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Patrik Ervell, Our Exclusive Designer Interview

BY MARC KARIMZADEH, Editorial Director – CFDA

“A modernism that feels romantic. Something that is pure and clean, but also changes with the Zeitgeist.”

This is how Patrik Ervell describes his sartorial philosophy, one that he has remained true to since showing his first menswear collection 10 years ago.

“For me, it’s always been about the evolution of the brand’s own aesthetic and less about a seasonal trend,” Ervell elaborates. “I always feel like you could put my shows back-to-back and it would feel like one giant 500-look show.”

That’s an interesting proposition in the age of the Insta-generation, its short interest spans and constant thirst for new visual stimulation. Yet, Ervell takes his approach to fashion with longevity in mind.

For me, the starting point of a collection is always the collection that preceded it. I think of it as picking up where the last one left off.

Yes, he adds, “Each collection has its own steady trajectory and logic.”

The designer did not come to the industry in the traditional way, i.e. a fashion degree. He studied Political Economy of Industrial Societies and Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, with a goal of becoming a career diplomat. Post-graduation, however, he started working as an editor for V Magazine, then designed menswear for Opening Ceremony before launching his own eponymous menswear collection. He made a name for himself with his minimalist, often utilitarian designs in innovative materials such as parachute fabric. The industry quickly took notice, and Ervell has received several CFDA Fashion Awards nominations and was a runner-up for the 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

To some, it may come as a surprise that he is only now beginning to show as part of New York Fashion Week: Men’s. The designer had been on the women’s schedule for several years in the past, but opted to unveil his lineup via look books during the last three seasons, which is when New York started its own dedicated week for men’s. He is excited about joining the men’s roster.

“I think this industry is in the process of remaking itself,” he explains. “There are a lot of new formats and ways of showing a collection. There are no rules any more. That said, I missed the sense of occasion of having a show. There is a special energy that only happens in this setting.”