11 September 2013
MY FW: Striiiipes
There's a spectacular restaurant in Paris within eye shot of the Eiffel Tower and while it's not much to look at, the food and wine are amazing. Only seven tables -- Only one seating a night. Vin Sur Vin or, "Twenty over Twenty," a French expression for, 'best of the best' is one of my favorite restaurants. But this isn't about a favorite restaurant -- This is about a favorite web site, Striiiipes, in which the owner, Arthur Lhermitte designs some of the most amazingly creative play things to wear.
My favorite, and sadly gone for now, but who knows, is this lobster shirt. Perfect for explaining my favorite expression from Spain, 'Que Langosta' for a woman's rear end (Where's the sweetest lobster meat? In the tail). It wasn't cheap but I'd rather wear it more than anything else nowadays. With a little shouting maybe Arthur will bring it back.
If you really like the lobster shirt -- There's always the lobster belt.
Not being a pocket square guy but unable to stop buying them -- Arthur's Air Mail pocket square connected me to my childhood and growing up with a military father and lots & lots of air mail envelopes. Mostly from Asia -- The paper was thin like a whisper and bordered in red, white and blue. I don't remember being excited by anything today as much as I was by seeing an air mail envelope with the old man's scratch on it.
Back in Paris, I remember having dinner at Vin Sur Vin and seeing an older couple in their 60s...he, with a huge head of grey hair over a DB navy blazer, rep tie and grey trousers -- She, silvered as well in a red knit St John the color of Georgia brick -- Neither, what you'd call in shape but happily exhibiting bread, butter and wine in their profiles...They are what I aspire to.
A pony tailed Englishman in a t shirt and his anemic blonde wife sat next to the older couple and when my hero ordered a second bottle of champagne, Pony Tail said laughingly, "You sure do drink a lot -- What are you celebrating?" I would've said, "My first blow job," but my hero did something I'll never forget. He turned and looked at Pony Tail... Held the look for at least five full seconds...and, without uttering a word, turned back to his companion. Pony Tail looked like a confused 12 year old. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen...
And so are these cashmere gun gloves. Jesus, when will someone hire me to write catalog copy...Probably not the most PC thing to don on the Upper East Side but, like my hero at Vin Sur Vin said, without saying a word, "Screw em." There are only five pair, and there's just one size but Mon Dieu, are they ballsy. There's not much to buy but there's a lot to love about Striiiipes. As the monster-huge retailers beat you over the head with the obvious -- It's always the small guy who whispers.
"As for the Striiiipes website, I created and launched it in September 2012.
The idea is to showcase new products (fashion design, product design...) that trigger imagination.
We try to select a wide variety of products from different designers.
As for me, I was studying in a business school in France, and had the opportunity to work and study in other countries (Netherlands, USA, China...). A few years ago I decided to learn about fashion design, at the Studio Berçot in Paris.
Working in the fashion industry since then, I created Striiiipes.com along with other projects.
It started as a hobby but rapidly grew into a success. I am now working on new products (accessories, apparel...), and looking for new designer who would showcase some of their products on Striiiipes.com
As for the next steps, we'll try to have more retailers throughout the world (we had a special collaboration with Selfridges in London, and in other concept stores in Europe).
As for my favorite restaurant, when I was living in Shanghai I used to have dinner at some really small restaurants on the side walk of the streets. Really small, not really clean but very good traditional Chinese food. I am now in Paris, when I have some time, I like to go to Angélina tearoom rue de Rivoli, and have a Mont-Blanc for an hour or two.
I hope I answered your questions, let me know if you need anything else."