Artisanal, creative, independent

The value of exceptional work

The work of Marc Le Bihan represents a meaningful business model. And so, before showing you his gorgeous clothes, we wanted to share the conversation we had again.
Because it is not about standardised fashion. So, please, take time to know more, to understand the quality and the value offered. 

Marc Le Bihan is a fashion designer, artist, and craftsman who creates clothes like a second skin. His work goes beyond any classification. His conceptual creativity – manifested through impeccable tailoring, is the expression of a cultured and timeless approach to fashion that refuses trends and their transience.

Completely disconnected from commercial fashion constraints, his couture is a rare example of consistency.

Marc Le Bihan – The interview

• What does it mean to be consistent? Keeping up with your vision when the rest of the world goes in a different direction?

Marc Le Bihan: “The other direction is not my world. I do not understand it. To me, it’s a problem of society. I don’t understand the way of being, the lifestyle. That world is not me, and I can’t even think about it.

Usually, I don’t watch TV. Yesterday I watched Italian TV, and I wondered, how is it possible? Women pretend to be free, showing exaggerated lips and boobs. But in that, I only see the reflection of a man’s vision. That is not freedom. It’s the fake image of a woman.”

• The state of fashion now. How do you see it?

Marc Le Bihan: “The problem with fashion is that people only see the lights, the famous people. There is no sensibility to go further. Branded products are not luxury, not anymore. Luxury is rare, and it’s not for all.

To me, it’s not about fashion but more about doing clothes my way. The two roads can cross each other but not as direction to follow.”

• What do you think about social media communication?

Marc Le Bihan: “Famous people promote everything. They get paid to sell, it’s all about money. And not only for fashion. Maybe they promote a food they didn’t even taste. We live in the culture of image, not real life. People don’t live the moment, take pictures. And everything is ego-centred. People have lost the meaning of quality and quality of life.

That is why I follow my path.

Our communication is not to do any communication. Everything is too confused, there’s too much of it. We don’t have time for social media, we are busy making clothes. However, it’s not about posting a thousand things. Sometimes we post. Enough.”

Marc Le Bihan top

The cultural issue

• It’s a matter of culture and education?

Marc Le Bihan: “Always. The first problem is education, for everything.

The idea of accessing through culture and education to something higher – is dead. And I am concerned about young kids. Now they are totally immersed in this image game.”

Sustainability vs Marketing

• What do you think about sustainability?

Marc Le Bihan: “Well, I did it 20 years ago! We were recycling and upcycling uniforms and parachutes. I don’t want to be a part of that circle because everybody is doing it. It’s marketing. To me, it’s more about how we consume and live. Of course, I use sustainable materials, but I don’t advertise. To claim it means being part of the system.

My idea is to keep a garment for ten years in the wardrobe, then take it out and still want to wear it because it’s timeless.

Mine is a work in progress. If a shirt is good, it’s good forever.”

“Couture is sustainable by definition. There is no overproduction, no minimum orders, and no sales. We produce only on orders, and everything is handmade. Moreover, we find our balance not in over profit. But if everybody gets well paid, we all can live.

My staff has been working with me for 25 years. Always the same people, same suppliers. We understand each other.

We work like this. Many pieces are made in casa, a la maison, in our atelier.”

And he smiled saying those words. Stubbornly showing a path that is a return to the essential, pure artisanal creativity.

The work of Marc Le Bihan: sustainable, indeed

The work of Marc Le Bihan is artisanal, creative, and independent. Though a rarity in the fashion system, it indicates a valuable business model for a sustainable future.

Earth day?

Mass marketing, hashtags and behaviour

On April 22, while everyone proudly shared the hashtag Earth Day, the news said that in Europe, six million tons of garments end up in landfills every year. Yes, it’s not a good moment to read newspapers because whatever the field, humans are not shining for responsible behaviour.

Even if we feel very sad about that news, we are not surprised. Indeed one of our latest posts was about the lack of coherence in our society. And scrolling through our blog, you’ll find many other posts on this topic. On the one hand, people talk like they care about sustainability, while on the other, they buy fast fashion or any cheap product. The habit is ‘consume and throw away’ quickly.

In general, sustainability sells, and if it’s greenwashing, it sells even more!

Earth Day & the culture of waste

This matter has to do with the ‘buy and toss’ culture launched, promoted and pushed by corporations. They did it intentionally by using persuasion and with the help of marketing. Yes, marketing can do magic! Furthermore, knowing they could count not only on the weakness of individuals but also on people who don’t read and don’t think at all.

This is the modern way of purchasing clothing which is also done via Instagram or TikTok. The cheapest ones are the most successful. “It’s cheap, I buy it, I’ll wear it once and throw it away!”
What if they will not wear it? They won’t feel guilty getting rid of it because it’s cheap. In fact, there are garments still with the price tag in landfills!

That is toxic behaviour that tells a lot about the decadence of European culture. Our parents and grandparents used to buy a few quality clothes that lasted a lifetime, got repaired and passed on to the other family members. Now, people buy very cheap products made to auto destroy in the shortest time possible. And which, unfortunately, don’t disappear but instead compromise our environment.

If we do not refocus our culture, if we are not open to change, and put some effort into shifting our consuming habits, it’s better to avoid the hashtag to celebrate Earth Day.

Hashtags work for marketing but will not save the earth. Our actions will.

The Asymmetric Fluo Cotton Sweater

The light green version

The item we introduce today is The Asymmetric Fluo Cotton Sweater by ZUCCa.

The line is stylish, comfortable and easy to wear. Also, the concept of asymmetric design is something we really like because it’s modern and unusual, and it looks great when you wear it.
We already showed you the purple version a couple of weeks ago, and we are happy you enjoyed it! Since this pull is a new classic, we decided to select another colour too, which is a stronger version.

By the way, the quantities we order are limited, and this is intentional. In fact, the idea is to create unique outfits and not replicate clones you see everywhere.

Discover The Asymmetric Fluo Sweater

About the design
The sweater features a round neck and asymmetric hemline. A robust seam along the front and side highlights the mix of the two different thicknesses of the same material. The seam details the shoulders too.
Ribbed neckline, cuffs and hem. The silhouette is slightly oversized and unisex.

The Asymmetric Fluo Cotton Sweater
The Asymmetric Fluo Cotton Sweater
by ZUCCa

About the material
100% cotton, non-glossy. It is made by knitting 100% soft cotton yarn into the high and middle gauge and docking it. The material has a thin thickness with a certain elasticity.

About the colour
Light green: a vibrant colour that makes it a bold piece, not for everyone. But this bright hue will give you an instant mood boost.

Laundry
Hand washable, easy-care.
You can wash this item by hand at home.

This new season item is a versatile modern garment that offers multiple styling options. Even though it’s a bold colour, it’s easy to mix and match. It’s perfect with white pants, but you can also pair it with navy, denim or black bottoms.

The Asymmetric Fluo Cotton Sweater is timeless, genderless and stylish.

Drop us an email or DM for any further info. We’d love to help!

The coherence gap

Sustainability vs fast-fashion growth

Our society has a problem with consistency. Indeed one point seems quite clear: what people say is not consistent with what they do. It’s like coherence is a fault, or it’s not necessary. So you are allowed to say something and then do the opposite without being held accountable.

Consistency and sustainability

Magazines these days released the news that Shein, the fast-fashion giant, is raising funds at 100 billion USD value.
Considering that their price range is around 10 – 20 euros, two things are certain. First, the materials have zero quality. Second, their production chains cause serious doubts. If 15 euros is the price of one dress, how much are workers getting paid to make that garment?
Quality can be something one could renounce, but an ethical production chain is the foundation of a healthy society. And therefore, crucial in any discussion, even about sustainability.

Yet no questions arise in those who buy Shein. In fact, in a moment when communication and marketing are all about sustainability, the fast-fashion giant is growing enormously. And there is similar news too. Recently Primark opened in Milano, and people were packed in line to get in.

Overcoming the coherence gap

People talk about sustainability and maybe show up at ‘Friday’s for Future’, but they buy fast fashion. Why?
Everyone, adults and teenagers, say something, but they do the opposite. This lack of consistency reveals that sustainability is just a marketing trend. It is a popular topic, something people like to discuss to show they are up-to-date, but they don’t really care.

Because if they were consistent, they wouldn’t buy fast fashion at all! And the case of low budgets is just an excuse to avoid the change since the business model is profitable for corporations and “convenient” for short-sighted masses. Vintage items are accessible to anyone, and nothing is more sustainable.

So, here’s the way to overcome the coherence gap: let actions follow thoughts. In the same direction, of course!

The beauty of asymmetry, rooted in Japanese aesthetic

Understanding Japanese culture

Sakura

Here comes spring!
After long gloomy weather, spring is finally here with us in Milano.
With some cherry blossoms, Milanese are having small aperitivo at the parks. I do love it.

In Japan, cherry blossoms are a national symbolic flower of the spring. We enjoy A LOT of cherry blossom viewing, called “hanami”, gathering together with family, friends, and colleagues under the trees. And we believe the best time for hanami is when the petals are fallen.

We also drink, but not as much fancy as the ones in Milano.

Japanese aesthetic

Japanese aesthetic

Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-Sabi is a traditional Japanese aesthetic worldview centred on the acceptance of imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is usually found in nature.

Japanese people find the most beauty out of the fallen cherry blossoms, not the fully-blooming flowers. Why? Because the sakura’s fleeting and its fragile nature perfectly fits our Wabi-Sabi beauty.

The cherry blossoms last only a few weeks. If it rains and breezes, they only live for a couple of days. A very short life, but this imperfection is what is significant in our aesthetic culture.

Asymmetry

Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons, often expresses her Wabi-Sabi aesthetic through her sense of design.
Many of her creative garments are unfinished and asymmetrical, which is the opposite of western standard beauty. She finds emptiness in her fashion and appreciates “absent” rather than “present”.

Today, we can find many pieces of asymmetrical garments. Asymmetry is not just cool, but it is somehow deep in itself. The style is undefined and neutral. It gives freedom of expression to anyone who wears it.

If you haven’t checked the oversized denim blouson by ZUCCa, please, take a look. We are always inviting you to enjoy asymmetric beauty as we appreciate it.

Because it is very unique.

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A piece written by Kotono Sakai – a Japanese girl studying history and fashion at Cattolica university in Milan and interning for suite123

The Supima Cotton Pants

Perfection in design and quality

Today we introduce The Supima Cotton Pants – by Plantation, one of the most versatile items in our selection.

We tested this material a couple of seasons ago, and we were amazed by the pleasant feel on the skin, which you can understand only when you touch it. Also the design, which is a classic with an absolutely perfect fit! Indeed trousers with a perfect fit are hard to find. So both elements make this item really special. Moreover, those who had the chance to buy them were 100% satisfied, so we cannot miss them season after season.

The Supima Cotton Pants - Yellow
The Supima Cotton Pants – Yellow
by Plantation1982

Discover more about the Supima Pants

About the design
The cropped silhouette that falls straight makes it look neat without picking up the line of the foot. The waist is fully elastic and comfortable to wear. Also, it also has a belt loop, making it easy to adjust the size around the waist. Two side slit pockets, and two patch pockets on the back.

About the material
98% cotton, 2% polyurethane. A high power, medium-thick stretch material made by weaving 100% Supima cotton with luxurious yarn, which gets combed and spun compactly. By taking the time and effort to finish it, it becomes a soft fabric with an elegant lustre like a silk blend.

The Supima Cotton Pants - White
The Supima Cotton Pants – White
by Plantation1982

About the colour
Available in two colours: off-white and yellow.
Yellow: it has a slightly bright tone that looks like a combination of beige and light yellow. It is a colour that makes you feel the spring mood.
Off-white: it blends well with bright spring and summer clothes. Also, it works well in combination with coloured tops.

Laundry
Hand washable, easy care.
You can wash this item by hand at home.

The Supima Cotton Pants are popular every season. They make an outstanding performance regardless of the scene or the item to match.
A timeless and cool choice #formodernhumans

Drop us a message for any further info!

The artisanal way

Possible, more than ever

Usually, behind a collection, there are massive production chains. But there is still fine handcrafted work which we are not used to anymore. Understanding the time and dedication involved in making it is a good exercise.

This week we received Marc Le Bihan‘s order. The delivery was late, but we quietly waited for our selection which we made during the Spring/ Summer selling campaign in Milano.

The process behind a collection

In short, based on their inspiration, designers put together the ideas, design them and transform them into samples. Then, they show the pieces to international retailers in Milano, Paris, Tokyo, and New York. They take the orders and then launch the production, which is a real struggle nowadays. All this takes a lot of time, attention, and care. And stress too.

Specifically, in Marc Le Bihan’s case, it’s a 100% artisanal production. So take the usual time, attention, care and stress and multiply it by 100.

Behind a collection - Marc Le Bihan

Now, add a pandemic that made the world stop. So production chains have been disrupted, and suppliers delivered raw materials late. This chain effect will impact the following seasons.
The pandemic is not over yet, and as if it wasn’t enough, add the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a war in Europe.
So take that dose of stress that we have just multiplied by 100 and double it down.

Perhaps this is the common denominator that connects everyone who runs an independent business. Corporations are affected too, but they play with money and they’ve got their basis covered. Also, they can find some easy loopholes.
But independent companies, independent brands are the brave ones. They are at the heart of the communities, and they represent the real sustainable choice.

Among independent brands, you find an authentic rarity like Marc Le Bihan. A designer who made his consistency one of the highest values. Couture and limited productions of high-quality garments made with care, clothes made by hand in his workshop. It is artisanal work, and it takes time.

Understanding the time needed to make tailored clothes means understanding and appreciating their quality and higher value.
Our expectations were high and 100% confirmed by the absolute beauty of the clothes we unpacked.

Since quality takes time, we waited for it with reverence. Soon we will describe the pieces, and you’ll discover another universe, which is still possible. Now, more than ever!

Purchasing for the trashcan

The cycle of fashion begins
Ever since the rise of fast fashion and fashion influencers, we have stepped into a social construction where having endless access to clothing and styles is associated with glamour and the elite lifestyle.
Styles from last week are being replaced by this week’s fashion, shelves are clearing, and ‘clothing hauls’ are posted on social media platforms by the various fashion influencers who are associated with that brand.

The cycle of fashion trends

Examining the lie

The unfortunate result, the viewers of these videos are blinded by the heaps of clothing and therefore are unable to see that these influencers not only were paid to show the clothing but the clothing was gifted to them for free.
The reality of purchasing a plentiful array of clothing every single week is less of an actuality and more of a cloak of an idealistic utopian fashion fantasy that has succeeded in blinding all consumers.
Celebrities and influencers are the medium used to present this idea of life that is not rationally attainable. The everyday consumer is, then, pressured to put weekend shopping sprees on their credit card bill, old fashion in the trash, and wounds on the environment.

The fear of outfit repeating in our elitist society

The conclusive fear of the everyday fashion enthusiast is that in order to be viewed by society as enough, or relevant, they must participate in this cycle of mass fashion waste in order to never appear in public wearing the same item they wore the week before. They must fall obedient to the social norm of endless options, overconsumption, and false realities.

Styling your truth goggles

Rather than succumbing to this false fashion reality, try to remember the root of the fashion concept. Remember that fashion isn’t an endless array of styles cycling through it’s tailoring various attire to your own body type, skin tone, hair colour, and personal preference. Fashion is having the ability and privilege to choose a unique and quality piece from a line-up, paying the price for quality, and keeping it in your wardrobe for your lifetime. Then finally, when you’re doing your spring cleaning, you come across that one blouse that made you feel so beautiful. Then you remember, this was the blouse I bought before my first interview, and this was the blouse that gave me the confidence to be proud of my work for the first time.

Fashion has the ability to induce feelings that you might not have been able to create on your own. Fashion is your uniform, and it’s what makes you remember who you are and what you are presenting to the rest of the world.
And fashion is not a logo on a t-shirt proclaiming to the world that you can afford to buy a lie.


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A piece written by Gavriel Ewart. An American girl studying fashion and communication at Cattolica university in Milan and interning for suite123

The Asymmetric Cotton Sweater

A new classic

Today we introduce a classic by ZUCCa: The Asymmetric Cotton Sweater.

The era of quantity is gone. Therefore, starting from this premise, the range of products doesn’t have to be wide. Buy less buy better is about common sense more than sustainability. So, we intentionally select only meaningful garments in which design and quality are the focus. Indeed each piece we pick out has specific characteristics that encapsulate wearability, durability, and versatility through their design.

Like every season, asymmetry is a style detail we cannot miss because this particular cut is modern and unusual. And also, it looks really good when you wear it. Since asymmetric garments are a staple for ZUCCa, we know we can find something really cool in their proposal.

Let’s discover more about this new classic

About the design
The sweater features a round neck and asymmetric hemline. A robust seam along the front and side highlights the mix of the two different thicknesses of the same material. The seam details the shoulders too.
Ribbed neckline, cuffs and hem. The silhouette is slightly oversized and unisex.

The Asymmetric Cotton Sweater
The Asymmetric Cotton Sweater
by ZUCCa

About the material
100% cotton, non-glossy. It is made by knitting 100% soft cotton yarn into the high and middle gauge and docking it. The material has a thin thickness with a certain elasticity.

About the colour
Purple: a calming colour. A soft opaque hue that is refined and easy to wear. We’ll introduce another colour later, which is stronger.

Laundry
Hand washable, easy-care.
You can wash this item by hand at home.

This new season item is a versatile modern garment that offers multiple styling options. It’s easy to mix and match, from daywear and office style to free time outfits.
The Asymmetric Cotton Sweater is timeless, genderless and stylish.

Drop us an email or DM for any further info. We’d love to help!

Violent responses in modern society

Where do we want to go next?

Violence is served to us continuously. It happens in movies as well as in tv shows. But sadly, it happens in reality too. Even if we focus on our work, the current exceptional facts are inescapable. Anyway, the war is turning the fashion industry upside-down.

Violence is the response we see on a daily basis and to any act. And it is curious to see how people condemn it or accept it depending on the case.

How does a violent response happen?

Someone says something. Someone does not respect an agreement, or someone crushes your foot. The list could be longer because we can find endless occasions that would trigger a mindless reaction. However, by crushing the foot, that someone hits someone else’s nerves. And what does this someone else do? This someone else reacts with violence. A violent reaction can go from slapping someone in the face to invading a country, just to name two possibilities.

Perhaps both examples may sound familiar. Whatever may have caused the violent response – “You assault somebody, you get escorted out the building, and that’s it.”
So stated the Oscar co-host, Wanda Sykes, for instance.

Following the same logic: you assault another country, you get invited to stop! Because whatever caused your reaction, borders cannot be violated. Of course, we weigh both sides considering the wider picture, but only one side is the aggressor. Therefore, to remain equidistant means being on the side of those using violence.

Violence is a human tendency, but it’s a brutal response

Violence is a human tendency, but it is a brutal response and must always be condemned. Because when you react violently, you’ve already lost. Even if provoked by someone, it shouldn’t be accepted.

As a matter of fact, we get accustomed to violence more easily than to respect or kindness. It’s time to understand that this attitude is not constructive.

Violence is never the answer. Let’s make it clear. Let’s make them stop.

#STANDWITHUKRAINE