Not many designer houses start off with a joke. But Harold’s “Vue de Demain” is not like many designer houses. A Norwegian fashion house that incorporates the elegant lines and minimalist attributes of Scandinavian fashion with the intricacy and color of Congolese traditional prints is something worth pondering not only as a fashion statement but also as an homage to the transformative power of fashion and the aesthetic fusion it provides.
Harold Mufoncol is the antithesis of what you would consider Scandinavian fashion. He grew up in sunny Congo far away from the snowy fjords of Oslo. His upbringing makes him more susceptible to color as opposed to binary minimalism that is part and parcel of the Scandinavian fashion. After he moved to Oslo to pursue his studies he brought his own sense of style with him. And as he experimented with his own style, his aspiration to become something more universal became more prevalent. So he spent every waking hour exploring his drawings, his sowing, his relationship with his identity and ultimately his relationship with fashion.
That is when he decided to start his first fashion company called “fashion wins” which was a joke of sorts on the prevalent meme of “love wins”. His narrative was simple…materialism drives our sense of style. And ultimately fashion wins, just like love and at times despite love. “Fashion Wins” t-shirts became an instant hit among youths in Oslo. To make matters more culturally confusing and universal, Harold’s first set of clothes were all unisex. The long t-shirts were for men and women, both. The lines were blurred not only on the cultural identity of the clothes but also on the role of gender. Taking a look at his “fashion wins’ collection provides an insight into an initial formulation of universal ideas that drive that blurred narrative that goes beyond gender and culture. It was a product for men and women and everyone else.
But jokes get old. Harold knew that. He decided to pursue fashion as the serious industry it is. He found inspiration in great African designers like Ozwald Boateng who was merging non-western ethnicity, into western clothing. Other people like as Duro Olowu and Martine Rose, Agi & Sam provided him with the food for thought. This ultimately gave Harold a strong foundational understanding of where things were in terms of African aesthetics in fashion. His ability to merge Congolese street style into a scandi fashion became uniquely his.
If his “fashion wins’ was a statement of intent on the frivolity of consumerism, then his brand “Vue de Demain” became the avenue to provide sustainable, fashionable consumer goods that evokes a sense of fusion of cultures and experiences. From the t-shirts that made headlines to the one- piece suits with a ballerina floating through the air added more fusion to the process. Street-style meets class. Class meets street style. The informal meets the formal and vice versa.
“Vue de demain” which literally means a view of the future is rapidly becoming the future of Norwegian fashion…multi-ethnic, gender neutral and standing on equipoise between formal and informal. Whether or not Harold intended that as a joke or as a matter of cultural integration is up to the consumer to decide. But if the new collection and the rave reviews the previous collection has received is any indication then “Vue de Demain” is here to stay.
Brand : Vue De Demain
Make Up Artist : Amelie Ninu
Models : Alexandra Constantine and Harold Mufoncol
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