Words Alexander Asvarischtsch
Photographer Rasmus Luckmann
As part of our feature, Designer Narrative, we ask designers to explain about select topics within their universe - in their own words. This narrative is by menswear designer, Alexander Asvarischtsch:
A work in progress
In today’s world of fashion, the average consumer is unfortunately faced with quite a few obstacles that prevent them from encountering garments that are all around top quality. Sure, you can find avant-garde designers who really understand how to tell a story through their clothing, but for some reason, in those cases, the quality, however, often takes the backseat. And sure you can go to Kiton or Brioni to find beautiful handwork and amazing construction, but those garments will rarely challenge you creatively.
My goal as a menswear designer has therefore been to fuse the two and make a highly handcrafted product aimed at the younger generation. While I can’t tell you whether or not I have succeeded, I can certainly tell you that I am on the way and that I am doing my utmost to get there as fast as possible! It is a tough task because one comes across a lot of people who at a glance can’t tell the difference between proper clothing and the opposite, but I really can’t blame them. They don’t have a background in garment construction for one, but secondly and more significantly they are products of the strategy put forward by the bigger fashion houses, a strategy in which they really aren’t presenting their customers with a genuine quality product, it is simply better business not to. After all, perception is reality!
So, if they can get away with selling mediocre garments at a premium price and make up the difference with their brand value, why shouldn’t they? It’s a business at the end of the day. Well in my mind it is not the way things should be done despite what the current system suggests. Clothes should make you feel great and if that means paying the actual cost of quality, then that is fine and fully understandable as long as it’s not overly expensive. The price needs to reflect the true value of the clothing. For me the true luxury element of clothing is time. Good things take time, and while that might seem given, it is probably the sole reason we don’t see more good clothing these days. Time is simply too valuable. People have been trained to wanting more collections and more styles and wanting them fast! This leaves little to no room for proper collection development and quality production.
This is why I only do two collections a year with a limited number of styles. This leaves me time to emerge myself into the process and curate it so what I end up with is as good as possible. After all, why should you have 4 jackets that look alike and essentially serve the same purpose if you can have 2 that are just right and cover all bases? Something fundamental has to happen in the fashion industry and I firmly believe it has to happen from within. We need to actually apply the way-to-often-used and almost-always-ignored phrase: “quality over quantity”, and do so in all aspects of a collection.
I for one try to the greatest extent to provide my customers with a totally honest product, made through a completely transparent process and I do that with as little compromises as humanly possible. It is a massive challenge and a process that will take time, but I genuinely believe that once people realise what they ought to expect from high-end garments and from the brands that manufacture them, we will see that change our industry so desperately needs!