In conversation with Leo Brancovich
Last week we had a delight speaking with Leo Brancovich who works as head of design at G-STAR RAW, ad we spoke about their newest Exclusives by G-STAR RAW collection.
How is designing clothing for MotoGP & NASA different than designing fashion collections?
It’s one thing to design with a function in mind, its completely different to explore the abstract beauty inherent in purely functional design. What we do at G-Star is to make “costume” out of the deconstruction, and subsequent reconstitution, of garments taken from our unique archive.
How important is sustainability for your design and how do you make your designs more sustainable?
To us sustainability is not just a trend, it is really embedded in everything we do. When it comes to design, the ultimate goal is to design in “closed loops”. That means using only sustainable materials, clean chemistry and ensuring that garments are designed for reuse. Today, 90% of all materials we use is sustainably sourced and when it comes to our cotton we are now at 99%. In 2018 we presented the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Gold denim fabric through Our Most Sustainable Jeans Ever. The innovative fabric contained 100% organic cotton and was dyed using zero harmful chemicals while not wasting a single drop of water. We have been building on this innovative fabric ever since and in 2025, 20% of our collection will be made from similar C2C certified fabrics. By continuously expanding our sustainable offer throughout our collections, we want to make it easier for our consumers to make a sustainable choice.
Additionally my aim as a designer is to provide a design language with longevity, expressing clear encapsulations of taste and style that move beyond fleeting trends and superficial fast fashion. This allows for garments that can be treasured for years. I am proud to say that I regularly see garments I designed 12 years ago, being worn in the street today.
What is the signature G-STAR design?
Our signature in denim is European, as opposed to American, in origin. We are fundamentally forward looking, as opposed to heritage obsessed. We are inclined to remix, rather than replicate. And we are completely obsessed with the visual language of functionality.
Tell us about your passions in life and what keeps your creative flow going even during these strange times we are living at the moment?
My passion is analog photography. I’m never far from my Leica M3, a TLR, or a large-format film camera. I develop the film myself in the kitchen of my houseboat. It’s a great way to explore an alternative channel for my creativity. Professionally, creativity has not been disrupted at all by the global crisis. Our philosophy has always been inward looking towards our DNA and the unequalled G-Star archive that provides limitless inspiration.
Can you tell us more about your new exclusive collection and what are it’s highlights?
Key to this collection is the timelessness. Ignoring the superficiality of fleeting fast fashion and following the deeper undercurrents of culture’s flow. It is also reflected in our choice of design ingredients, which are largely extracted from functional garments within our archive. Function provides “truths” in design that outlive simple decoration.
The highlight are all styles we showed in the presentation with the little orange Anorak as the absolute highlight. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the playful spirit of exploration and reinvention that breathes life into the Exclusives collection.