Aiming to produce 'meaningful artefacts' which relate to each other and to the whole as a collection, the new menswear label Arckiv was envisioned as a curation project inspired by the life and work of the actor and film-maker Pierre Clementi. The conceptual brand owns a permanent research archive of museum quality pieces and consists of hundreds of rare military garments, workwear and 19th century dress costumes. The new collection is divided into three categories: nomadic, protective and ceremonial. Each individual collection will consist of limited edition, modified vintage and 'prototype garments'.
Dazed Digital: You say the label aims to produce artefacts that relate to each other and as a whole... how does one item do this apart from the visual/aesthetic terms such as colours or shapes that fit well together?
Arckiv: The three categories of clothing we deal with (nomadic i.e. military, protective, workwear and ceremonial - principally 19th century evening dress) all adhere to codes whereby every colour, material and detail has a specificic meaning. By interpreting these codes, applying and subverting them, we structure and unify the collections.
DD: How does Arckiv source the pieces for the research archive stored?
Arckiv: We locate undisturbed source material, such as can be found in forgotten storerooms, factories and workshops. We never rely on other people's selections.
DD: What is it about the nomadic, protective and ceremonial' that appeals to you?
Arckiv: They represent those aspects of menswear which have their own systems and structures. And essentially they exclude suits and sportswear.
DD: How does looking to the past form new designs for the future?
Arckiv: It provides an organisational framework, a means of initiating a discourse having rejected the idea of design as a marketing tool.
DD: Where will the new label be stocked?
Arckiv: For the first six months, the developmental phase, it will only be available at our own store. Thereafter it will be available in two other London shops and in stores in Tokyo, Osaka and in Seoul, all subject to confirmation.
Photography by Xiaoxiao Yu
Styling by Nina Walbecq
Hair and Make up Andrea Gomez Anzola
Model Lukas Grout