Q&A | Nikola Vasari for Faith Connexion
Multi-brand concept, Faith Connexion, is the creative tribe with a laboratory of young talent experimenting in art, fashion and street culture. Individuality and freedom from a modern perspective comprise the collective ideals for the Parisian house. Opening in 2000, the company rebranded twelve years later upon it’s Groupe Allard purchase. Inspired by music, cinema, theatre, and live performances, Alexandre Allard visualized the future of the global street brand with a first-ever creative director.
Nikola Vasari was appointed creative director at Faith Connexion in September, debuting the first collection under his leadership for Fall/ Winter ’19 at Paris Fashion Week. With previous senior design positions at Balmain and Saint Laurent, and four years as a Faith Connexion collaborator, Nikola stepped into the role with superior craft and creativity. With an articulated vision, Nikola aims to preserve and advance the creative influences that contribute to the brand’s ongoing success. Influenced by the duality of clashing trends, decades, and cultures, Vasari creates timeless garments with modern applications. We spoke with the Parisian creative director to discuss his career, design influences, and relationship with Faith Connexion.
After four years as a Faith Connexion collaborator, you were named the brand’s first ever Creative Director. What has this experience been like for you?
It was a very exciting period. It helped me prepare for what my position as a creative director is today. It all turned out quite naturally as an evolution of years working together with the brand as part of the collective. I believe these years gave me a strong understanding of what Faith Connexion’s DNA is, what the brand needs to do when looking into the future and the capacity to create a vision for Faith Connexion’s next chapter.
How have your past senior design positions at Balmain and Saint Laurent articulated your vision for Faith Connexion?
My past work experiences allowed me to grow my expertise as a designer. Even though you have to express something personal in your designs you’re not doing it for yourself (working for a brand). You have to respects the identity of the house, think of the main customers or the relevance it makes through its history. You can also compare it to a love story, and in order to love again after the end of an experience, you must forget about the past and project yourself in the future.
While Faith Connexion is a creative tribe with a multitude of inspirations, what inspires your creative design process?
I feel very lucky to be able to express what I’m most passionate about every day at my job. Creativity has always been a very important part of my life. I have to make things all the time. It’s something very instinctive and obsessional sometimes. I like to think of an ideal vestiaire and then deconstruct the concept to apply it on each garment, component, detail…
How do you hope to curate a community of young talent, experimenting in art, fashion and street culture?
It has to come from a desire to share a creative expression in the most fields possible. There has to be an evidence… love of creating together. We are in constant research for new collaborators in fashion or arts to grow the Faith Connexion family. It’s a way of building creative bridges, joining forces to produce something unique. Having guest brands contributing or custom artists altering a selection of articles gives the diversity that allows us to express the whole story of our collections.
What influences remain a central factor throughout conception and creation?
I’m in love with beautiful garments, exceptional products, and know-how. For me, fashion is an intermediary of self-expression. You can build a character through the way you dress. It also has to be real and true to the person! I want to dedicate myself into surprising our customers and fans of the house through each collection and bring a fun yet elaborated way of dressing the way Faith has been able to do until this day.
Describe your runway debut at PFW for FW19.
It was a very emotional moment for me. The runway show represents a relatively small part from what we offer to buyers. I wanted to highlight a more nocturnal and let’s say « flamboyant » part that people were maybe not used to seeing from Faith Connexion, which turned in a more stage glam allegory. From the beginning of the creative process, I was inspired by music icons through history and surrounded myself with them. These references included Bowie of course but were also including Nina Hagen, Nirvana or Michael Jackson.
How do you envision the future of Faith Connexion’s empire?
Faith Connexion is known for its « glitz-and-glam » aesthetic, pieces with luxury fabrications. I want to maintain and reinforce the ingrained codes of the house by bringing new pieces and inspirations that will please our clients. Having a deep understanding of the house’s current challenges both in terms of creation and development will help me to evolve what has gone before while contributing a new perspective and modernity. We started working on big projects that hopefully will create a buzz letting us expand our distribution channels into the international field. We are expecting to expand our worldwide presence overall.
What can you tell us about the upcoming collections for Spring Summer 2020?
This is a surprise! You will definitely find the spirit of the Faith Connexion and its street-couture vibe. I also intend to introduce new basics and bring a fresh vision to the collection.