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26 Apr

Catching Up With Theory Project’s Lucas Ossendrijver

Transitioning from a luxury European brand to a more business American label has been a learning experience for Lucas Ossendrijver — one which he’s embraced with gusto.

Since being tapped by Theory in the summertime of 2021 to design Theory Project, men’s and ladies’s capsule collections, Ossendrijver has immersed himself within the aesthetic of the Latest York-based brand. And while Theory and Lanvin, where he spent 14 years as director of menswear, operate completely in another way, Ossendrijver believes he has found a formula to successfully bridge the 2 worlds.

“It’s a special way of working,” the designer said from his studio in Paris. “The client and the size are different. Theory is an element of a giant company and I now work a 12 months prematurely quite than 4 months, so the event cycle is for much longer. But I feel I’m in place.” Theory is an element of Japan’s Fast Retailing, which also owns Uniqlo. Theory Project also marks the primary time he has designed womenswear.

Lucas Ossendrijver

Ossendrijver said he uses the experience he gained working in Europe to raise the Theory product while still ensuring it’s “accessible and democratic.”

“It must be wearable and comprehensible and at price,” he said, adding: “It just feels more relevant today to work on real product quite than simply something for a runway show.” Prices for Theory Project range from $195 to $1,195.

Theory Project spring '23

A glance from Theory Project’s spring ’23 collection.

Courtesy of Theory

Ossendrijver also drew from his experience at Lanvin to create his first sneaker for Theory. The designer, who’s credited with ushering within the high-fashion sneaker trend during his time at his former job, worked on the design of the Theory sneaker for greater than a 12 months, he said, and drew inspiration from what people wore on the streets.

The shoes, that are paying homage to the favored style he created for Lanvin, are for each men and ladies and offered in a spread of colours, from lilac to cognac. They feature a rounded toe and wavy lines tipped with reflective materials. They’re made in Portugal of napa leather and suede and finished with rubberized soles to face up to the pains of city streets.

“We wanted a unisex design that’s elevated yet easy to wear,” he said. “They’re quite wealthy and constructed beautifully.”

He said when he makes his regular visits to Latest York, he sees that “everyone wears sneakers in every single place,” and he wants Theory to get a bit of the motion. “They’ve a really distinct shape that could be dressed up or down,” he said. The sneaker retails for $365.

Ossendrijver said the plan for the sneakers going forward is just not to expand too far beyond what was introduced this spring. “I don’t wish to be pushed to do a latest silhouette every season,” he said. “I would like it to be very concise. But next season, we could have shoes and construct accessories,” he revealed. “There are plenty of possibilities so long as you remain true to your identity.”

So far as the apparel is worried, Theory Project’s spring 2023 collection was just released and Ossendrijver worked to capture the energy of Latest York by utilizing fluid fabrics, utilitarian details and kinetic prints in pieces designed to be layered.

“I feel in regards to the client and what they’ll do with it,” he said. “It starts from a special point because we’re not pushing for a show but quite to create something that lasts.”

Since his Theory collections have hit the market, he said the casual jackets, which he described as “sporty, but not sportswear,” have been among the many bestselling items, together with a blouson from the primary collection and a shirt-jacket in lightweight nylon from the second. Pants for each men and ladies have also proven popular.

Theory Project spring '23

Womenswear is an element of the offering at Theory Project.

Courtesy of Theory

He pointed to a bonded cotton black-and-white check jacket with a Gore-Tex interior, in a parka style for men and a cropped bomber silhouette for ladies, as one other standout piece.

But with all of the designs he creates for Theory Project, Ossendrijver is careful to not push things too far.

“I’ve learned to be very rigorous and go for one clear, easily comprehensible message,” he said, pointing to the big scale of the Theory collection. “Once you consider basics, it’s like an archetype but I would like to point out you may have an identity that’s basic but with a twist that’s barely different. It’s super hard to do. I’ve found that it’s easy to go to the acute, but hard to be in the center without being mediocre.”

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