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The 5th Brand Stories: Arpenteur | The 5th
Arriving at the 5th for SS21, let us introduce Arpenteur.
Dubbed the future of fancy French workwear by Esquire, Arpenteur - which, translated into English means Surveyor - is the brainchild of cousins Marc Asseily and Laurent Bouven who founded the brand back in 2011 in their hometown of Lyon. Ten years on, they still operate from Lyon, which, although quintessentially French, is still over 250 miles away from what is largely considered the fashion capital of the world, Paris. However the cousins insist this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: “what’s really good for us is we can have our own workshop, to get our hands on the designs, which we couldn’t afford in Paris. For identity and style, maybe the atmosphere here in Lyon is a bit more down to earth, which has inspired our clothes”. Their hands on approach doesn’t end at the workshop however, in what Esquire described as a ‘pleasingly DIY touch’ Laurent often models the collection for the brand’s Instagram page, with the sewing machines and desks of the workshop as the backdrop.
The brand, of course, is quite familiar with doing things a bit differently. As an alternative to moodboards, they create Tintin-esque cartoon strips to accompany each new collection and serve as it’s inspiration: “the clothes then become the answer to the story and the images”. The playfulness of the cartoons, which are all drawn in the Ligne Claire style made famous by Herge (the Belgian creator of The Adventures of Tintin), speaks to the nature of the Arpenteur itself - they don’t take themselves too seriously. While they are first and foremost creatives, the team at Arpenteur also have a penchant for original French style. Through their designs, they manage to consistently strike the ideal balance between old and new, or, as they put it, they are ‘halfway between respect for tradition and creation stemming from multiple inspirations’.
While Arpenteur enjoy creating a story around each piece of clothing, they are keen to not lose sight of certain aspects. For instance, the cousins prioritise the functionality of each piece and thoroughly believe it - be it a pair of shoes or an overcoat - should be comfortable. And like everything here at the 5th, each piece is made to last. With much of the collection drawing inspiration from workwear’s utilitarian basics, the SS21 pieces fit seamlessly into any capsule wardrobe. The ADN Jacket, made from a cotton and linen denim mix, is endlessly versatile with a drawcord hem that makes for a flexible fit. For a modern take on the classic French Breton tee, check out Arpenteur’s Match T-Shirt. The comfortable style comes in four different shades, all incredibly subtle, they look great underneath the ADN jacket which has been overdyed by hand using vegetable woad blue dye, resulting in a distinctive dark indigo hue.
So while we may not be able to wander the streets of Lyon, Arpenteur’s Spring Summer collection at the 5th is the next best thing.