During the summer Paris Fashion Week last year, we were enlightened by the presentation by Pigalle as Stephane Ashpool continues to influence the area and beyond. With the Pigalle Spring/Summer 2011 Collection set to debut and label promising to make a mark at Paris Fashion Week this month we are provided with a first hand insight to the ethos behind the label. In addition we have an in depth film that showcases much from the presentation in June 2010 with numerous facets covered from the show located on the square in front of the self titled store.
[vimeo width=”800″ height=”533″]http://vimeo.com/16280265[/vimeo]
SLAMXHYPE / You chose to be decidedly oriented towards the Balkans for your first collection, while being deeply rooted in the nature of your Parisian collective. Tell us about the influence of Paris in your creations?
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / The Balkans is mostly distant and family influences, Paris is my life so the two blended
together, created the ‘Pigalle collection’. From the cuts to the stains, it is a Parisian spirit and energy while the uses of embroidery are a nod to the Balkans. This combination defines our job well. Plus I’m very proud to have that element in our clothes, in our crew ‘Pain O choKolat’, in our city… Everything is mixed, that’s what comes first! It makes things much richer and more beautiful.
SLAMXHYPE / What will be the direction taken by the next series?
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / For the moment, it will stay private, but we will continue to work hard to prepare for our January show. There will be a continuous theme from the previous of course, but it will still be quite different in its rendition. The last time it was Yugoslavia and this time, you’ll see… you’ll like it!
SLAMXHYPE / You have surprised everyone by choosing to go directly into the designer scene, was it a goal to immediately make a collection, a silhouette without going through the motions that major players in your niche go through?
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / Should I feel insulted? The players in my niche… What do you mean? You say that
because you have a Pigalle t-shirt on? Ha ha ha! I can still be street in my way of life but Pigalle, as a structure, claims something other so it was not, at all, my ambition to follow a path that seemed too obvious to me. From the beginning, the goal with my partner Loïc Van Herreweghe was to create clothes that were approaching the work of the more creative designers than anything else. All the better if we surprised many, then we will surely continue to surprise because we have many strings to our bow!
SLAMXHYPE / We know you’ll be at Opening Ceremony, United Arrows and other shops known to be selective. It is an honour but also a certain pressure. Tell us about it. Being incorporated upon your first collection in select retail spaces will it allow you to be as free in your references or your influences?
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / This is clearly a privilege to be in big stores of Opening Ceremony’s calibre, United Arrows, Wood Wood… But it does not give me any particular pressure, it’s rather stimulating. It allows the brand to professionalize itself faster! Then no, we will continue to do what we want in our creations, we have not yet been bought out by a tasteless, or unscrupulous finance guy.
SLAMXHYPE / How far do you see your brand grow? What are your ambitions if you have extensions? In which other areas?
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / The main ambition of the ‘Pigalle collection is to remain humble, not too expensive and
have great quality. For now, I’d stay only in certain boutiques with which I have an affinity or a relationship. Then the rest will be for Pigalle shops. What is certain is that I will continue to put these clothes on stage every season, it helps us express ourselves in another way and I think it’s very important for the energy of the label. But on another note, we do have ambitions to extend Pigalle. The first is the creation of a line of hats, opening another shop, perhaps, and continue to provide a creative and unusual content around basketball. (Shout out to my PXA family)
SLAMXHYPE / What is this other project, you talked about hats. Can you tell us more?
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / Two years ago, we started to produce pieces exclusively for the shop. It worked instantly, we were selling out of them too quickly. I have a big culture of hats so it was a moment where I wanted to create a line of hats called ‘Pigalle hats’. Several events made it so that we were not ready to sell that much that quick. Those issues are now resolved, so we will propose next winter hats for a range of a larger network. The goal is to be sold widely within 2 to 3 years with 100% of the production made in France… I hope to continue working with our French factories, it is our heritage.
SLAMXHYPE / Your crew has been particularly active in recent years, talks to us about your recent activities and what we can expect for the future.
STEPHANE ASHPOOL / Yes, it is true that with ‘Pain O choKolat’ everyone knows us now in Paris. It is nice to see but we still have some way before reaching stardom. Recently, Charaf, our close friend and a very active member of ‘Pain O choKolat’ opened a restaurant/club ‘Le Pompon’ that is already working quite well. This adds another string to our bow, we now have a brand, a restaurant, a club, a shop, an event agency, but we’re far from stopping and we will continue to be do things. We are only 26/27 years old average so it gives us quite the margin but the ambition is clear, we want to mark our time. Pain O choKolat, Pigalle, Pompon… lourd!

All Rights Reserved © 2011. SLAMXHYPE.

Video / Pain O choKolat Productions

Photography / Helmi Charni

Interview / Massaër N’Diaye