Emerging French label Icosae pushes for international expansion
Emerging French fashion label Icosae is going through a new phase in its development. It was launched in 2014 by the brothers Valentin and Florentin Glémarec, but from now on its creative course will be steered by Valentin alone, as Florentin prefers to focus on his other activities as graphic designer and model.
Valentin will continue to spearhead Icosae together with Dounia Mérabet, who has led the label's development and been in charge of its business and commercial strategy since its inception.
Icosae has opened a showroom on boulevard Sébastopol, Paris, which also incorporates Valentin's painting studio, a mainstay for the label from its early days, as the source of the prints that, after being digitally enhanced, are featured on Icosae's t-shirts and sweatshirts.
On the distribution side, Icosae is now available at about twenty retailers worldwide, and recently signed up with some top names in Asia: IT in Hong Kong, Barneys in Tokyo, and the Bluebell group for distribution in Malaysia and Macao. In addition to this, the label has recently launched an e-store which currently showcases the Spring/Summer 2018 collection, promoting it with a campaign which targets contemporary consumption modes and doesn't feature models but 'real' people.
"It was step we needed to take, alongside our partnership with Farfetch, since [our] brand is not yet distributed in France – though a first store is expected to be operational in the next few weeks - a step which addresses the needs of our European customers," said Dounia Mérabet.
"A second phase will involve going international with the website," she added. The website will showcase limited-edition collections on a regular basis, spotlighting the prints created from Valentin Glémarec's paintings.
Icosae is keen to exploit this creative asset even more, and plans to sell printed replicas of the designer's paintings, promoting them via live sessions on Facebook and Instagram.
Icosae adopted an internationally oriented strategy right from the start, and wants to keep expanding in Asia, the USA (where it already has a presence in Los Angeles and New York) and in Europe, with a series of pop-up stores planned in Paris in 2018.
The label's next collection will show in Paris on 17th January, and with it Icosae is taking a less formal, more streetwear direction, though always associated with a tailored feel. The collection will feature both fresh stand-out items and new versions of Icosae's signature pieces - bomber jackets, cut-out-shoulder sweatshirts and capes - while a series of surprises are in store via a collaboration with a major Parisian label.
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