An Interview with
École de Pensée
Since 2014, this Montreal brand has delivered a utilitarian wardrobe in which luxury is synonymous with timelessness and understatement. Meet these Canadian designers.
What was your first experience with fashion?
When we were younger, all three of us loved skateboarding. There has always been a strong culture surrounding the sport, which definitely helped develop our interest in the aesthetics of clothing in a general way.
When did you decide to launch your brand?
Our love for fashion design grew over time. It was our passion for functionality, singularity, and the richness of fabrics that led us to create our own pieces. In 2014, we decided to create our own line of ready-to-wear clothing, École de Pensée, to implement and share our ideas.
Does designing for women and men change how you create?
While our women's collection is inspired by menswear, there's a significant difference in the process of creating the collection, not only in the cuts and patterns, but also in the ideas behind the pieces. Nevertheless, we are trying to maintain our aesthetic identity in our women's designs.
What are your thoughts on unisex fashion?
Today, the line between men's and women's clothing is pretty thin. Some pieces are obviously better suited to being “unisex.” That said, it's our opinion that it's a person's own unique way of wearing and adopting a piece that allows it to be integrated into a wardrobe, regardless of the gender for which it was originally designed. In fact, we have some female customers who have already been wearing our men's collections for many seasons now.
What's your favourite step in developing a collection?
Selecting the fabrics and making the table of textures and colours are steps that we really enjoy in the creation process.
For the current quarantine situation, do you have a book, album, or recipe to recommend?
The book In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichir? Tanizaki.
It's an interesting and concise essay on Japanese aesthetics, which the author contrasts with the Western perception of beauty. A French translation is available. Otherwise, an album that we really like to listen to at the start of spring is Calling Out of Context by Arthur Russell. It's a compilation album that features several unreleased recordings by the American artist and some of his most famous songs.