One of Our Favorite Sneaker Brands Just Launched a Clothing Line
Filling Pieces and Barneys teamed up to drop the Amsterdam-based label's first apparel collection.
BY JONATHAN EVANS | Mar 26, 2018 | News
When Guillaume Philibert founded Filling Pieces nine years ago as an architecture student, the sneaker world was a very different place. Which, as it turns out, is exactly why the brand came to be in the first place. “The name ‘Filling Pieces’ stands for the products and the message that we want to translate; it’s basically bridging the gap between the higher segment and the more athletic and street segment,” Philibert explains. “Back then, there was no such thing as a brand that bridged the gap. So in the beginning, I definitely didn’t think of doing ready to wear. We were just focusing on footwear.”
A lot of things have changed since 2009. Now, luxury streetwear represents a market in and of itself. And Philibert is no longer content with sticking to outfitting guys’ feet. This week, Filling Pieces launched its first-ever apparel line, a collection of tees, track suits, bombers, and more that feels a whole lot like the brand’s sneakers: skirting the line between capital “F” fashion and classic street style. The first drop is available now through Filling Pieces and Barneys, and later collections will also be available through selected retailers. We caught up with the designer and creative director to see how everything came together.
Making clothing was a long time coming.
There was this urge to design clothing and create a bigger universe for the brand. Through the years of styling and working on the right art direction, we felt that we were missing clothing that fit the aesthetic of the shoes—between high-end and streetwear. It was a very organic decision for us to work on ready-to-wear, so we can translate the message of the brand in a better way. I think the dream of doing ready-to-wear started two or three years ago. And when Barneys approached us a year ago to work on a special collection with them, that’s when we really took the step to bring this to fruition.
Right now is the right time to launch this sort of collection.
Within the industry, a lot of things are changing. The lines between high-end fashion and streetwear are blurring. If you look at footwear, it’s the same. But when you look at apparel, it’s even more like that. Strong brands like Off-White, they make very quality, luxury products, but still have this homage to streetwear. And I think that whole segment in general is growing. Like Louis Vuitton and Supreme, that whole vibe and era that we live in actually made it possible for us to do what we’re doing right now with ready to wear.
There were a few bumps along the road.
Before we started, we were like, “OK, you know what, we have this foundation of the brand. We have a structured organization.” But when we got to the design work and researching of production and facilities and stuff, we found that it was very, very different. Clothing in general is a very different ballgame when it comes to execution—especially when it comes to production. Within footwear, we work with factories and they can basically produce every shoe we design. With clothing, it’s very different. You have a factory that does outerwear, you have a factory that does jersey, you have a factory that does shirting, you have a factory that does suits…
The Barneys connection is an organic on
There’s a deeper story to the product that we have with Barneys. When I was 16, it was my first time going to New York as a kid interested in fashion. I was studying architecture, so one of my most favorite buildings was the Guggenheim in New York. I remember going there and being amazed. And I was walking down Madison Avenue to go to Barneys—I was on the hunt for a sweater from Billionaire Boys Club, which is a project started by Pharrell Williams and Nigo from BAPE. For me, that was the first brand within the era of luxury streetwear. That’s when I had my first experience with the luxury shopping environment. I think that whole story had a place in my heart, and the concept that we’re putting out for Barneys—which is a crossover of the architecture of the Guggenheim and Barneys—really enforces that nostalgic moment I had back then.
Philibert has some serious long term plans.
We have a goal for 2025 to run a company that is based on 40 percent ready to wear, 50 percent footwear, and 10 percent smaller accessories, which could be fragrances or bags or small leather goods, but maybe also home goods. But I really feel that we want to focus on growing ready-to-wear to a stage where we feel confident. Once that’s stable, we want to focus on products—and they could be anything—the reinforce the story we’re trying to tell with Filling Pieces, which is bridging the gap between different segments, but also between different cultures and people.
Source: Esquire US