For Fall/Winter 2023, CPHFW Talent recipient and emerging Finnish brand Latimmier presented a new take on the traditional runway format during Copenhagen Fashion Week, with founder and creative director Ervin Latimer acting as co-host for the show.
Latimer, who founded the brand in 2021, kicked off the show by giving an emotional speech about how he was struggling with burnout and wasn’t even sure he would complete this third collection, titled “Interlude.”
“Three months ago, I wasn’t sure if we could make a new collection. I was exhausted, because as most of us know it’s so hard to work in this industry, especially with limited resources,” Latimer said. “I’m so proud to show you a collection today, but I also made this collection as a tribute to all the young and up-and-coming designers out there who might be struggling or aren’t sure they can make it – this one’s for you .”
After the talk, Latimer went on to introduce each model and look from his 10-piece collection, which he described as a curated series of bespoke and one-of-a-kind pieces that delve into craftsmanship and technique.
“With this collection we want to demonstrate our willingness to do less and go deeper into what we create,” explains Latimer in the show notes. “In our case, an interlude represents an opportunity to regroup, reflect and prepare for the next act which is our journey to redefine masculinity.”
The collection took seven weeks for the brand to create and challenges the notion of gender performative with relaxed, deconstructed tailoring and statement basics from a cobalt blue coat styled with matching butter trousers to knits with crochet detailing and a striped trouser skirt.
Latimer’s collection this season also includes two collaborations. The first is with Helsinki-based Swiss-Haitian visual artist Sasha Huber, who created the printed pattern art seen on a pleated dress and tailored suit. There are also handmade bags in collaboration with the Finnish design brand Mifuko. The bags are made from production waste that occurs naturally due to shape changes and weaving errors, which have been recycled by the Latimmier team.
In conversation with Ervin Latimer, creative director of emerging Finnish brand Latimmier
Ahead of the AW23 show, FashionUnited caught up with Latimer to discuss why sustainability is so important to his brand, the inspiration for his collection and his hopes for the future.
What was your starting point for this collection?
With this collection, we are introducing new elements such as custom-made pieces and one-of-a-kind pieces. It was very clear to me from the beginning that this collection would be more condensed and intimate, focusing on craftsmanship, manipulation of materials and silhouette.
We also have an exciting collaboration with Sasha Huber, who is a Swiss-Haitian artist based in Finland, and her work and the themes she discusses in her work, such as the politics of belonging, have greatly influenced this collection.
What does sustainability in fashion mean to you?
It means a lot, even though sustainability as a word has unfortunately lost much of its power due to greenwashing. For Latimmier, sustainability doesn’t just mean ecological sustainability, it also means social sustainability in the way we work in our industry.
As a small and up-and-coming brand, it’s vital that we implement sustainable ways of working in fashion from day one, so all of this will naturally carry over into our future. With that said, eco-sustainability is of course hugely important and I’m proud to say that around 40 percent of the materials used in our next collection are of recycled or recycled origin, and another 15 percent are from certified organic materials. The rest, while not certified organic or recycled, are still natural fibers like wool, silk and leather, with less than 1 percent oil-based.
How do you implement sustainable practices in your designs?
In addition to sustainable and timeless materials, we play a lot with designs that adapt to the body, making sure to fit as many body types as possible. This can be seen in many designs in our new collection.
We’ve also focused a lot on cutting waste in this collection, using the cutting waste we produce in the designs themselves or designing pieces that produce little or no cutting waste. We are also currently in the middle of a long process of finding ways to use and recycle all the cutting waste, not only in our studio but also from our factories.
Last but not least – and I know it’s so cliche to say this – we really try to emphasize the importance of good and practical design that actually works in real life and thus stands the test of time.
How would you describe your brand aesthetic?
Latimmier’s aesthetic is tailored and relaxed with a pinch of sensuality and seduction. Our design language stems from the history of traditional and normative Western menswear pieces and the ways in which we reinterpret and subvert these codes into new masculinities.
Why is it important to you to have a brand that elevates queer creatives and POC creatives?
As an artist, one tends to reflect reality and also, through this mirror, create new ones. I’m a queer POC creative working in a predominantly white country like Finland, so it goes without saying that a big part of what I do is creating a reality where I and people like me can see themselves. I also do very good work in the field of culture, in addition to my design work.
It is critical for me that in these positions, I also focus on creating opportunities for those who may not be considered part of the norm, whether I am on an advisory board for a new cultural project or when lecturing a younger generation of creatives at institutions such as universities or museums.
Before Latimmier, I worked as managing editor for Ruskeat Tytöt (Brown Girls in English), an independent online publication committed to centering and normalizing the perspectives of Brown people in Finnish media, so I guess this idea to we center narratives that are in the boundaries is self-evident. And luckily, I’m just one of many creatives with this mindset in my beloved homeland.
Where do you see your brand going next?
Next summer is our last as part of the CPHFW NewTalent program so our current focus is to make the most of this amazing opportunity. With that said, we will definitely see how deep we can go with our ambitions for unique and bespoke pieces, as this allows us to create much more complex pieces, without the worries and problems of large-scale mass production.
We already have some very interesting prospects planned, so rest assured that we will continue to knock on doors and mobile screens with our mission to evoke masculinity through clothing.