Camper’s first creative director Romain Kremer answers FN’s five questions.
After three seasons with Camper, what is your focus?
Understanding who these shoes are for. We want to refocus the message on lifestyle. That means constant price and design research. Our only limitation is that it’s never going to be a stiletto. We know we are going to be feminine, but we have to be the right kind of feminine, respect the price-quality [ratio] and still be creative.
Do you hope to change people’s perceptions of Camper as a more fashionable brand?
Camper has to be for everybody. What is challenging is bringing creativity and a sense of fashion together. The distribution is big, it’s affordable, but [the shoes] are not a cheap copy of luxury. That’s pretty original. In 1995, Camper launched this iconic style, the Pelotas. It’s still a bestseller. It was an alternative to the sneaker at that time. They said, “OK, sneakers are exploding, but we are going to do something else.” I remember in the campaign, it was written: “Before and after sports.” What I’m doing is similar.
What’s the spring ’16 story?
I wanted to talk about Mallorca, where the brand is based. It’s a big island, full of contrasts. I discovered three beautiful places that became my points of reference: a village called Deia that’s packed with fashion people and artists; Magaluf, which is loud — it’s all about holidays and parties; and then there’s Es Trenc, a beautiful beach area.
How did you trans late that into the shoes?
For Deia, we used cork, suede and velvet. The idea was to reinforce the concept of unisex hybrids and cross the lines between smart and casual. Within the Magaluf collection, there are sandals made of towels, Lycra surfer slippers and super-chunky pieces, but with soft, rounded shapes that play with the idea of inflatable toys. Es Trenc is for purists, with clean suede and box-calf leather sneakers. The story there was more about natural colors.
You have a background in menswear, at your own label as well as at Thierry Mugler. How is it different creating shoes?
In clothes, you always think about movement and comfort. Here, you have to think about the object. It’s a more holistic approach. The difference is also timing. In fashion, you work on a collection, you have a show, you take a week of vacation and then start again. It’s fast. Here, it’s one year, then you mix collections. I work with a team of 15 designers and 15 technicians. The atelier can make a mock-up in 24 hours, which is very rare. And the shoes are guaranteed for two years.