a brand for gents made by a fine gent
elegant, nonchalant, chic, allure, parisian men style is easy to pinpoint but very abstract to nail it right. Paris has been having a menswear evolution in the last decade, quite a few young brands and designers were born and grown fast, redefining what modern french style looks like without screaming “fashion”. Officine Générale is one of them.
founded by Pierre Mahéo in 2012, Officine Générale has slowly but surely gain sustainable momentum by its heart of gold, and it all started by Mahéo’s authentic ethical mantra as the brand’s DNA.
it’s all about ethical production, not marketing.
after working alongside the celebrated tailor Michel Barnes since 1998, Mahéo worked for a few major French brands, during a trip to China, he faced the ugly reality of the manufacturing in Asia, when he returned to Paris and with long considerations, he decided to quit and found his own brand near his neighbourhood in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris.
how to be ethical in fashion? one may ask.
« my credo since day one is quality. I am ethical in my choices: I work with fabrics from good mills (English, Italian and Japanese) and manufacturers within Europe - Italy, Portugal and England. I don’t care to use marketing or logos which are the misery of our time. They are affixed to mediocre fabrics, sewn anyhow on the clothings that will find shoppers for the signs of recognition. In 2012, I positioned the brand opposite of this system, but closer to the product. By making this choice, I realized that the road would be longer for Officine Générale, but, certainly more lasting. » he told le Figaro in 2018.
producing in Europe allow Mahéo to keep a watchful eye on the whole production, the Parisian built amicable relationship with fabrics mills and manufacturers, which allowed him to keep the production costs as low as possible, and maintain his secret: quality at a reasonable price - even if it meant lower profit margins. the quality became its own marketing assets, the clothes speak for themselves.
in his own words -
« realism, honesty and, fairness have been guiding my work ethics since i started Officine Générale.
In the heart of Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, i think of clothes for the everyday life, full of attitude and personality, made in Europe in the most ethical way from Italian, British and Japanese fabrics, offered at fair prices. »
Officine Générale style comes from Papi ?
ethical aside, they still need to look great. how should we describe this French brand?
Mahéo’s designs do not scream fashion, trend or hype, but whisper style, attention to details, great proportion, high quality with lightness and allure, believe it or not, it all came from his grandfathers: one was a tailor who never leave the house without an impeccably tailored suit, the other an oyster catcher who felt right at home in chinos, striped cotton shirts and weather-proof coats. with sea and countryside as background, this brand story is a charming one to tell, his papi (french nickname to call grandfather) styles have become sources of inspiration since, and those items are the stable pieces to start an Officine Générale wardrobe. Pierre Mahéo now designs men’s collections that are very much contemporary and of our times.
I remember my father wearing faded chinos in olive and khaki tones.
they are amazing colours to wear.Pierre Mahéo of Officine Générale
Officine Générale | spring-summer 2020
this season, Officine Générale continues to build his Parisian wardrobe that fills with star items like light, casual tailoring (cool double-breasted jackets, slightly boxy suits); loose-cut pants; shirtings in classic summer motifs such as bandana, checks, stripes and palm leaves - all applied with moderation. from start to finish, the collection was relatable and ready to wear. once again, Pierre Mahéo brings about yet another marvellous neoclassical collection.
"My goal is to reinvent the navy blue jacket from one season to the next"Pierre Mahéo of Officine Générale