I always thought they were Belgian, because they are huge in the low lands. We grew up with Les Copains; it’s part of my 90s sartorial education. Maybe the name mislead me, or the fact that they feel so closely knitted with the look of the Belgians: preppy and pretty, with just a touch of bourgeois. (Not everyone wears black and Margiela, guys!) But they are not. Back in the 60s you needed to feel French to be taken seriously as a fashion brand. This small Italian line of cashmere knitwear, marveling at the chic and artistic affairs of Café des Anglais, the Palladium and the Montmartre spots, may not have become the institution it is today was it not for its friendly connotation.
But it’s not just the name of course. Les Copains stands for quality, classic durability and a fresh, modern approach to wearable clothing. And its younger sister Blue Les Copains, designed by Peter Som, picks up the current trends with speedy accuracy. I had the pleasure of styling their second presentation at the Standard Hotel during New York Fashion Week this season. The collection was immense – what I edited is just a smidgen of what the sales rep presents to buyers. The few elements that stood out to me, the dark denim, the white shadow print cottons, and the daisy florals, came to life in fifteen looks with a 70s twist. And according to one of the editors that stopped by, every single one had the “Joosy” stamp. (Eddie Roche at Fashion Week Daily also made a remarkable discovery… ; – )
If you’re in Milan right now, you may have caught the main line show at 2 PM today. Sadly I had to miss it – I’m sitting behind my desk in Bushwick, recovering from a bad cold – but I’m not done with Les Copains! As soon as the dust of Fashion Month settles, I will immerse myself in the 70-year old heritage of this beautiful brand and sniff out the archives in Bologna. So stay tuned for more about Your Friends!
Thank you to Lorenzo Martone for the introduction.
Special thanks to Francesco Leone, Rachel Wood and Francesca D’Ambrogio at Les Copains.
Model agencies: Major, 360, Silent, State, MSA, Wilhelmina, One, Trump, MC2.
My assistant Polina Kulikova.
And all my friends who came to support!
Photos by Corey Tenold.