Laurence Barzoire is a fashion designer, illustrator, and stylist – a versatile artist who cares for the planet and contributes to sustainable fashion. We had the lovely opportunity to feature Laurence in our "FASHION" issue and speak to him about his work.
You have so many different career descriptions under your belt: illustrator, artist, stylist… How did you get your start in the industry?
I came to this wonderful industry through several processes. I searched in my soul what I wanted to do for a whole life, and what I wanted to leave behind. As a child I was passionate about fashion, passionate about art, knowledge but also about creation, construction. Each of these fields: fashion illustration, fashion designer or photographer, have gradually led me together to what I am today. I studied at the National University of the Arts, where I had the chance to be as creative as I could and learn to gather the information I needed. We are all creators of emotions, states and visions.
What was the inspiration behind your 2020 collection?
The inspiration behind the 2020 collection is actually a continuation of the whole BARZOIRE concept. It is a commercial decline of the artistic direction that I started a few years ago. Behind it are several emotions, feelings that are finally expressed through commercial forms: simple but very colorful and unique, different, expressive clothes that highlight an entire concept and a story.
All the photos I’ve seen of your work are extremely dynamic, where do you draw inspiration to infuse this dynamism from?
I have always been very attracted to things that are dynamic; creating tension in space but at the same time telling a story. I believe that dynamic things have different energy and give a special and unique emotion. To emphasize the dynamics in many of the works, I use bright color accents and contradictory color combinations so that eventually the work becomes vibrant and dynamic. I think the inspiration comes from me, from everything around us, from the fact that things around us are always in motion.
A lot of your work contains a message about saving the planet, how do you think the fashion industry, and your work particularly, is sustainable?
I have been interested in this subject since I was a child. I think that the fashion I create is sustainable not only because I create clothes to order, without consuming materials, or because I create them in the workshop, especially made to measure and very well worked and executed . My concept is built on a foundation that over time will become more authentic, unique and sustainable. As for the fashion industry, in general, I hope from the bottom of my heart to go in the right direction. Many brands use the word ‘sustainable’ to make as much profit as possible, because ‘sustainable’ is cool. I hope that one day they will all realize that sustainability is about protecting the planet!
I’ve also seen you praise vintage fashion, do you think reusing is an effective way to increase fashion sustainability?
I think we should all take a closer look at and have greater appreciation for vintage clothes, which are not only very well made, but also have a story behind them. I am passionate about the passage of time and I introduce many vintage pieces in styling. If they were more reused, even in big fashion houses, we would save a large part of the planet’s resources.
How have you used your work to speak up about your political views and ideologies?
I try in each work to integrate a subject that really matters and expresses something, be it through magazines, pictures, fashion shows, videos, campaign pictures or any other art form that can reach as many people as possible. I want the subjects I express in the art to encourage as many people as possible to build something, to look from my perspective.
You do both ready-to-wear fashion and luxury collections, why is this?
My brand started from the idea of building luxury clothes, with a lot of emphasis on very well finished details. I wanted to extend this story; I wanted there to be no social differences and to give everyone the chance to buy BARZOIRE clothes at more affordable prices. So, we also created the ready-to-wear line. They are still made of very good quality materials, and finished extraordinarily well, but they are much more commercial and do not contain so many details: they are really much simpler than those in the luxury line.
How does your experience as an artist other than in the fashion world advantage or disadvantage the way you approach your work?
My experience as an artist helps me to see things as a whole, to look at them from the outside. It helped me a lot to predict what a work will look like at the end. Sometimes this affects me because I am a perfectionist.
I notice you cover the faces of your models, what’s the incentive behind this?
I cover the faces of the models because I want to express the need to protect people on this planet but also human depersonalization. To not have gender identity, race, color, not knowing if they are girl or boy, black or white. Society also always censors us in whatever we want to do, and leaves us without rights to reply, or simply destroys our identity. Since the first collection in 2016 I created these masks and I can say that I had a prediction with what is happening at this time worldwide: people are wearing masks on their faces and have to respect the rules imposed by a society, without knowing who has rights and who does not. There are many topics behind the masks in my collections, be they "censorship, protection, or gender identity". I believe that no matter how we look and how we are, we are all unique in our own way and we never need a label to show society who we are.
We must be who we want to be and together we can build love, compassion and kindness, we must do this for our planet!
Connect with Barzoire on: Instagram