Ready-to-wear designer Tim Coppens is having quite a summer. In June, he was appointed creative director of a new sportswear line at Under Armour. And this week, he will present his spring ’17 collection at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
In the lead-up to the presentation, Footwear News spoke with Coppens about the look of his eponymous collection and his plans for the Under Armour project.
What’s the inspiration behind your spring ’17 line?
With the spring collection, there’s a Japanese samurai running through the concept — there’s a kimono, there’s a lot of embroidery and silks that are reinterpreted in a modern way with cutting and gluing. It’s got a softer touch, and the samurai and kimono are the main inspiration for the men’s collection.
What are your thoughts on NYC Fashion Week: Men’s in general?
The fact that we got the opportunity to show with the other menswear time frames and feels is a positive move from when we had to show in September during women’s. The challenge is you’re on the other side of the world and a lot of people have already had their shows, but there are a lot of young, energetic brands here, and there’s the attention from the media. We just have to build this — it doesn’t come immediately — but what the CFDA is doing and how they’re supporting all this is quite amazing.
Why were you interested in working on the Under Armour Sportswear line?
The idea of making a completely new product was attractive. And the fact that Under Armour has resources in their active offering that could be applied in the lifestyle direction was also interesting. The resources Under Armour offers are real — you have all these technical innovations. And we’re reaching a completely different demographic with Under Armour Sportswear.
What do you hope to accomplish with the UA collection?
I want to make product they don’t currently have at Under Armour, that people don’t expect. And building the brand from the ground up, giving it a complete vision from shoes to hats and clothes takes a lot of work, but it’s something I’m super excited about.
How will that compare to your previous design work?
My collection is [more targeted to fashion], but the links in the way I approach product make it easier for me to develop this line. The way I approach a product is not purely aesthetic — there’s also a functional element. I’m approaching the Under Armour Sportswear product in the same way. There are links — functional links — and I’m finding a way to translate those into a lifestyle brand that takes on the DNA of Under Armour. Materials are super important, and the advantage here is Under Armour is working with a lot of innovative materials and constructions.
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