Marie-Ève Lecavalier of womenswear brand Lecavalier and Emeric Tchatchoua, creative director and founder of menswear label 3.Paradis, spent this past weekend in Paris, showing their latest collections to fashion industry heavyweights, including supermodel Naomi Campbell, Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, and Ssense CEO Rami Atallah.
The occasion? The Montreal-based designers — Lecavalier is Canadian; Tchatchoua is French but has spent almost a decade in Quebec — are on the shortlist for this year’s prestigious LVMH Prize. The winner of the annual fashion competition, open to designers under 40 from any country who have released at least two fashion collections, will receive a €300,000 grant and a year of logistical support from the luxury, multinational LVMH Group, which owns brands such as Celine, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton.
Of the 20 semi-finalists who presented their designs in Paris over the weekend, eight finalists will be named this month, and the 2019 prize will be awarded in June. (Fun fact: The recipient of the first-ever prize, in 2014, was Canadian Thomas Tait, who beat out labels Hood By Air, Stella Jean, Marques’ Almeida, Simone Rocha, and others for the honour.)
Here’s a primer on these rising talents and their nascent labels, the inspirations behind their latest collections, and where you can shop their spring 2019 pieces.
Emeric Tchatchoua moved to Montreal from Paris with family in 2008 and launched his ready-to-wear label in 2013 after studying at the École supérieure de mode de Montréal. The idiosyncratic menswear brand has already been worn by popular musicians, including Future and Migos, released collaborations with brands like streetwear label Pony, and is currently carried by influential retailers around the world, such as Luisa Via Roma in Italy and Club 21 in Singapore.
3.Paradis’ fall/winter 2019 collection, entitled “CALAVIÑAS,” is inspired by “the joy of being sad” and nostalgia, according to a press release from the label. There are tailored pinstripe suiting, a jacket made of currency, a sweater depicting a sunset, and track suits styled with double breasted blazers — it’s modern streetwear meets luxury fashion, but disrupted, and there’s a confidence to the clothes that perhaps comes from upending expectations about traditional menswear silhouettes and materials.
“We always play with paradoxes and opposites, trying to mix them together and make them look harmonious,” says Tchatchoua, 31. “That's our philosophy; you can see that through all our clothes.” Hybrid garments such as a half-sweater-half-hoodie or half-hoodie-half-shirt combination have been a part of the brand’s DNA from the beginning, and Tchatchoua loves to reconstruct and alter familiar garments to create something novel and surprising. “We used to mix a lot of different styles, but now we’re mixing more ideas,” says Tchatchoua. “[In our designs] we're mixing the past and the present, the young and the old and the new.”
A graduate of l'Université de Québec à Montréal, designer Marie-Ève Lecavalier, 30, interned with Alexander Wang and Raf Simons before launching her namesake womenswear label, Lecavalier, in 2016. Last spring, Lecavalier was awarded the prestigious Chloé Prize at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography in France, and since then has received plenty of buzz for the line’s outstanding use of volume, pattern, and tailoring techniques. Early design signatures for the modern line include oversized shirting, sculptural leather jackets, and unexpected materials such as upcycled denim.
Lecavalier’s spring/summer 2019 range is now available at Ssense, a prominent online luxury retailer, and she’s also designed a capsule collection for Simons’ Edito designer department — the department store’s first such collaboration — that will launch later this month. “We felt that [Marie-Ève’s] vision was inspired, strong and mature and the attention to detail was evident,” says Oceane Stanislas, a buyer at Simons. “It was a truly generous partnership developing the collection and the campaign, and an amazing experience for the in-house design team.”