Despite existing on the periphery of the industry whilst working on other creative endeavours, few London designers have left more of an impression on contemporary menswear than Aitor Throup. From the moment he graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2006 with an MA in Fashion Menswear with an accomplished collection entitled 'When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods,' the industry has salivated over this great talent. But he has made them wait. Throup is a designer that will not be rushed or pushed in to anything. Everything has to be just right before he moves on it. The wait was over and duly explained in a packed presentation at St Martins Lane hotel during London Collections: Men. With a refusal to conform to fashion’s restrictive six month cycle, Tim Blanks, Sarah Mower and the designer himself discussed his philosophy before unveiling the articulated manifesto 'New Object Research' that will guide his design destiny. Parts of the industry might well have been confused but the overriding feeling was that of excitement. Throup has devised a new way of working, a fresh business model that will allow his justified design philosophy to flourish and allow people to buy his designs. Earlier this week I spent an afternoon with the designer at his Hoxton based studio and showroom but before I transcribe our long interview, I wanted to follow the lead of Throup himself by whetting your appetite with an introduction. Now, as a designer more concerned with product design than fashion, I felt the best way to help reacquaint you would be to take a look at his most treasured possession.
Born in Buenos Aires, Throup developed his passion for labels such as Stone Island and C.P. Company whilst growing up in Burnley from the age of twelve. Ultimately, it was this keen interest in the products of Massimo Osti combined with his love of drawing that led him to begin a BA in Fashion Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and on to an MA in Fashion Menswear at the Royal College of Art in London. So, it should come as little surprise that Throup treasures one of Osti's most iconic and rare of creations...
Aitor Throup and the fibre optic jacket that lights his imagination...
"I believe that this is the first jacket ever to incorporate fibre optics and marked the twentieth anniversary of Stone Island. I just love the simplicity of it and how the light transforms it. Given that it around a decade old, it is a little broken now as some of the optics have snapped but it still continues to excite me. There's a subtlety now. It is almost eerie in a way and reminiscent of garment dying with the tonal differences of a number of fabrics. If it was just a block of blue it could be too artificial and alien to the garment but by going on and off throughout it becomes part of the garment more holistically, there's something really special about that.
A mate of mine found it, he knew I was after one and one of his friends just so happened to have one. Another friend of mine who is one of the biggest Stone Island and C.P Company collectors and just so happens to be from Burnley like me, has got a few pieces from transformable series that Moreno Ferrari did for C.P Company that he is ready to sell, so I am getting them and I couldn't be more excited. They might not be the best pieces, like the inflatable armchair jacket, but they are awesome. Hey, they are transformables which is fucking cool!
They are a massive part of why I became a designer, those pieces and items like the Goggle Jacket. It's all about product. If I go in there and put the jacket on, it would be nice but I almost get more enjoyment looking at them to be honest, same with Goggle Jacket I buzz of the fact that it's got a face. It's like a superhero costume. They are more valuable as objects. It is why my whole thinking isn't about styling and fashion but instead about making a cool object, suspending it and looking at it - let's geek out over it."----------