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Men's Fashion / Insiders

Charlie Salvo and Luke Walker – Lanvin

The Insiders is a column written by Kin Woo, presenting integral, but often hidden figures within the fashion industry

Charlie Salvo and Luke Walker
Charlie Salvo and Luke Walker Photography by Tiffany Hargraves Uribe

Currently making their mark as menswear designers at revered French luxury brand Lanvin are fellow Central Saint Martin’s graduates, Englishman Luke Walker and Chilean-by-way-of-Sweden, Charlie Salvo. The transition from art college to the big bad commercial world of fashion can be a daunting prospect. So it helps to do it with a friend. “We were in the same class at St Martin's. Although we didn't really speak until we were forced to when we started together at Lanvin,” recalls Walker...

Currently making their mark as menswear designers at revered French luxury brand Lanvin are fellow Central Saint Martin’s graduates, Englishman Luke Walker and Chilean-by-way-of-Sweden, Charlie Salvo. The transition from art college to the big bad commercial world of fashion can be a daunting prospect. So it helps to do it with a friend.“We were in the same class at St Martin's. Although we didn't really speak until we were forced to when we started together at Lanvin,” recalls Walker. “Now look at us.” While Walker sits on Salvo’s right at the studio, they draw the line at actually living together: “We tried that for six months. We didn't speak to one another for six months.” The pair cut quite a dash on the Parisian streets – Walker dapper with his handlebar moustache and vintage glasses, while Salvo describes his style as “a bit of a mixed salad.” Both grew up with a deep love for fashion. Salvo remembers dressing up his niece when she was two, whereas Walker recalls, “My mother tells me when I was three or four, I wouldn't leave for nursery without my elasticated bow tie and knitted blazer. And then there's the inevitable influence of being dressed and made-up by my three older sisters!” Working under the tutelage of Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz has been an inspirational experience for both of them. “What I love about Lanvin is it’s so fresh and inspiring,” muses Salvo. “It’s been an opportunity to see things in a different way, to dream and go crazy. Remember how to be romantic and sporty at the same time.” Walker concurs, “We've definitely learnt to dream. And also to push it to the edge.”

While some designers despair at the mounting stress leading up to a runway show, the pair embrace the chaos. “We always leave as much as possible until the last minute so it's as fresh as a sea breeze!” enthuses Walker. “That can throw up a bit of excitement. All I can think of is pants, the mad scouring of Paris for underpants!” As for the future, Salvo will only say he would love to make something exclusive. The more effusive Walker pitches in, “Everything I've done in my life has been without a plan so I don't really have an image in my mind of where I'll be professionally in five years,” before tantalizingly adding, “But I do love capes.”

Kin Woo writes for Dazed & Confused, AnOther, AnOthermag.com and is a contributing editor for Dazed Digital. He has produced films for international artists Phoenix, Patrick Wolf and Lissie Trullie.

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