Olivier Theyskens, formally of Rochas and Nina Ricci, has brought a rock/urban, yet soft and sensual feel to the label, Theory. His first two collections, described as urban yet light, have won over the fashionistas with their pertinence as well a their prices. His shoes collection is incredible.
In particular, his velvet wedge pumps have brought together classicism and glamour, street style and conceptual fashion. They demonstrate a daring simplicity, flashy yet minimalist. Available in black, violet, or, as worn by Rumi Neely, a sapphire-blue “ink”, these shoes are attracting envious looks from all of those who would like to add a twist to their summertime looks, whether they be casual or on-the-edge.
an interview with O.Theyskens (by Barneys New York)
BNY: Tell us about the earliest days of your business. How did you get up and running?
Olivier Theyskens: I left school mid-term in 1997, and started making clothes on my own. I would work night and day on these items that I made entirely by myself. It was impossible to produce them on a larger scale as I didn’t have any organization around me yet, and I had to decline many order requests – even from Barneys! – during my two first seasons. Thanks to the media support and strong editorials appearing at that time about my garments, I was able to visit factories with these stories and ask them for help to start the brand project. And by the summer of ’99, I was able to produce and deliver to stores, all while remaining a totally independent designer.
BNY: Any funny or poignant stories?
OT: At that time, I could barely speak English — and being totally in my world, I was also very naive. When I had an important magazine on the phone, when I was told to “please hold,” I systematically hung up the phone as I thought the receptionist was asking me to call back later. I had no cell phone and with no driver’s license, I always need friends to drive me everywhere.
BNY: Who helped you along the way?
OT: I was lucky to always have an amazing support from my parents and family. Also, faithful buyers, editors, and professionals in production and communications really helped me along the way. I don’t work with some of them anymore — they were there at the beginning only — but I still feel very grateful to them, because without their attention, I would not have been able to do what I am doing now.
BNY: When did you know that you’d “arrived”?
OT: I always feel I can go further and do better, but I remember one of my very early shows, I had all the most important people of the fashion world attending. Yet it was strange feeling to have such a great audience and feel like if I had “arrived,” when I still had so much more to show and accomplish in the future.