5 Minutes With Damien Paul, Head of Menswear at Matchesfashion

30 April 2020
Fashion, Menswear, Matchesfashion, Damien Paul, Priya Ahluwalia, Sustainability, Covid-19, INTERVIEW, Q&A
He talks Priya Ahluwalia’s new collection and sustainability

We can all relate to having future plans and not being able to execute them due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Matchesfashion, together with Ahluwalia had a launch planned for the capsule in March but had to rethink their plans.

“Matchesfashion is known worldwide and was one of the first designer multi-brand stores I heard of as a child. We were meant to have a launch event for the collection in March but because of Covid-19 we had to cancel.” – Priya Ahluwalia

We asked Damien Paul, head of menswear at Matches a few questions surrounding the collection and the current pandemic we’re facing.

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What is it about Priya Ahluwalia’s designs that made you want to work with her on this capsule collection for Matchesfashion?

I love how Priya has approached her work as a designer in a responsible way whilst still never losing sight of her influences and vision. It’s an exciting collection that has a really youthful feel with brilliant attention to detail, and she has unique way of working with deadstock and vintage fabrics.

What were some of the biggest challenges (if any) from your perspective with launching The Responsible Edit?

It’s such a broad spread of product and designers but we were already partners with designers who worked in a responsible way which helped – we did not want to pick anyone up just because they worked responsibly, rather we looked at designers who would very much resonate with our customer and whose design aesthetic we would want to champion. This made it much easier as did the fact that we defined The Responsible Edit into four pillars across ‘charity’, ‘people’, ‘artisans’ and ‘materials’ – we are able to highlight how sometimes even small initiatives within a business can affect positive change.

Given how much the current pandemic has restricted international movement, do you think we will start to see a move towards more sustainable and locally sourced menswear over the coming seasons?

I think it is too early to tell to be honest. I certainly think there may be a movement towards slower fashion, and we will certainly continue to grow and develop The Responsible Edit. But as always this will be part of the broader strategy at how we develop and curate our designer partners.

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What is your favourite piece from Priya Ahluwalia’s collection and why?

I have a penchant for floaty, easy shirting so the upcycled silk shirt would have to be my favourite. It has a great handle and vintage fabric swatches are in rich golds and bronzes which immediately elevates the overall effect. It’s a really clever way to approach upcycling and how to reinvigorate beautiful fabrics.

Patchwork upcycled silk-blend shirt, $590, Ahluwalia at Matchesfashion