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The Kooples: 8 hot spring buys you need in your life
The fashion brand The Kooples made stylish everyday couples famous. And now the label is 10 years old! Read on to find out how the designers can tell a real couple from a phony one - and check out the best new pieces to snap up now...
Fashion brand The Kooples immediately grabbed the public’s attention with their ad campaigns featuring hot real-life couples. Candid and effortlessly cool, who wouldn’t fancy themselves as one of the trendy pairings?
Run by three brothers, designers Laurent (womenswear), Alexandre (menswear) and marketing director Raphael Elisha, the notion of friends and family is the beating heart at the centre of fashion brand The Kooples, which is ten years old this year (or should that be ten years young…). The name was the result of the brothers playing with the French pronunciation of the word ‘couples’. ‘It seemed too easy, we couldn’t believe that it hadn’t been done before,’ laughs Raphael.
The label captures a sense of Parisian chic, laid-back South of France style, mixed with an indie rock ‘n’ roll LA vibe, bringing together influences from their upbringing and travels. Born into the business, the siblings’ parents were the founders of label Comptoir des Cotonniers and as children at home in the South of France the boys hung out with Jean-Paul Gaultier. The family later moved to LA, where they describe themselves as the kids who always dressed differently. As big rock ‘n’ roll lovers, they decided to start the label because they wanted to dress their musician friends. Finding willing couples to shoot, however, was a challenge at first. ‘We were just stopping people on the street, and they’d be suspicious, like, “I don’t want to do your dodgy porn!”‘ remembers Raphael.
Now, with stockists everywhere from Sweden to Australia and a fan base including Beyonce, it’s a different story. Asking Emily Ratajkowski to collaborate on a bag collection was an obvious choice for them. Always one to surprise, you only have to look to when Emily Ratajkowski married to see she’s an it-model with laissez-faire spirit. ‘She’s a strong, feminine, feminist risk-taker and we like strong people,’ says Laurent. ‘You either love her or hate her, but you always want to know more about her. A bit like us.’
Featuring guitar strap-like handles, hidden pockets, plus studs and embroidery a-plenty, the second collection of Emily x The Kooples has just launched and it’s every bit as lust-worthy as the first. Inspired in part by Ratajkowski’s own collection of vintage bags, the designs are simple, but rock ‘n’ roll.
‘Our collections always mix a very chic, Parisienne spirit with a grungy, LA rock side,’ says Laurent. ‘A lot of silk and a bit folk, with oversized sweaters. If we had to sum up our label in one item? It would have to be a leather jacket.’
Reckon you have what it takes to be a loved-up Koople? There’s no fooling these guys. Raphael has a trick lined up especially for sorting the real from the fake. ‘I ask them to get really close, nose-to-nose. Then I wait ten seconds, while I pretend to adjust my camera. If they’re really together, they kiss, they smile. It’s impossible to stay long like that with someone you don’t know.’ Imposters, you’ve been warned.
Video: WHAT I WORE THIS WEEK | Everyday May Day 7 | allanaramaa
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