nightlife, I do clothing, I do small documentaries and art shows with my partner Gogy also, so there’s a sense of hybrid between the storytelling part of my job but also making products and creating experience with the nightclub and with Kinfolk. So, in that way there’s a hybrid sense in what we’re doing.
The fabric that you guys are known for is a mix of traditional technique but you guys use it and design it in a way that it’s very modern and contemporary and also for me, the most hybrid thing that I’ve seen recently is your collaboration with GORE-TEX where mixing the two fabrics creates a quintessential hybrid product.
“Success is like waking up in the morning and going to work without feeling like it’s work and being happy to create and work with people that you love and going home tired but intellectually satisfied. That’s success for me. Once you get that in place, money always follows, it’s a no-brainer.”
Success is like waking up in the morning and going to work without feeling like it’s work and being happy to create and work with people that you love and going home tired but intellectually satisfied. That’s success for me. Once you get that in place money always follows, it’s a no-brainer. Growth is … You should not be a dictator, you know? Growth should not be … Sometimes there’s beauty in stagnation, there’s beauty in downgrading to bounce back higher. When I look at big companies like Nike or Adidas and they’re under the pressure of growth every year, and that pressure makes you do silly things sometimes or invest in directions that are not authentic. I think that’s the way it is because they have that pressure from Wall Street and stuff. But in my case it’s more a gut feeling, pressure comes from what we want to do, what we think is cool, what we want to do for our community and the growth comes naturally, we don’t even really think about it.