Éclectic: Active tailoring achieves a new level of technical prowess in menswear by combining craftsmanship with innovative fabrics.
Her-Age Team has interviewed Franck Malègue, Founder & Creative Director at “éclectic”, a Parisian menswear brand of jackets, coats and bags that envisions men's fashion in an innovative way by merging hand-tailored construction with high-tech materials.
Éclectic is a pioneer in the realm of Active Tailoring and achieves a new level of technical prowess in menswear fashion by combining craftsmanship with modern generation fabrics.
With each piece, Franck promises durability, style and favors the timelessness of simple lines and exceptional quality, with special focus on craftsmanship, millennials new urban lifestyle and societal values.
Can you tell us about yourself ? What is your professional background ?
I am a French cosmopolitan. I was born and raised in Paris but moved to New York when I was 21 and for the next 20 years lived in Hong Kong, L.A. London, Tokyo and Milan before eventually returning to Paris .
My father was an engineer in the aerospace industry, and I guess that forged my design-minded spirit– in the etymological sense of design i.e. when aesthetics meets functionality.
I started my career in NYC in the cosmetics industry where I loved the R&D process and the idea of creating long lasting products with highly innovative benefits. Also, when I first moved to the fashion industry I was very disturbed by the lack of product engineering there and the obsession for constant product renewal …
So when I decided to create my own brand éclectic in 2010, I imagined a disruptive business model in fashion inspired by the one of the cosmetics industry : this meant taking whatever time was necessary to develop durable, innovative and functional pieces.
As a founder and creative director at what inspired you to start developing an eco-sustainable brand ?
The overconsumption and overproduction of goods in South-East Asia when I was living there in the late 90’s made me question the sustainability of the consumer society born in our western countries in the 60’s …
I then worked with a think tank at the UN when I was in NYC in the early 2000. We tried to foresee how private companies could eventually enhance sustainability in their business model.
Also when I created éclectic in 2010, sustainability on an eco-responsible and social point of view was a no brainer.
You are known for using tech-fabrics. Can you tell us more about them and what makes them special ?
I am only working with high-quality Tech fabrics developed by Italian mills for either extreme sportswear or industrial and military equipment.
Most of these tech fabrics had never been tailored before and are not even meant to be tailored !! … and there lie the challenge and the uniqueness of my know-how.
Made to measure services are offered by you. How does this process go, and what is its sustainable impact ?
The Made-to-measure process consists of adjusting the fit of existing models on our customer.
We are able to adapt 22 measures of the pattern, but usually 4 to 5 measures are enough.
The atelier of our master tailor in Italy next to Venice, prints a personalized pattern for each made-to-measure. Then a piece is cut and tailored by hand for the customer. The overall process takes 2 to 3 weeks.
It is obviously a sustainable business model as we only produce what is being ordered.
In your opinion, do you think made to measure items are now defining the priorities of a client’s luxury experience ?
Made-to-measure is certainly part of a client’s luxury experience, especially for customers with special needs. But I think that the luxury experience is first of all in the personal attention you may get from a brand in term of styling advise.
Sustainability is now a key factor since we believe the industry needed to change. What do you want to achieve personally through fashion, in term of sustainability and what are your promises ?
Sustainability obviously means that a brand needs to check its entire supply chain and make sure that each supplier at every level is as eco-responsible as possible.
But most of all, sustainability means producing fewer and more durable products.
A piece that lasts 6 to 10 years rather than 6 to 10 months, is mathematically 12 times more sustainable !!
- First from the quality of the fabrics and the components,
- Second from the tailoring itself
- Third from a style which is timeless or at least beyond the immediate volatile fashion trends
How do you answer millennials new urban lifestyle and societal values ?
From my point of view, Millennials are not ready to sacrifice comfort in clothing. Moreover, their lifestyle as digital nomads requires pieces of clothing that are functional, versatile and easy to care for.
Besides, their societal values seem to question the consumer society as we have known it since the 60’s. They seem ready to engage in more responsible consumer patterns both on an ecological and ethical point of view.
Therefore, I consider that developing durable, functional and sustainable pieces of clothing should answer millennials new urban lifestyle and societal values.
You are a big supporter of slow fashion , do you have any new projects on the horizon ?
I am now working on a new lifestyle brand for men with a similar DNA to eclectic and an even more progressive and disruptive business model
If you could give one piece of advice to a high ESG commitment entrepreneur starting in 2022, what would it be ?
In my opinion ESG should not be a marketing goal but instead should be inherent to the product conception and the business model.