The starting point is to go all out to make the best products and ensure that your clothes will be good for years to come, both from the style and the quality point of view.
When it comes to quality, broadly speaking, this is how we do it:
1) we begin by basing our ideas on your recommendations and the problems that you're having;
2) we beaver away for several months on every product, selecting the right materials from people who know their stuff and by carrying out a huge number of tests ;
3) and we have them made by pros who treat their workers well.
But, first and foremost by really putting in the hours and focusing on each product. Take the jeans, for example, we tried five different fabrics, various cuts, carried out dozens of trials, with scoring keys for each prototype...
Every time we that we have to make a choice, we ask ourselves: will this extend the life of the product? If yes, it's the green light. If it's no, we try something else.
On the other hand
And when it comes to style, right from the start, it's pretty clear.
We want to make clothing that's understated and elegant. Out with the 4 cm collars and fussy details, ever bigger logos and bits that serve no useful purpose. What we want is clothing that's real, beautiful and tough.
It's exactly the same as for the quality side of things, from a style point of view, we want clothes that could have been bought 20 years ago and could be bought in 20 years' time.
To achieve that, we realised that our best source of inspiration is what happens to our clothes when they're actually worn. Those dusty old clothes from American or British brands that smell like your granddad's attic.
In reality, if we like what we see in these old clothes, then we can say that they've kept their promises. Because they've stood the test of time.
And that's what we want to do with Asphalte: reach across the decades and passing trends with quality and style.
When you're inspired by vintage clothes, you're also accepting that your job is not to reinvent the wheel. We're not one of those brands where the artistic director is driven by a brilliant designer who offers the world their vision of fashion. We're not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's just that that's not our way.
Asphalte is just a bunch of fun-loving guys at the service of our customers. DSo, we start by putting all our energy into understanding what makes a piece of clothing good-looking and hard-wearing, and what our customers want. Then we reproduce that idea by modernising the cuts slightly.
Our aim is not to create different details just for the sake of being different, to redesign the shape of a collar, a seam or a pocket, or move a logo by a couple of centimetres. It doesn't float our boat. Our aim is to take that heritage of style and to honour it whilst offering a price-quality ratio that nobody has ever done before us.
However, that doesn't mean that we have no vision of style or that we lack taste. Quite the contrary, we have firmly held opinions and a highly skilled design team who work night and day. Because even though we take inspiration from the past, we have to rework the cuts and the proportions, select the right fabrics and the right buttons and that takes real skill.
And then, we have to highlight all these products with images that will inspire you and make you prefer classic style to throwaway fashion.
What we mean by all that, as you may have noticed, is that even though we automatically ask you to give feedback and tips on quality and durability in our questionnaires, we don't always ask questions about style.
That's because when we take an iconic piece, we don't feel the need to “revisit" it with our own special twist. If it's lasted until now, that's fine by us. All we have to do is try to embrace it by making it more practical and hard-wearing than ever.
Our pieces are visually simple. It's only when you handle them and actually see them that you can spot all the things that make them different. Our knits are heavy, our fabrics are fairly thick, and the cuts are designed and redesigned in every detail, because we don't work on hundreds of different products at the same time, but product by product. We like to think that we spend as much time on each product as lots of brands spend on an entire collection. But what do we know? So we keep shtum.
That's it, we hope all that's OK with you and that you understand the way we work.
In any case, nothing's changing, we're still focusing on one single thing: to deliver you the best clothes that you can buy.
See you soon.