Officine Générale’s Pierre Mahéo


How did you begin this collection?

As always, it starts with writing, I don’t draw; I write, ideas, colours, silhouette, details.


How important is a concept or point of departure when starting a season?

Concept is important if you don’t want to end up in every direction. This doesn’t mean that you can’t adjust and correct it; we always do. But a clear intention is needed for a good start.


Does innovation factor into your process?

It depends on what you mean by innovation. If you mean fabrics that adapt, memory shape etc, that’s not for me. If you mean innovation towards a greener industry, then I take it, everyday!


How do you go from initial inspiration to execution? 

It is never a straight line. But most of the time, fabrics first and shapes second. Materials are really important.


What part of the creation process excites you most?

Working on product; developing shapes and patterns with the team; adjusting volumes. Fittings as well. I personally think up hundreds of products every year. I fit everything all the time.


What part of the creation process is the most challenging?

Waiting for the samples… 


When developing the collection, how much are you thinking about its commerciality?   

Well, I am not known to make four-leg pants and three-arm jackets. I know things I want to wear and what my customers would wear. Commerciality is always around the corner, but it is important not to look backward.

You always have surprises — things you wouldn’t think of — that perform extremely well. It’s always worth trying things.


What are the values that mean the most to you, to your brand? 

Honesty, realism, quality, and a certain kind of simplicity.


Where would you like to see changes in fashion this season and beyond?

I don’t think we should wait or hope to see changes. We, as individuals, must make changes happening daily.


What aspect of this collection brings you the most satisfaction/pride?

Having a new proposal and at the same time sticking with my ideas, my aesthetic.


This interview has been lightly edited.