Felipe Olivera Baptista
With a progressive season titled "Back to the Future," Felipe Oliveira Baptista looked back in order to move forward. Drawing from Rene Lacoste's early exploration within the aircraft industry, Baptista—whose father himself was a pilot—designed a collection in reference to both "the heroes of aviation and the pioneers of the space." Somehow, he was also able to dip it all into the aesthetics and codes of Grunge and 90s streetwear, which he views as “modern classics.”
Antoine Ricardou: Social media, and more specifically platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, seem to become quite important in how fashion is changing. Do you think it’s valuable, is it a favorable change?
Felipe Oliveira Baptista: I think it’s an interesting thing, you know—it’s a different way of communicating a bit with people and having a direct link to them. Personally, I actually believe it’s a great thing; I use it a lot. I’ve met many interesting people. I’ve started some collaborations through social media. It can be a place where you have a different angle on things.
AR: How so?
FOB: Well, for example, I’ve been posting about the inspiration of the collection for the last few days. It’s a way to get a different insight on things.
AR: Do you consider social media when thinking about the collection or when designing them? How it might look for instance, or whether it will do the pieces justice?
FOB: I think so. I do imagine what it will look like as a picture because it’s more and more relevant. Unfortunately, sometimes we’re judged by what people see in a small screen (smiles and points at my phone). Sometimes you have to think of the iPhone effect.
AR: Does it influence your design though?
FOB: You know, I try to fight that because I never compromise on quality or on finishing because of it. Some designers’ work might suffer because they are just thinking about the picture.
AR: It seems like designers are turning their shows into social spectacles (think Tommyland) or changing the formats (think Rag & Bone) – do you think this is a natural evolution or a revolution?
FOB: I actually think this is normal. Maybe things became too formatted and as fashion changes more and more, designers need to start doing things differently.
AR: So would you say runway showings are obsolete?
FOB: Well, you know, people have been saying that for the last 20 years (laughs). And it’s still the best way to look at clothes; it’s still the best way to tell the story. But how you do it makes the difference. Maybe it’s the form that needs to change and not the (switches to French) "le fond." [In this context, this means “substance”].
AR: Are social spectacles something Lacoste would ever consider?
FOB: I understand things can be done differently but, on the other hand, you have to respect the clothes. I’m a bit too old school for that and I enjoy that people have a chance to see the pieces properly. But I like to see that other people try new things.