[O]livia Le Blanc is an emerging fashion designer working out of New York. Her brand, ØBLANC, pairs a focus on gender fluidity with an emphasis on sustainability and repurposing garments that would otherwise be swept away by the fast-fashion system. The resultant collections are disruptive in both concept and design, with traditional workwear materials and silhouettes re-calibrated to create a new-age utilitarianism.
For her AW17 collection – Interchangeable Workwear for the Hybrid Worker – pieces were created with multiple fastenings and can be worn in different ways, tying into ØBLANC’s focus on longevity and multi-purpose fashion, as well as paying homage to the functional, historic styles worn for work. With a clearly definied sci-fi workwear aesthetic and commitment to conscious production methods ØBLANC feels like the future of fashion.
We caught up with Olivia to find out more about her brand. Follow ØBLANC here.
Can you talk us through the inspirations for your AW17 collection?
For my fall 2017 collection I was inspired by the functionality and durability of workwear which I combined with interchangeablity and unconventional materials.
Do you have a founding philosophy for ØBLANC?
The philosophy for ØBLANC is creating iterations of hybrid gender through the clothes. There is a need in American fashion for reducing the divide of femininity and masculinity in fashion. There needs to be more boldness in this realm of style.
'There is a need in American fashion for reducing the divide of femininity and masculinity in fashion. There needs to be more boldness in this realm of style."
Do you feel like society is becoming less gendered? Is fashion contributing to that?
Yes this is the direction I want to contribute to in fashion and that I believe it has the chance to shift to. I think the sexiest thing in fashion is the androgynous face, body, and lifestyle.
You incorporate a lot of recycled fabrics into your collections, how important is sustainability to the brand and how do you think recycled or reused materials alter your aesthetic?
I started sewing in high school by repurposing pants and dresses and taking them apart to make separates. I think it is a great way to eliminate over production and influence DIY creativity for the masses. I also think using unconventional materials such as inflatables and rubber boots are an interesting trend in sustainability.
Do you feel that young designers still look to major houses and classic collections for inspiration?
Most def. I look to new designer brands such as Y-Project that take reconstruction and repurposing and include them in men’s and women’s fashions.
What do you have planned for the rest of summer?
I am starting my webstore and launching a few peices to sell hopefully by the end of July.
Who else should we be looking out for in New York right now?
All of the Parsons BFA graduates this year are dear to my heart and exude so much talent. I was so lucky to graduate with the year I did. A cool designer I follow on Instagram is Gallery 909. His designs seem really focused on a new market of conceptual streetwear I dig his stuff.