Kicking off Paris Fashion Week Mens , one of our favourite stylists and creatives Alexander-Julian Gibbson hosted an intimate dinner in collaboration with global brand H&M. The event held at the stunning restaurant Derrière, in the third Arrondissement of Paris. The soirée was lit with soft candlelight and bedecked in a profusion of gorgeous florals and the guests- a cross-section of black creatives from all over the globe, enjoyed stimulating conversation and delicious food.
Guests included Anna Touré, of Anna Touré PR, Corey Stokes of Highsnobiety, Allen Onyia co-founder of Upscale Hype, Nikki Ogunnaike Deputy Fashion Director of GQ and of course Alexander-Julian Gibbson himself.
In an interview with All The Pretty Birds at the event Alexander Julian had some salient remarks on fashion and being an African creative:
On advice he would give to young African designers and creatives
One thing I tell everybody, especially when I am on the continent, is that it’s important to have faith in yourself and your country. A lot of African designers and creatives wait until they can hear [feedback] from the outside world before they begin to feel themselves. We can’t do that because at the end of the day we could miss the mark easily. I feel like we must trust the institutions of our countries. I am Nigerian and I work a lot with Nigerian peers. It’s important to work with the brands around you in your own country first. It’s a way to network naturally. Never undermine people around you. Work side by side. Grow together. Learn together.
On what the collaboration with H&M means to him as an African creative
African style and fashion are part of my DNA. I am a Nigerian born and raised. H&M has done several collaborations with African designers, and for me working with a company that appreciates culture is something that elevates my brand. The thing with me is always alignment. It’s about picking the specific brand that aligns with the things you believe and H&M is a brand that champions diversity and African designers. They understand what it is to promote different cultures and push fashion forward.
On the Alexander-Julian and H&M collaboration
It’s not a tangible collaboration. H&M has an amazing aesthetic in line with the things I am doing right now, and it seemed like a natural collaboration to me, especially with H&M Home. They’re doing an amazing job and have a lot of recycled materials in their aesthetic, which is a standard that I admire. It’s the beginning of men’s fashion week here in Paris, and Paris Fashion Week is my favourite week! I’m hosting this party with H&M for all the creatives in town. We’re all going to have an epic schedule after that, but it’s important that people vibe together. I personally find fashion week very intense and it’s good to be here with friends.
Read more from the interview here.
All photos courtesy H&M