Olivier Lapidus, the future designer

If you hear about video dresses, lightening embroideries, clothes with telephone or MP3 function? Or about seaweed, dandelion, asparagus, leek, or just flowers? Have you guessed? No, this is neither about the latest exhibition on vegetables nor about the last invention of the Lépine contest. It is simply about Olivier Lapidus, son of Ted Lapidus, (renowned tailor of the 70's), designer and visionary. Forerunner in invention, he is the only one of his period to have anticipate the development of High Technology for every day. "Invention fascinates me" confirms Olivier Lapidus. Interview.
Singular avant-gardist collections

His perfumed dresses or with sun catchers, weaved with fruits or vegetables, have not always been taken seriously by his colleagues (making fun of him) and ignorant of High Tech advancement. "Since 89, I have been criticised by journalists who would not understand my process." However, his point of view seemed to work right. Besides, this "High tech couture» has at that time interested the american Dupont de Nemours, for who he invented sports clothes, but also Cédric Brochier and realised for him the first lightening Fair Isle or again Sony with its video dresses.

Sensitive designer

Creator with a hurt soul, Olivier is someone very sensitive and expresses some regrets: "My big drama was to be in advance on my time, because I have lived staggered. Worse, I can see today my inventions used by others.”
Its creativeness does not stop here. Workaholic and inventionholic, he always goes forward. Except for couture and evening dresses - his first job - he still practises - Olivier Lapidus remains impressed by technology.

An unusual career

In 1994, he is distinguished by the "Gold thimble", and founds in 1996 the association of Fashion Crafts and careers to protect crafts professions. "We do not build future without past". In 2000, he goes to China and creates uniforms of the company Air China. First fashion designer, he will come back, as he says himself, "fashion publisher". He becomes then in 2004 counsellor of the brand Pronuptia, creating a new architecture of collections. He invented with a new serie of tailor-made gloves for Lexus, launched in November 2006 a menswear collection for Carrefour, named Tex, Creation of M. Olivier Lapidus, at very affordable prices with a very couture production. In 2005, he received the right to sign his work by his name, independantly the SA Ted Lapidus, owned by a perfume group.

His vision of luxury

Two extremes of luxury attract him. "On one hand, I want to keep practising my first job as fashion designer, with evening dresses. On the other hand, I feel like creating a new segment of luxury, affordable for more people, where the luxury object can be reached. Take for example
champagne or caviar, which are 2 luxury items which remain affordable. There is a hyper luxe as says Jacques Attali, and a luxe for hyper as I think. Of course, you cannot compare them."

Transfer of know how is necessary

"A dress embroiedered in China can have as much value as one in France". To him, it is the luxury of know how, which is not reduced to a bag and its logo with 2 Pour lui, ce luxe est un luxe de savoir-faire, qui ne se résume pas à un sac avec un logo et deux leather handles !

His inspiration

From meetings, images, pictures of children and time.

Fashion genius

To him, Haute Couture only exists thanks to the genuiness of the 2 fashion group leaders. We will not mention them, although his attention goes more particularly to Bernard Arnault, who "only him breathes the whole talent of the universe and redefines the fashion and luxury panorama." His only worry is "what place for the independant designers in this universe?"
Interesting debate. Sir Bernard Arnault might answer the question.
Juin 2007