Seven years for overnight success
Seven years later, Erik Yvon is still “emerging”, and that’s good.
“Emerging” is such a deliciously loaded buzzword right now. “It makes you think, ‘exciting’, says emerging Melbourne designer Erik Yvon,“ It means there is some mystery, ‘What’s going to come from this designer? Something aside, something different … “.
Just a few years ago, designers dubbed “emerging” were younger than most, with the smartest young graduates finding their feet in fashion. They worked hard to get rid of the label and eventually “emerge” as full brands.
It is now the new black. “Emerging” is practical fashion jargon for designers like Erik Yvon who are often seasoned professionals (he graduated from RMIT in 2014 and teaches design there now) but with a fresh, expressive and original aesthetic.
Like Erik, they are intuitively connected to the Zeitgeist. They are experimental and collaborative in their creative practice. Their markets are generally small, niche, but they are also growing. Today’s consumers – especially Gen Z and young Millennials – are evolving and demanding clothes they can use to reveal their individuality.
“It takes so long to be an emerging designer,” laughs Erik, “The first few years after launching my brand, I was trying to understand the aesthetic, the vibe, the client, the silhouette, the fit … “
His brand is imbued with this hard-earned maturity and self-confidence. “I’ve grown and changed a lot,” he says, “My aesthetic is developed and true, but I’m still called an emerging designer. I like it.”
Erik’s latest collection, Sweet Pawn, was inspired by memories of a wacky seafood stall in Hawaii. It’s witty, beautifully crafted, and spans the gamut from on-trend silhouettes, from voluminous pieces in balanced blends of soft / fluffy, silky / sparkling fabrics and knits, to skimmed bodysuits laden with snap chains and ropes. ‘pearl accessories.
Erik collaborated on Sweet Pawn with Melbourne-based graphic and textile artist Pey Chi on what he describes as his; “loads of references to shrimp and pearls and odes to the sea and marine life.” His love of working with others is key to Erik’s creative practice. “I love engaging with future generations of fashion, hope to be excited and can’t wait to see what they create.”
He says he first caught the collaboration bug while interning with visionary designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett of Romance Was Born. “They were so inspiring, always working together, always true to themselves,” says Erik. “I think they are the best representatives of Australian fashion and without (replicating) what they do, I took in that inspiration.”
Erik showed his Sweet Pawn collection on the Next Gen runway at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week this year, one of four selected from a national pool of emerging brands. “We had influencers, industry partners, magazines,” he says. lots of traction. “
A good day but Erik was also happy, soon after, to find his mark and teach at RMIT. “This is what I tell my students, that there is more to working for the bigger brands. Small brands can be more creative. They don’t have to follow the trends and the pitfalls of routines. it’s not just about making clothes, being aware of what is going on around you, in your community, in the environment, being aware of the culture and trying to support and work with other creatives. everything into account and make it all part of your brand identity. “
Find the Erik-Yvon collection on www.erikyvon.com and Instagram @eric_yvon.
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