Nïuku unveils 'low fashion' collection full of clever ideas at Paris Fashion Week

On Thursday evening, French menswear label Nïuku made a high-spirited Parisian catwalk debut in an atmosphere hovering between excitement and improvisation. It didn't really matter that the models sashayed every which way at breakneck speed, not quite letting the public get a proper glimpse of what they wore. The crucial thing, as the founders of the ready-to-wear label founded in 2014 said, was "to show the energy."


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A pity, since Nïuku, already a hit in Japan, is a label that teems with ideas and deserves a lot of attention. It was launched by Lenny Guerrier, an aficionado of archive items and vintage culture, and young designer Kadjahdjah Diallo, initially offering a new take on models already on the market. Then the founders joined forces with Riad and his Basscouture brand, which picks fabrics from vintage stock and breathes new life into old garments. Together, they have built a hybrid collection steeped in a variety of influences.

The show opened with a superb tailored trousers-asymmetric jacket combo, a nod to the "Margiela-for-Hermès era," followed by sumptuous, Savile Row-style stockbroker suits worn over shirts with vintage Burberry prints. Alongside these, Nïuku presented a host of much sportier outfits, such as the pale-pink nylon tracksuit top with under-arm slits, the result of a collaboration with Reebok, and a sky blue t-shirt inscribed with the name 'Azzedine', in the same lettering used by cult streetwear label Supreme, a tribute to recently departed Azzedine Alaïa.

A closer look at the label's Autumn/Winter 2018-19 collection shows a surplus of clever details, such as jeans with a flipped shape, pleated on the front and slashed below the knee at the back for greater ease of movement, or the African fabric chosen to line a trousers' pocket.

"It's very high-tech, but not very visible. It's a little like with Hermès, you must look for it," said Riad. "The idea is to create the simplest possible outfits. We don't go for excess. We recycle, we redesign, we rethink. Everything blends together," he added.

"Creating anything new is impossible. Everything has already been invented! We merely reinterpret, breathing new life into old [garments], while limiting consumption by tapping existing stock," said Kadjahdjah Diallo.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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