Eye Contact And Teddy Bear Fur With Patrik Ervell
If you’ve made eye contact with Patrik Ervell – don’t. His piercing stare is utterly intimidating. It translates to somewhere between genius and a cheeky axe murderer. So what happens when you are face to face? You tell yourself, "Shit, don’t make eye contact, shit, eye contact, he saw me, ugh, here goes nothing…”. But over the course of our conversation, I am drawn into his charm and seduced by the world of his streamlined menswear.
It was 10 years ago when the young California native left his "soul crushing job" at a magazine to produce his first piece of fashion – a humble silk screened T-shirt which sold at a new opened tiny store on Howard Street in New York called Opening Ceremony. A decade later, we are sitting in Patrik’s design studio, coincidentally perched three floors upstairs from the behemoth that is now Opening Ceremony. We are surrounded by his Fall Winter 2014 collection, the most recent of more than a dozen collections he has designed over five years, all which have received high praise from the high priests and priestesses of fashion and seen him become one of America’s most beloved contemporary menswear designers. A lot of that is attributable to his consistency of vision – "My collections are an evolution. You could put them back to back from first to last and have one big show."
For the most part, Patrik prides his craft on his collections not having “an identifiable influence.” Something that he says (still wearing his serious face) “creates a deeper mystery that surrounds the brand. I try to avoid any reference or influence in my collections." Although he does hint at what lurks within his latest offerings, showing on February 9 at MADE Fashion Week: a more formal tone. "I’m thinking of a new kind of business dressing, for a new generation I guess." By now I have got over my eye contact issues and our conversation changes tack and throws up some gems.
Milk Made: I’ve noticed you are very serious person.
Patrik Ervell: Am I?
MM: The photographer said you wouldn’t smile at all for the camera.
PE: I think I’m actually way more relaxed nowadays. You should have met me 10 years ago," he chuckles. “I was MUCH more uptight back then.
MM: If you were in prison, what would it be for?
PE: Hopefully something that’s worth it, a cause.
MM: Who is the Patrik Ervell Man?
PE: The Patrik Ervell man is a creative, he is not a "fashioney" man so to speak.
MM: What is going to excite people about your collection this season?
PE: We have been working with this new type of faux fur – it’s actually made by a German company that manufactures Teddy Bears, its called "Teddy Fur."
MM: Where does fur fit in menswear?
PE: I think mainly it looks a bit gross in menswear. But this fur is actually a woven wool and we have been able to do some amazing treatments with it so I’m excited about it."
MM: What’s the future of Patrik Ervell?
PE: I’d love to design using the Nike Fly Knit. It’s so beautiful and completely new. Technology is really what changes the way clothes look, and you can’t help but change because of this.
Tune in to Milk Made Sunday Feb 10 to read more about Patrik Ervell’s collection.
Photography by Mario Torres
Photo direction by Erick Ruales