Interview with – Atelier Jean Phillip
Atelier Jean Phillip is a charming, Danish menswear fashion designer whose latest project is an exciting design collaboration with Mister B! With four of the colorful photographs of the iconic François Sagat you have seen featured in WINGS magazine, Atelier Jean Phillip has constructed two one-of-a-kind creations. Two jackets featuring prints of these bold images on recycled materials are the fruit which exemplify the creativity of Atelier Jean Phillip, a designer whose minimal, yet bold creations play with the concepts of gender deconstruction and environmental sustainability. We had the pleasure of chatting with Atelier Jean Phillip about his career, this project and his thoughts on the future of fashion.
Photograph by: Ger Foget Hansen
You’ve had your label Atelier Jean Phillip for many years now. That is quite successful. Can you tell us a bit about your journey from young, aspiring fashion designer to today?
It actually started with me wanting to be a manga animator as a child, so I had no idea that it would turn out to be garments that would be the way to go.
Fashion had always been something I noticed and when I got in to one of the best animation schools in the world (luckily it is located 1 hour from where I grew up on the suburbs of Jutland Denmark) and after attending lessons there for 6 months I found out that it wasn’t at all what I thought it was nor what I wanted to do. From that moment on I knew it was fashion for men that caught my eye, and the rest is history, a lot of fun and hard labor.
What would you say is your most successful moment in your career so far?
No doubt it was when Madonna´s stylist team contacted me to take part in doing her dancers outfits for her super bowl performance back in 2012. The story ended when I happily declined as they wanted me to work for free. I believe that Madonna, an artist at her level, should always remember where she came from and pay it forward to struggling artist who are starting their journey from nothing as well.
To me the success was more about the fact that someone that big saw something in me and not about actually doing the job itself.
Have you done any projects or work which you look back on now with any sense of embarrassment or regret?
NEVER. Designing clothes is all about bettering yourself and looking back with pride because you see your progress. If on the other hand, I one day look back and think what I used to do was better, then I know it’s time to stop and let another generation take over.
Your menswear breaks away from gender norms. Can you talk about that?
To me this shouldn’t even be something you could ask about, gender norms are boring and simply an outdated term, if you ask me. Women and men shouldn’t be defined by what they wear. Femininity and masculinity are defined by who and how you wear it. A man can be just as sexy bearded in a suit with heels, and to be honest, that to me is even more sexy because it’s worn with pride.
You used recycled materials to create these amazing François Sagat jackets. Can you talk about these materials and why you use them?
Ever since I started creating garments 10 years ago, I have always been cautious about materials I use. But the fact that fashion is one of the world’s largest contributors to pollution, plus that fact that it’s fun to show the world that you can be cautious without compromising design, are reasons that make me want to use recycled materials.
What inspires your creativity and design?
It comes mostly from within and with the materials I use. I find it’s the materials that tell me the story and what they want me to make in them.
What can we expect to see next from you?
Well, if I told you then it wouldn’t be exciting now, would it? 😉