For autumn/winter 2023, CPHFW Talent recipient and emerging Finnish brand Latimmier delivered a new take on the traditional catwalk format during Copenhagen Fashion Week, with founder and creative director Ervin Latimer acting as a compere for the show.
Latimer, who founded the brand in 2021, started the show by delivering an emotional speech about how he was struggling with burnout and wasn’t even sure that he would complete this third collection, entitled ‘Interlude’.
“Three months ago, I wasn’t sure if we can even make a new collection. I had a burnout, because as most of us know it is so hard to work in this industry, especially with limited resources,” said Latimer. “I'm very proud that I can show you guys a collection today, but I also made this collection as a homage to all of the young and upcoming designers out there that maybe struggling or aren't sure that they can make it – this one is for you.”
After the speech, Latimer then went on to introduce each model and look from his 10-piece collection, which he described as a curated range of made-to-order and one-of-a-kind pieces that delve deeper into craftsmanship and technique.
“With this collection we want to show our will to rather do less and go deep in what we create,” explains Latimer in the show notes. “In our case, an interlude represents an opportunity to reorganise, contemplate and prepare for the next act that is our journey in redefining masculinities.”
The collection took the brand seven weeks to create and challenges the notion of performative gender with relaxed, deconstructed tailoring and statement basics from a cobalt blue coat styled with matching buttery trousers to knitwear with crochet detailing and a pinstripe trouser skirt.
Latimer’s collection this season also includes two collaborations. The first is with Swiss-Haitian visual artist Sasha Huber based in Helsinki, who created the printed pattern artwork seen across a pleated dress and a tailored suit. There are also handmade bags in collaboration with Finnish design brand Mifuko. The bags were produced from production waste that occur naturally due to changes in shape and weaving errors, which were upcycled by the Latimmier team.
In conversation with Ervin Latimer, creative director of emerging Finnish brand Latimmier
Ahead of the AW23 showcase, FashionUnited caught up with Latimer to discuss why sustainability is so important to his brand, the inspiration for his collection, and his hopes for the future.
What was your starting point for this collection?
With this collection, we are introducing new elements such as made-by-order pieces and unique pieces. It was very clear to me from the get-go that this collection will be more condensed and intimate, focusing on craftsmanship, manipulation of materials and silhouette.
We also have an exciting collaboration with Sasha Huber, who is a Finland-based Swiss-Haitian artist, and her work and the themes she discusses within her work, such as the politics of belonging, affected this collection a lot.
What does sustainability in fashion mean to you?
It means a lot, even though sustainability as a word has sadly lost a lot of its potency due to greenwashing. For Latimmier, sustainability doesn’t just mean ecological sustainability, it also means social sustainability in the ways we work in this industry of ours.
As a small and up-and-coming brand, it’s vital that we practice sustainable ways of working in fashion from day one, so it’s all naturally implemented in our future. With that said, ecological sustainability is of course massively important and I’m proud to say that roughly 40 percent of the materials used in our next collection are of recycled or upcycled origin and another 15 percent are from certified organic materials. The rest, while not certified organic or recycled, are still natural fibres such as wool, silk and leather, with less than 1 percent being oil-based.
How do you implement sustainable practices into your designs?
Beyond sustainable and time-lasting materials, we play a lot with designs that are adjustable to the body, making sure that they fit as many body types as possible. This can be seen in several designs in our new collection.
We have also focused a lot on cutting waste within this collection by utilising the cutting waste we generate in the designs themselves or by designing pieces that produce zero or almost no cutting waste. We are also currently in the middle of a lengthy process of finding ways to utilise and recycle all of our cutting waste, not just in our studio but from our factories as well.
Last but not least - and I know it is such a cliche to say this - we really do try to emphasise the importance of good and practical design that actually works in real life and thus lasts the test of time.
How would you describe your brand’s aesthetic?
The aesthetic of Latimmier is tailored and relaxed with a pinch of sensuality and seduction. Our design language stems from the history of traditional and normative western menswear pieces and the ways we re-interpret and subvert these codes into new masculinities.
Why is it important for you to have a brand that uplifts queer and POC creatives?
As an artist, one tends to mirror reality and also, through this mirror, create new ones. I am a queer POC creative working in a predominantly white country like Finland, so it goes without saying that a big part of what I do is creating a reality where I and people like me can see themselves. I also do a healthy amount of work in the field of culture besides my design work.
It’s crucial for me that in these positions, I also focus on creating opportunities for those who might not be seen as part of the norm, whether it’s when I’m participating in an advisory group for a new cultural project or guest-lecturing for a younger generation of creatives in institutions like universities or museums.
Before Latimmier, I was working as a managing editor for Ruskeat Tytöt (Brown Girls in English), an independent online publication committed to centring and normalising the perspectives of Brown people in Finnish media, so I guess this idea of centring narratives that are in the borderlines sort of goes without saying. And luckily, I’m just one of many creatives with this mindset in my beloved home country.
Where do you see your brand going next?
Next summer is our last as part of the CPHFW NewTalent programme, so our current focus is on making the most of this amazing opportunity. With that said, we will definitely see how deep we can go with our ambitions of unique and made-by-order pieces as this allows us to create much more complex pieces, without the worries and problems of large-scale bulk production.
We already have some very interesting prospects we are planning so rest assured we will continue banging on doors and mobile phone screens with our mission of challenging masculinity through clothing.