If you’ve ever followed my personal style posts, peeked at the designs that spit out of my sewing machine, or ran into me at a bar at night (ok, any social event, any time of the day), you’ve probably noticed that black is my color of choice. Actually, I’m not even sure “choice” is the right word at this point- black clothing is just sort of… what happens when I get dressed.
When I attended NYFW this past September, I was pleased to see black (and white) all over the runway and streets because the presentations felt more relatable and relevant to my personal style. And because we can’t all be Jeremy Scott doubles (don’t get me wrong, he’s kicking some major colorful ass as Moschino’s new creative director) my eye was immediately drawn to designers who share my love (or, necessity) for black and white.
And that’s why I decided to interview Jean Claude of JEĀN CLĀUDE||Tribe after meeting him at the Lookbook event during Fashion Week. With an exclusively black and white collection that allows for unique textures and sharp cuts, JEĀN CLĀUDE||Tribe is worth drooling over for a few minutes out of your day.
What is JEĀN CLĀUDE||Tribe?
JEĀN CLĀUDE||Tribe is each of my passions combined into one: music, contemporary art, and fashion. I found myself creatively stuck on which direction to solely focus on. I couldn’t give up any of the three so I created a company that specializes is each. The Tribe has allowed me to have a voice in the music, art, and fashion industry. I wear the white lines under my face as a physical representation of the love I have for each. These lines are seen throughout my work, logo, and visual presentations.
What drew you to the idea of designing a collection?
I’d have to say my personal style. I first started in the industry as a musician performing under my middle name Jean Claude. I worked closely with friend and designer Yen Panda who made me custom pieces for every show, video, or appearance I had. Overtime I hired Yen Panda as the Creative Director of the Tribe and we got to work on the first collection.
So why only black and white?
When I was 16 I moved to London and began to study business, contemporary art, and poetry at London Metropolitan University. It was there I discovered Robert Motherwell and fell in love with his work. I will always remember his words “It’s like a life long relationship with a prism in which you love, the different moods, the different nuances and in one sense theres a basic real continuity that never alters.” I found strength in his statement. I found strength in black and white, and the simplicity began to allure me.
What’s your favorite piece of the line?
My favorite piece is definitely Robe Noir et Blanc.
Do you have any shows or presentations coming up?
Early 2014 I will be hosting the first JEĀN CLĀUDE||Tribe showcase.
What’s a really awful current trend you wish never happened?
Need more Tribe? See the full collection here.
Follow the Tribe on Instagram.