Dazed Digital


Lionel Vivier of Sixpack France

March 8, 2012

We speak to the founder of the cult label and independent publisher about curation and his new collection - Suspended in Time

  • Text by Terence Teh

We've been big fans of Lionel Vivier's Sixpack France label for a while. It's the curated approach he takes not only as a fashion label that is designed by both himself and guest artists such as Cody Hudson, Steve Harrington, Josh Petherick and Noah Butkis, but across short films and published books, zines and prints. The new Sixpack collection is available now, "Suspended in Time".

Satellite Voices: What is the story of how Sixpack was started?
Lionel Vivier: It was a shop that naturally became a brand. The shop started in 1998 as a graffiti shop and it became a brand in 2004 as a natural transformation... fantasies became reality.

SV: Would you say there is a singular design philosophy or manifesto that links Sixpack?
Lionel Vivier:
I see Sixpack as a kind of museum of life, an emotional field where people are invited to talk about their lives and experiences. It defines pretty well who we are and what we like.

SV: What does Paris have that is unique to the rest of the world?
Lionel Vivier: I don't like Paris so much. It's too wild and dirty for me, even though I lived there through some of the greatest moments of my life. Paris can be stronger than you. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's exhausting. I prefer LA where the city lets you free to do your own thing. And I like the way of how everything is hidden.

SV: What are your favourite food spots in the city?
Lionel Vivier: When I want to go to a restaurant I call my friend Etienne, and almost everytime he brings me to an African or Senagalian restaurant. We usually drink a lot so I never remember any names or the spots. I don't have any regulars spots to be honest, there is a big offering in Paris, it would be a shame to not enjoy the diversity.

SV: With the artists that you work with - any new Paris talents that you are into for 2012?
Lionel Vivier: I don't chase so much new talents. I'm an instinctive person, I let myself go through people I meet and the opportunities that life offers me. No plans.

SV: How did you meet the artist Steve Harrington and what projects have you guys worked on?
Lionel Vivier: I don't remember exactly when but we built a strong relationship and we became close friends. We don't work together so much anymore  and I don't really know why, but it's cool that we're over the business relations. We talk a lot by emails or over the phone sharing what's happening in our lives. I think we will work again together soon, our vision of graphic design and art are pretty similar.

SV: Can you tell us about the art shows you have been involved in?
Lionel Vivier: I did a show with Cody Hudson back in the day, a European art tour with Steven Harrington. A group show in L.A... To be honest I can't remember all the shows we've done but I'm very proud of the short movie we produced with Jean Baptiste de Laubier, "It Was On Earth That I Knew Joy".

SV: What’s the next collection?
Lionel Vivier: The name is "Suspended in Time", its' all about teenage, sexual ambiguity, doubts, rupture and fear. Think about Joseph Szabo and Gregg Araki.

SV: What other projects do you have for 2012?
Lionel Vivier: We have a project with Jean Widmer, he used to be the art director at the Parisian Pompidou mudeum. His work is very radical and minimalistic. We have some books in the pipeline as well. One with Jonas Delaborde, "Apocalypse City". The book talks about the folly of contemporary buildings and extravaganza of the 70s 80s to develop his visuals. Geometric assemblages, psychedelic nature and coloured patterns are the elements he uses to let us travel through his book in a smart neo-vintage architectural world. Then also one with English graphic designer Benbo George, and one later with German photographer Alexander Binder.

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