Eckhaus Latta have been designing for what they call a “liberated audience” for nearly nine collections now. “We want people who wear our clothes to feel like (our clothes) are adding to them, not defining them,” explains Zoe Latta, one half of the fearless creative partnership with Mike Eckhaus. “Liberated from branding or marketing mechanisms that make people feel small. We’d like to offer an alternative – whether that’s in self-image, body image, gender identity or colour.”
Eckhaus Latta can be credited as the forerunners of a new generation of underground fashion labels in NYC creating unique fashion-week experiences that are redefining the once-exclusive and commercial fashion city (designers Moses Gauntlett Cheng actually met while Esther Gauntlett was interning at the label). Mike and Zoe’s dedication to their ever-evolving practice permeates every project they set to work on, from their unisex designs and experimental fashion shows featuring ‘nodels’ that often border on performance art – for example, a children’s choir, a digital feed from a Berlin carpark, or the live demolition of a wall – to art ventures and collaborations for museums like PS1.
And while making the Forbes 30 Under 30 List is certainly a highlight of 2016 to date, Eckhaus Latta show no signs of slowing down. This year, they are busy opening an Eckhaus Latta store at the Art Fair at Paramount Ranch in LA, and showing in The Hammer Museum’s Made in LA biennial show. “To be multifaceted and not just about the seasonal cycles of fashion week – this has always been part of our practice,” says Mike. However, it’s not as binary as just being engaged with both the fashion industry and the art community, as Zoe explains: “It feels like we’re participating in a future that’s exciting, that museum institutions are wanting to engage our practice in this larger dialogue of idea-making, and vice versa.”
Text Veronica So