I had the pleasure to meet designer Pierre Renaux about five years ago at a party in Antwerp but we didn't quite become friends then. We suddenly became neighbours about two years after that and I finally got to know the genius that is Pierre Renaux. I recently got the chance to have a chat with Pierre in which he took me on a journey from his drawings to his designs. His hard working ethic is definitely an example for every student out there. "Party hard but work even harder".
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small beautiful city in the countryside of France, by the sea, which naturally made me extremely fascinated by urban grey landscapes that i did not have around. Fortunately I quite soon got a computer which became my window onto the world to brave the boringness of my neighborhood.
When did fashion become a part of your life?
Fashion did not become a part of my life, it was always there, along with an obsession for the woman's body and anatomy in general. I first wanted to become a neurosurgeon, then a plastic surgeon, but my hands shake too much. Right after high-school i applied at the Antwerp Academy to work on the body in a less direct manner.
Where do you get your inspiration from? What's your design process?
I get my inspiration from the internet and going out. Long hours spent online, and late hours spent in clubs. My design process is strange, i used to draw and write really a lot, very freely, and deduce a design from sketches or tiny little sentences of a concept that popped up in my head. This year I tried to fight against this randomness of idea resurgence and control it more, i thought really intensely and carefully about each design within the collection as a whole, to obtain a more mature, coherent vestiaire, with a logic. Due to the extreme amount of work that 12 looks is to realise entirely on your own, this collection was much more about making the pieces and much less about drawing. The collection had to be virtually clear in my head before i started working on each painstaking look.
What would be your second choice of career?
Trophy wife.
So what's the plan now?
It is interesting, now that the collection has been shown in June, i get that question constantly. When an architect finishes a house, I wonder if people ask him straight away “What's the next house going to be like?” Or when a musician finishes recording, “What's the next album going to sound like?”
Would you like to start your own design company at some point?
Are you already thinking about your next collection?
Paradoxically with the "ultimate" and "final" aspect of the concept of this year's collection, yes.
What's your biggest learning experience you've came across through this (Antwerp, the school)?
Hard to say, because in any school you learn about yourself, and others way of creating and appreciating your creations, the hard way. Also it opened up my narrow perspectives of what is good and what isn't, how to create, and shake up my process of working. When you are a small town boy like me, coming from nowhere and knowing nobody, with no previous relationship to garments or Fashion, the frontal shock can be brutal.
Any last words?
Am I on death row or something?