The Kooples, for stylishly offbeat couples.
French ready-to-wear fashion house, The Kooples, is using a decidedly British touch to revisit jackets, shirts and other classic items. Its creed: proposing gender-fluid clothes and accessories. With its choice of dark colours and a uniqueness to its creations setting the brand apart, the items have a distinct rock 'n' roll vibe. Black is a favourite of The Kooples as are leather biker jackets, hats and chainlet-adorned jackets.
A family affair.
The brand was founded by brothers Alexandre and Laurent Elicha. Influenced by their parents, who created the Comptoir des Cotonniers brand, they themselves went into ready-to-wear in 2008, the year they launched The Kooples. Their goal was to offer "a wardrobe for two", i.e. gender-neutral items couples could share. It's no coincidence that the brand's name, The Kooples, is a take on the French pronunciation of the word "couples". Their first, hugely glamourous, advertising campaigns played on that sense of ambiguity. The posters showed couples - heterosexual and homosexual - in sensual poses, wearing items from the brand new clothing range. Curiosity was aroused by revealing how long the couples in the photos had been together but making no mention anywhere of the label’s moniker.
Today, the label has expanded its collections of accessories for men and women, with a strong predilection for metal jewellery and watches. It is also offering a comprehensive range of leather goods. In addition to the The Kooples handbags there are lots of clutch bags, which the brand loves embellishing with studs or straps. Among them, the rectangular leather and suede clutch bag is a perfect example of the slightly offbeat classic style incarnated by The Kooples. Designs boasting a larger capacity, such as the leather weekend bags, are especially popular with men.
Classic meets underground.
After the original launch campaign, The Kooples paired up with celebrities from all walks of life to promote their designs. In 2011, for the inauguration of The Kooples Sport, the ready-to-wear fashion house chose Éric Cantona and Rachida Brakni as its brand ambassadors. A year later, it was dandy rocker Pete Doherty who put his name to a collection composed of accessories in the style of the musician himself, with hats and scarfs for men. But the Elicha brothers are also good at joining forces with partners from the finest tradition of fashion designing. Being die-hard fans of London tailor Norton & Sons, they managed to convince its artistic director, Patrick Grant, to design the pattern that now serves as the basis for all the jackets and blazers the brand produces.
What makes The Kooples so singular is the rock 'n' roll and underground detailing that enhances the otherwise relatively classic designs. Cufflinks incorporated into sweaters, studs stamped with skulls and crossbones and decorative zips give the clothes and accessories from The Kooples their distinctive look. Some of the brand's iconic items that will stick in our minds are: