Recently I was lucky enough to catch up with Adrien from HOON, the renown French jewelry label entering a new era. As they set to embark on the launch of their debut line of leather jackets I found out a bit more about the man and what makes the label tick. Definitely an interesting read and a great collection of jackets to look forward to this winter.
James – How did you come up with the idea for Hoon?
Adrien – I grew up with street culture, particularly the hip hop and graffiti scenes. As I got older my personal style, as well as my lifestyle, evolved. There came a time when, as a consumer, I felt that the market could no longer provide products that corresponded with me. I wasn’t interested in buying the same Bape or Strussy T-shirts that I’d been wearing since I was 17. I was looking for something different ; something more sophisticated in style and quality, but that also stayed faithful to my street wear mentality. It was from this lack in the market that HOON was born.
James – Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
Adrien – I don’t tend to ask myself too many questions ; I just let the inspiration come naturally. I have a very passionate and inquisitive character. A massive range of different things interest me. I find inspiration everywhere. I try to mix the things that appeal to me together in the most intelligent way possible.
James – Do you believe that the Jewelry market is to high competitive for a new entrants like yourself or do you believe that with ingenuity and clear vision brands like yours can make a lasting impression.
Adrien – With HOON it has never been a question of limiting ourselves to making jewelry alone. The brand started with jewelry because that was where my inspiration lay at that particular moment, but I then went on to use HOON as a platform on which to realise all of my ideas. I do, of course, try to keep a direct line running through the products so that they cohere with one another. HOON is definitely not locked down to a particular market. I believe that there is always space for a new brand, as long as you have something fresh to offer – and not just a graphic design printed on the same, standard T-shirt.
James – Many of your pieces seem to look that they would be a hit with the street wear market, does this conflict with your luxury brand persona?
Adrien – Absolutely not! The idea that street wear and luxury are incompatible is a myth. Street wear is above all a culture and a state of mind. Luxury is about expert craftmanship and the use of the finest materials. There is no reason why the two shouldn’t work together. Street wear has existed for more than twenty years now ; it has definitely started to be seen as something powerful, with a real influence. When you see guys like Pharrell or Kanye West it’s clear that street wear and luxury do go very well together.
James – Is there an underlying vision that directs the Hoon brand?
Adrien – The philosophy of HOON is to concentrate on the product above all. I’m not looking to impose a particular lifestyle or any sort of concept on anybody. My aim is to offer the most finished product in terms of design and craftsmanship, with a strong emphasis on the research and selection of materials. I’m dedicated to the perfection of the product ; the faultlessness of the cut, the use of the finest quality material, and the highest level of craftsmanship.
James – What would you like your clients to think or feel when they purchase one of your pieces?
Adrien – I want every client to feel unique when they wear one of my products. They should feel as though the product has been made personally for them. They should feel able to be themselves, to express their true personality. I definitely do not want to impose anything on my clients. My products should just leave them looking good, bringing out the very best in them.
James – What particular market segment are you appealing to? and why?
Adrien – I’ve never really thought of HOON as fitting into a particular segment of the market. However, taking into consideration the level of quality of the products, it’s clear that the price is suitable for luxury products.
James – What’s in the future for Hoon?
Adrien – Many, many things! I don’t want to say much right now but we are working on a very interesting collaboration for the next season….
James – What were the challenges you faced when just launching the brand?
Adrien – HOON works with the most prestigious French workshops. One of the most difficult things at first was convincing the artisans who work with the greatest fashion houses in the world to find the time to work with a young developing Parisian brand.
James – If you could do anything different, what would it be?
Adrien – I’ve always dreamed of becoming a world famous chef! Haha!