Coperni is the playful Instagram-first label from ex-Courrèges artistic directors Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer. Here, Vaillant tells us more
- Who is it? Ex-Courrèges artistic directors Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer’s newly revived, Coperni
- Why do I want it? Playfully subversive separates, recalling the futuristic minimalism of the designers’ stint at Courrèges
- Where can I find it? Coperni’s A/W19 collection will arrive in stores worldwide later this year (while you wait, try their Choose Your Own Adventure Instagram account)
Who is it? Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer met in 2009 while studying at Mod’art International Paris; in 2013 – after Vaillant had undertaken stints at Chanel and Balenciaga – they established label Coperni Femme. “We come from different backgrounds, different educations, but it’s true to say it was love at first sight, both personally and professionally,” says Vaillant over the phone from Paris, where Coperni (now sans Femme) was relaunched this February, following a two-year pause, during which the duo worked as joint artistic directors of Courrèges.
There, Vaillant and Meyer found acclaim for placing focus on individual pieces rather than “full looks”: the leather jacket, the mini skirt, the architectural dress, each riffing on the French house’s 1960s heyday. “It was such a special house,” says Vaillant. “But we added our own taste, what we like, how we see our friends.” Often, this meant rejecting the traditional runway show altogether: for their debut, they took to the stage to introduce the collection; another, they gave friends and collaborators a single piece to style with their own clothing. “We always wanted to do something different. Fashion shows can be a bit the same thing: one girl after another,” he laughs.
Now, they are bringing this unconventional approach back to Coperni: their Autumn/Winter 2019 collection was revealed last month on the label’s Instagram account, the very place they were first discovered in the early days of the app by Clara Cornet, creative director of Galeries Lafayette Champs Élysées, then a buyer at Opening Ceremony. Alongside this Instagram account – which is currently cataloguing images from their lookbook starring Teddy Quinlivan – there is also @copernize_your_life, which takes followers through a rabbit warren of accounts and videos in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. (“Choice [sic] your favourite answer to the question and let the next videos guide you,” the bio reads.)
Starring Quinlivan again, as well as Hanne Gaby Odiele, artist Chloe Wise and a series of the designers’ friends and colleagues, users are invited to choose their own scenarios to endless combinations of videos shot in New York, Paris and Italy, from spoof make-up tutorials and karaoke sessions to a parody of Vogue’s 73 questions. “Sometimes you are a bit passive on Instagram, and you just sit, and scroll, but you are never a part of it,” Vaillant says. “This was to put the user at the centre of the story.”
Why do I want it? The clothing itself recalls the futuristic minimalism of Vaillant and Meyer’s stint at Courrèges, albeit here stripped back further into a series of focused – and playfully subversive – separates, from skewed, off-the-shoulder party dresses and trompe l’oeil tailoring, to Coperni-tagged T-shirts and egg-shaped bags. “When we left Courrèges we did a bit of searching: how we consume clothes, the way our generation dresses, what’s going on with technology,” says Vaillant. “There is this whole streetwear thing; but we wanted to return to something chic, and minimal. We just wanted to go back to our baby.”
Dropping the “Femme” has also seen them incorporate menswear for the first time. “We were doing a lot of tailoring and it just made sense,” says Vaillant, though several pieces are entirely unisex. They hope that Coperni is for everyone, like the cross-section of collaborators who appear appear on the @copernize_your_life Instagram. “We are trying to showcase a lot of different people from different origins, different sexual orientations, different backgrounds,” says Vaillant. “It’s been so much fun. I think we are going to do it again: new people, new cities, new scenarios – it’s endless!”
Where can I find it? Coperni’s A/W19 collection will arrive in stores worldwide later this year.