« XULY.Bët’s strength is found in openness, this way of uniting and understanding each other, seeing what can be shared with others »
This is how Lamine Badian Kouyaté likes to describe the energy of his FUNKIN’ FASHION FACTORY, and in particular, of this FW21/22 collection. With the current context being so peculiar and difficult to understand, Lamine Kouyaté and Rodrigo Martinez wanted to get even closer to their colleagues, as well as the human warmth that defines XULY.Bët.
Lamine jokes when describing his FW21/22 collection, saying, « when I start a collection, it’s empirical… meaning it comes to life progressively ». It’s only once completed that he understands it better – this season’s collection is inspired by his mother, who passed away three years ago, remaining in his thoughts today.
It’s the memory of a mother, Dr. Henriette Kouyaté Carvalho d’Alvarengo, one of the first female gynecologists in Africa, coming home exhausted from her medical appointments and births, that brought the bright colors to the collection. Lamine explains this point further: the ‘Quality Street’ chocolates that helped her relax after work share the same color palette as the high-collared sportswear jackets, the reversible puffer jackets and the bright pink suits that further embellish the looks.
The collection is inspired by Lamine’s childhood memories, but also by Russian dolls, another reminder of what could be found at his mother’s: a fascination for stacked clothes, layered foulards, chapkas and gloves, reinterpreted here by stylist Jenke Ahmed Tailly, a friend and consultant at XULY.Bët.
As for the setting of the collection and film, it seemed necessary and important for Lamine Kouyaté and Rodrigo Martinez to unveil their backdrop and atelier, located in a massive shopping center marked by its Brutalist architecture: the Jeanne Hachette Center in Ivry-sur-Seine. Constructed by Jean Renaudie and Renée Gailhoustet between 1970 and 1972, this utopian complex is now in full disrepair. But XULY.Bët resists this, and instead uses it as a source of inspiration, with the precious help of Beata Malmquist’s, a very active figure in the Ivry community. The entire manufacturing process of the FUNKIN’ FASHION FACTORY resides there.
For Lamine Kouyaté, it’s essential that we « integrate this peripheral belt. This is where the youth is, this energy can only be found in the Parisian Banlieue, and nowhere else ».
smaël Moumin, the collection’s photographer emphasized Lamine’s thoughts by using the famous camping chairs, symbols of the Banlieue’s youth.
With regards to their film, Lamine Kouyaté and Rodrigo Martinez wanted to show Lamine’s work very closely, capture his environment and his imagination. Over a few days, they asked young director, Alexandre Parizet, to study the collection. He observed how it was crafted from Lamine’s hands, up until it was worn by Fatou Diarra, a choreographer and dancer dear to XULY.Bët.
Speaking of Fatou, Lamine Kouyaté says « she has this refined daintiness that I wanted to explore further. She has been a part of XULY.Bët since its creation. I wanted to share something with her, see what we could build together »
XULY.Bët’s FW21/22 collection is an ode to creativity and sharing, dedicated to maternal love and to protection, above all and totally essential currently.
All images courtesy of XULY.Bët