The secret is out. FN can exclusively reveal the secret identity of the designers behind celebrity favorite Both Paris.
It’s a dynamic duo comprising Mats Rombaut and Nicolas Santos. Rombaut is design director and Santos is art director. Belgian born Rombaut is also creative director of the eponymous vegan unisex footwear line he founded in 2012. Prior to that he worked in product development at Lanvin and later Damir Doma and is currently a consultant for a variety of brands and projects. Recent collaborations include Barragan, Hugo Boss and Belgian artist Frederik Heyman.
Santos hails from Madrid and his portfolio takes in a veritable Who’s Who of fashion industry clients such as Christian Dior, Coach, Alexander McQueen, Coach and Ermenegildo Zegna.
Unisex Franco-Chinese label Both Paris, launched a couple seasons ago and is known for its vulcanized rubber dips, foxing tape applications, industrial silhouettes and exaggerated soles.
For spring ’19, the brand has increased its focus on both color and construction. Playful shades reference the label’s heritage – such as the flamboyant dragon costumes in Chinese New Year parades and the blue jackets and cloth slippers worn by employees in Both’s Chinese factory. New experimental construction processes have been inspired by the colored elastic seals on ceramic food containers.
In addition to their design director, the two brands, Both Paris and Rombaut also have a famous fan in common in the shape of Bella Hadid. The supermodel has worn Both’s fall ’18 Gao Runners plus Rombaut’s Boccaccio rave sneakers on many occasions.
According to Hadid’s stylist, Mimi Cuttrell, the appeal of Both’s sneakers is the label’s minimalist approach. “They have this new age modern feel that is very unique to this brand. They can go with any sort of look.”