Having worked for many years in the fashion and sportswear industries, Mathilde Lacoste was a natural choice as creative director for the newly relaunched luxury skiwear brand Fusalp. Cleverly maintaining the values and iconic designs that have made Fusalp so successful, Lacoste and her creative team have brought this heritage brand firmly into the present, creating a label that is fully committed to both function and aesthetics. As her first full collection for Fusalp hits the stores, we sat down with Lacoste to discuss her creative process, the future of the brand and the opportunities for multi-purpose fashion.
‘It was great when I was approached for the project. I’m very interested in the fact that Fusalp is a sports brand, because this is an area of fashion that really needs a lot of work. I come from a similar background with the label Lacoste but, even if this was completely different, I’m really interested in the usage of garments, the duality of style and function. The fact that Fusalp is a sports brand really adds something to it for me.
‘I like that the brand has sporting roots, but it was actually created by a family of tailors so, from the beginning, it had that edge which other brands didn’t have. The clothes were all fitted, there was always a sense of fashion. I’m really excited as I don’t want to change it, I want to take those roots and just pull the brand forward.
Form versus function
‘I want to carry on with the idea that above the aesthetic of the clothes there is a real usage behind it – the fact that it’s not just a skirt or a pair of trousers, it is something that has to be used for a certain purpose. I want to help people find what they need, whether it is for an active pursuit or simply for everyday life, which gets faster all the time. I think to adapt to this, to create a fusion between form and function, can be a very strong and a very contemporary thing. To have a piece that will translate from one area of our lives into another is very modern.
Courting the cool crowd
‘The brand was first relaunched by creating a capsule collection exclusively for Colette. The store really wanted to do a capsule collection that would make a statement and where clients would be able to identify the changes to the brand immediately. The message was that this is the brand now, collaborating with Colette and incorporating Fusalp’s strong heritage.
Past meets present
‘As I’ve said, we have made the brand modern but brought its heritage with us. Some of my favourite pieces are ones that draw on Fusalp clothing from the 1970s. This influence has been translated into details such as padding on the elbows and knees, which can be seen in a number of pieces this season. Because it’s modern, however, it’s much more fitted and the padding is much sleeker – so it’s a decorative thing but it’s still minimalist, shaped and sexy. The creative process was all about taking the best things that Fusalp has created and represents, taking the essence and the principles and adapting them to what people want now.
The next big thing
‘There is something in the pipeline that we’re all really excited about, but it’s not ready yet. We want to do it perfectly. It’s the Fusalp Fuseau trousers, which were always an iconic piece for the brand after it launched it in 1952. Before then, trousers just hadn’t existed in this way, and today quite a few brands are making them. But we want to get it perfectly right first …’