Walter's Son SS16
words Zarah Cheng
All images provided courtesy of Walter's Son.
How did WALTER’S SON start?
I was working at a vintage store back in 2006, where I met a tailor/costumer who offered to take me on in exchange for cleaning his studio. I quickly began learning construction and patternmaking. I bought my first industrial machine and starting sewing my own shirts and with the encouragement from friends, I launched WALTER’S SON.
Sometimes when I “google” WALTER’S SON, Breaking Bad results come up. Where does the name actually come from?
Walter is my grandfather’s name – a nod to him and my dad.
Tell me about the philosophy behind WALTER’S SON.
Quality construction, an ode to minimalism, a balance of tailoring and athleticism, inspired by art through textiles.
We took a look at your new samples back in April. Can you describe for us your new materials?
Polished and soft. Mercerized cottons for our shirting, where an enzyme is paste over the cotton thread, creating a luster and strength. A woven tencel for the bottoms – the hand is easy, hangs close to the body, great for movement. For our knits, we used a cotton/modal blend – luxurious; the fabric hangs close to the body.
How has the design and production process changed/evolved since we last saw your F/W 2015 shirting collection at Litchfield?
I made the move to creating both tops and bottoms. I felt I needed to progress to a capsule collection in order to realize the concept behind this season, to demonstrate my capabilities. I have always been interested in graphic design and printmaking, and so I was very interested in designing my own print. I worked with a print house in LA to achieve the design. I am very interested in continuing to design my own prints for future seasons.
How did you develop the art direction for the new look book? And how does it tie into the story behind the collection’s design?
I developed this collection based on two concepts: a French artist from the 40s/50s/60s, and suburban streetwear. I lived in France for a few years and while there, I went to an exhibit of Jean Dubuffet. He’s the father of the Art Brut movement. I appreciated his take on the impulsivity of art and his large-scale sculptures of the 60s. I took inspiration from said sculptures in developing my print this season.
I also wanted to give a nod to my time in suburban Paris; I lived near basketball courts where the kids in the community would hang out and play. I wanted to design a new uniform based on the relaxed silhouettes and proportions of their clothes.
When it came time to shoot the look book, I wanted to put the pieces in settings that encourage movement. We found a school that gave us multiple stages to work with.
I love your F/W 2015 campaign, giving shirts to friends and community members that embody the brand and featuring them on the WALTER’S SON journal. What is a WALTER’S SON wearer like?
Those that gravitate towards clean lines, comfortable proportions and polished fabrics. They are adventurous and seek out a fresh take on menswear.
How does your design process typically start?
What I’m interested in at the moment, usually based around art and architecture. I’m still of fan of the library and I sketch a lot.
As a Vancouver-based designer, how does the city influence your collections?
I generally draw inspiration from concepts but I’ve been particularly lucky in Vancouver, as I’m surrounded with creative and talented friends that have supported and influenced the development of the brand.
What’s next for WALTER’S SON?
We’ve launched our online shop at walters-son.com, featuring our FW15 shirting collection. We’re preparing for a couple of pop-ups this fall with the FW15 collection and we’ve started marketing SS16 to menswear stores in Canada and the US.
What do you like to listen to in the studio?
Lately it’s been DeJ Loaf, Wale, Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun is always on rotation, Kelela
What creeps you out the most?
Roadside mattresses and socks.
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