Victor Glemaud on Optimism and Supporting a New Generation of Black Design Talent

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After three months adjusting to the rhythm of working from home, Victor Glemaud is finally taking some time to reflect on how rapidly his team was forced to adapt to this new normal. “At the beginning, it was challenging because it was all so uncertain,” he says of the early days of lockdown. “I’ve done fittings virtually before, I’ve done sketch handoffs and line reviews virtually before, so it wasn’t about it being difficult to adapt. It was more getting used to the idea of not knowing when we would work together again, and when we would see each other again.”

It feels fitting that, for Glemaud, his greatest challenges have been more sentimental than practical. With his brand swiftly approaching its 15th anniversary, his longevity lies in large part due to the close-knit community that has evolved around it. Beginning his career working with Patrick McDowell in New York, Glemaud spent a stint working in PR for the likes of Versace, Marc Jacobs, and Helmut Lang before returning to consult with McDowell during his time at Paco Rabanne, then launching his own label in 2006. After rebranding with a more stripped-back approach in 2015, Glemaud began focusing primarily on the bold, brightly-colored knits that have been a resounding hit with his long-time customers. They’ve also earned him a place as a finalist for the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and resulted in his first runway show back in February of this year.

The momentum Glemaud has been building around the brand hasn’t slowed during lockdown either—he relaunched his website last month, and held a virtual dinner party to reveal his new curve collection with the help of models including Indira Scott and art curator Kimberly Drew. “At the beginning, I immediately paid all of my team and cut out all non-essential business expenses to focus on my website,” Glemaud explains. “Since then, a lot of my time has been tweaking the site, collecting things, building a customer base organically, and learning and understanding all of the digital aspects that I am not that familiar with or comfortable with. Luckily, that is a really good thing to work on remotely. I’ve used the time quite well, I think.”

While the development of his spring 2021 collection has been a little more tricky—Glemaud notes the technical intricacies of producing knitwear are more difficult to test without seeing the garments in the flesh—he has still been managing to find inspiration in less likely corners. “Normally what I do is go to galleries or museums and get inspired or see something that sparks something that way. Since I can’t do that, I’ve been reading a lot more. It’s been more of a fluid process.” There’s also the simple fact that Glemaud’s eye-catching, graphic designs, along with their emphasis on comfort, make them the perfect lockdown purchases. “I feel like I was doing a Zoom top before I realized Zoom existed,” he adds with a laugh.

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