It’s no news that we are fond of Faustine Steinmetz at 1 Granary. We have gradually seen her brand grow, and witnessed her move from her Hoxton studio with one assistant, to the other in Whitechapel with an army full of them, to her new one — an old wood factory — in Seven Sisters.
The moving itself seems to be a signifier of how rapidly her brand is growing. The growth is almost exponential — after her last presentation, the amount of her Instagram followers more than doubled in a few days, she tells us over a glass of Sancerre on the first night of Paris Fashion Week.
At this point, Faustine has been standing all day in a small white box as part of the LVMH Prize, which saw a shortlist of 26 young designers exhibit in the Avenue Montaigne showroom over the period of two days. When Karl Lagerfeld approached her rail at the starry cocktail reception, he dismissed any need for an introduction by quipping: “Of course I know Faustine!”
Despite this champagne-flavoured rush to the head, Faustine remains the same down-to-earth designer whose wit is priceless, even in light of this prize. When asked what she would spend the potential €300.000 LVMH grant on, she jokes: “Get that diet that they deliver to your house! It’s amazing but it’s £500 per month.” Her partner Michael laughs and adds, “We’ll close the company and live in the Bahamas.”
That possibility seem unlikely, seeing as Faustine’s new studio in Seven Sisters has an impressive ten looms and solid workforce. In her previous studio, we witnessed an army of about eight interns shredding pieces of denim. This loyal team is still in place, but she has luckily been able to hire one of them full-time. “Seven to go!” she says: a possibility with the help of a certain French conglomerate. But besides diets, Bahamas and team expansions, what will be the focus?
“Realistically, we’ll be investing it more in our e-shop. We want to have the means to create this really special e-shop, where we keep each piece from each collection — so people can kind of collect it. We’re working on those archive boxes, and we already have those little drawers; they are beautifully made… I think that’s our priority right now. At the moment, we are working on the pictures for that. We want to do special content for it, like editorials for the e-shop. I think e-shops are so boring.”
Her eye for editorial shines through in her presentation, too. “I’m really happy with the presentation and I would love to carry on doing this, instead of doing any catwalks, because you can see it all. I mean, we worked on this thing for two weeks. You don’t have to have the t-shirt that matches and the blah blah blah, and the shoes. I feel like everybody takes fashion the same way. It’s all about the look being so perfect.” This attitude is exactly what makes Faustine’s work so relevant, in a ‘feck perfuction‘ day and age.
Check out FaustineSteinmetz.com for more
Pictures by Ollie Vanes and video by Phillip Koll for 1 Granary