PARIS — Jaden Smith is a Paris Fashion Week regular, sitting front row for the past few seasons in some showstopper looks.
Now he’s brought his own collection, MSFTSrep, to Paris for an exclusive pop-up inside Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées.
It was a quieter than splashy show, but allowed Smith to connect face-to-face with the brand’s fans who lined up outside the store in MSFTSrep’s bright attire to meet the young star.
The unisex “Trippy Summer” collection, featuring a flower hat, stemmed from a mood board of more than 100 photos and references, including some science tomes diving into electromagnetic frequencies, light spectrums, photo receptors and chakras — most having to do with color at the core. Thus the collection is an explosion of it, in psychedelics, pastels and rainbow brights.
Smith along with creative director Moises Arias look to create things they personally want, such as a cargo pant with half a dozen pockets on the legs alone. They also build on previous collections and what worked, such as a black jacket from fall 2021 that was brought back, cropped and brightened up by adding rainbow colors.
They also incorporate the collections’ future visuals into their thinking.
“[We’re] thinking about how to shoot the collection at the same time,” Smith said. Arias is in charge of capturing the visuals, while Smith sometimes does double duty as a model. “As soon as we start designing together, he’s now already thinking about, ‘OK, the photos are gonna be like this, and then we’re gonna shoot like this, we should get these people.’ So we kind of started thinking about all that at the same time.”
While Smith takes his role as a designer seriously, the collection is more about communication than clothes, he said.
“I love the idea of being able to communicate to people without actually speaking or acting or singing,” he said, hoping his eclectic aesthetic speaks volumes. “I love that idea of being able to communicate things nonverbally, going across borders, going into whole different parts of the planet, and it’s all being done without having to actually say anything. That’s what I really love about fashion, and that’s why I’ve been designing. It’s just something that I really care about.”
The brand has moved production to Italy to work with more sustainable mills and high-quality fabrics. Fast fashion it’s not. Smith said his team is working with factories directly. “That is to be able to meticulously look at every single piece of design and not just go somewhere and mass produce a bunch of pieces, to be able to say, ‘Hey, every one of these is going to be very well made,’” he said, adding that his main point of pride as a designer is having people say they own a MSFTSrep piece from six years ago and are still wearing it.
He emphasizes use-per-wear as a way to reduce carbon emissions from a single garment. “We tell people, please just wear it into the ground.” He says OOTD (outfit of the day) thinking is “hurtful” in the long term, noting the impact of the idea of disposable clothing.
Smith highlights his holistic approach, emphasizing that people should be more aware of the environmental problems and how it impacts food sources, mental health and other creatures that share our planet. Cue the flower hat.
“We wanted to point this collection back towards the source of everything, which is nature,” he said.
Smith demurred on any expansion plans, saying he hopes the brand can bring people together and create a community. “Growth is not the number-one goal, that’s a byproduct. That’s great, but the main goal for us is the community aspect, and sharing information.”
He doesn’t see himself doing a runway show during fashion week.
“That’s not the main thing that we’re trying to do with the brand,” he said, adding that he would very much love to do a collaboration with a larger house. He cited Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière and Thom Browne as designers he admires.
The presentation is already a dream come true.
“Even doing this is like one of my biggest dreams of all times — to just be here and to be able to have a collection here,” he said.
The pop-up runs at until March 20 at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées.