Egon Lab Makes Clothes That Mirror Society

With a collection complete of nipple-baring corsets and deeply sacrilegious cassocks, the French style label Egon Lab seems outré to the extraordinary. But to listen to designers Florentin Glémarec and Kevin Nompeix convey to it, their two yr previous brand name is truly all about loved ones. “We are together, in company and in life,” says Nompeix, chatting through Zoom from the couple’s condominium in Paris. “And Egon Lab is our toddler.”

Lovable? Totally. But if you assume their story couldn’t get any sweeter, you plainly haven’t observed Egon Lab’s muses-cum-brand name ambassadors: a pair of white-haired, proudly punk octogenarians named Marie-Louise and René Glémarec, who come about to be Florentin’s grandparents. Dressed in Egon Lab’s studded leather-based, knee-substantial beat boots and gender-bending bondage tartans—she (a previous postal employee) wielding her floral-print cane, he (retired from the French navy) sometimes in a skirt—the pair have emerged as darlings of the Parisian street model scene, displaying up at manner 7 days to swarms of photographers eager for a viral shot. And their sartorial possibilities are not just a publicity stunt. “Actually, they are actually punk,” says Glémarec of his grandparents, who, he says, have been his biggest supporters because working day a person. “We have photographs of them from the late 70s, with my grandmother obtaining blue hair and spikes.”

“For us, that was an inspiration,” states Nompeix. “And for the grandparents, it was nostalgia. They were being tremendous content to have these sorts of apparel. We said, ‘Are you positive you want to have on this?’ And they explained, ‘Yes! We like it!’”

Glémarec and Nompeix, who are generally labeled menswear designers but think about their creations certainly “genderless,” first collaborated in a unique facet of the vogue world. Ahead of Egon Lab, Glémarec—who entered the market via a teenage modeling career—had a limited-lived menswear label with his brother named Icosae. Nompeix, who commenced his job as a design agent and carries on to work in that realm in get to retain Egon Lab self-financed, assisted the Glémarecs ebook their runway clearly show. “Afterwards I claimed, ‘Ok Florentin, I need to have advice since I really want to have my very own brand,’” states Nompeix. “And he reported, ‘I really want to operate with you.’”

Their initial selection, for spring 2020, was encouraged by the “concept of resistance” and blended graffiti-influenced zebra stripes with finger-size metallic spikes and trench coat suits in Marie Antoinette’s beloved pattern: toile de Jouy. In the limited time since, they scored the Pierre Bergé Andam award, had been named finalists for the Woolmark Prize, introduced a selection of crystal-lined Crocs (auctioned off as NFTs), and debuted carbon-capturing outfits in conjunction with the French luxurious vehicle corporation DS Cars and the sustainable design and style research studio Put up Carbon Lab.

Designers Kevin Nompeix and Florentin Glémarec.

Courtesy of Egon Lab

This previous January, soon after quite a few pandemic seasons confined to the digital planet, they were being capable to present an IRL manner present. Entitled “Egonimati”, the collection—boasting total-body puffer suits, priestly capes and, for the very first time, two couture gowns—was described in the plan notes as “a solution culture responsible for establishing universal pleasure.”

“I consider we have the accountability to battle for our technology, to build a powerful message by way of our garments,” suggests Nompeix, who, like Glémarec, is still in his mid-twenties. “We want to give our local community a resource to express by themselves. What’s avant garde in manner now is to use clothes to speak about modern society.”