For the final leg of our ‘Hybridity’ issue, we look to EXOCET whose brand ethos transcends a sense of merger between the innovative and the traditional.
Based in Paris, EXOCET is a bag label responsible for creating sensational hybrid animal and vegetal figure designs – fictitious creatures – on its convertible box-shaped genuine European leather handbags (even Diane Pernet approved of them).
Within a short time frame since its debut in August 2014, the brand founded by two young designers from Beirut & Hong Kong, namely Yasmine Jaber and Morning Lau, has already quite a big fanbase and is sold in some of the most hottest boutiques in numerous countries. These include Beirut, Paris, Dubaï, Canada, Beijing, Kuwait, as well as the London-based Not Just A Label, a platform that connects independent designers to consumers.
Born of the idea of merging fashion & technology, EXOCET which means ‘flying fish’ is indeed an amalgamation of the two cultures whilst combining the designers’ shared love for nature and animals. Mixing traditional leather savoir-faire with cutting edge 3D printing technology, the resulting collection for the brand’s Spring/Summer 2016 entitled ‘Explore’ is a covetable series of nude and grey coloured Italian leather designs that are delicate and pure whilst exuding an avant-garde style.
In our interview with Yasmine and Morning, the designers of EXOCET, we uncover the innovation and thought process that goes behind their design journey:
JY: How would you define EXOCET the brand?
Y&M: EXOCET is a harmonious union between fashion and technology.
JY: How do you go about designing these bags?
Y&M: Before we started designing, we watched a lot of underwater animal documentaries. They gave us our first kick of inspiration.
JY: What gave you the idea to create the 3D printed hybrid animals and vegetal figures for your bags?
Y&M: We tried several techniques to give us these hybrid animals such as using leather, then sawing the pieces together. We also tried laser-cutting plexi glass and sticking the parts. None of these techniques gave us the intricate detailing and the beautiful result that we wanted. This is why we resorted to 3D printing.
As for our hybrid concept, our inspiration stems mainly from the origin of the brand. We both come from really different places yet somehow our ideas can be combined very harmoniously.
JY: What 3D printers do you use to print them on?
Y&M: SLS 3D printer
JY: Tell us more about the other materials used in the bags.
Y&M: Apart from the animals, most of our accessories are 3D printed as well. Then we use naturally dyed Italian leather.
JY: How are they assembled together?
Y&M: We manually assemble the animals with the leather part in our studio in Paris.
JY: Have you had any hurdles to overcome with your designs?
Y&M: There are many restrictions when it comes to 3D printing. We’d always have to design with the idea of keeping it realistic and not fragile. We would like for our 3D printed parts to be larger in size and be able to keep the pointy parts, which is part of the design. Well, I guess everything comes with sacrifice, so we just have to do away with these ideas.
JY: How would you describe the woman who carries an EXOCET bag?
Y&M: She is definitely a woman with big dreams and ambition; she is an independent woman. Despite her confident and audacious style, she is not a fashion victim as she allows her own eyes to be the judge.
JY: What is the price range for your Spring/Summer 2016 collection?
Y&M: The price ranges from €300 to €700
JY: What would be your ultimate goal for the brand?
Y&M: The truth is we don’t really have one absolute goal; we have many places that we want to reach. The most important thing for us now is for us to reach the right people. Another goal would be building the right team!
JY: As the designers of EXOCET, what are your personal mottos?
Y&M: Change the way you think, and it can change your whole life. Don’t underestimate the power of your mind.
JY: Are there any recent events or highlights that are in the pipelines for EXOCET?
Y&M: We have just participated in the second round of THE FUTURE OF FASHION PROGRAM by Not Just a Label and in collaboration with who’s next/Premiere Classe tradeshow, which took place from the 22nd to 25th of January 2015. That was indeed a very exciting event for us and it was definitely a monumental highlight on our brand’s journey! We are looking forward to more!
EXOCET’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection is available at Starch (Beirut), Front De Mode (Paris), The Cartel (Dubai), Curriculum Shop (Canada), NASS boutique (Kuwait), CHACHET (Beijing) and Notjustalabel.com.
For more information about the brand, click here.
This article is published as part of Couture Troopers’s January 2016 issue ‘HYBRIDITY’