Be Conscious: Duran Lantink
Leading the charge on a new wave of conscious fashion is Amsterdam-based designer Duran Lantink. Having landed firmly in the industry’s sightline thanks to his 2019 LVMH prize nomination, Lantink has been applauded for his zero-waste approach, which sees him using collage techniques to transform discarded stock into uniquely beautiful new luxury pieces.
Keen to support this exciting talent, Browns invited Duran to our London warehouse, giving him access to our stock to create an exclusive collaborative capsule. In the first of our ‘Be Conscious’ documentary series, we followed Duran across each element of his design process, watching the collection come to life and learning more about what makes a sustainable fashion future.
Watch the documentary below to discover more.
You may have heard the name Duran Lantink being thrown around back in 2018, after the designer created the iconic “vagina” pants for Janelle Monae’s Pynk video. What followed was an LVMH prize nomination, a coup which saw industry experts celebrating him for not only his originality, but also his unique methods of sustainable production.
It was during his studies at Amsterdam’s Rietveld Academy that Lantink first developed his innovative design language. “I found all these sale items on the internet and I started making collages from them, and then I thought: ‘OK, how can I make this a unique perspective in fashion?’” What Lantink began doing was creating brand new ready-to-wear by remodelling pre-existing pieces, combatting the industry’s problem with waste whilst simultaneously creating thoroughly original new garments. Still, Lantink recalls the negative reaction he was met with from the Academy upon first presenting his designs.“They said that a collage is a collage and a design needs to be made with completely new materials, which I strongly disagree with,” he recalls. Never one to shy away from his beliefs, Lantink stood firm in the face of his professors. “I really didn’t give a fuck about what people were saying, becuase I think this is the new way forward.”
It would appear that the industry is finally catching up. With the fashion world becoming ever more conscious of its impact, designers like Duran hold a uniquely powerful perspective as the future voices of the cultural conversation. Nevertheless, for Duran, sustainability was simply something that came naturally to him. “Literally everything that I do within fashion is sustainable, but it hasn’t been consciously because it’s sustainable - it’s just my way of working,” he explains.
From reusing old zippers and threads, to repurposing plastic bags, Duran’s studio in Amsterdam operates a zero waste policy that sees all materials being fed back into his work. Still, he’s keen that his message doesn’t get misconstrued. “It happens a lot when you talk about sustainable fashion that it looks like these earth domes… it’s not that attractive to be honest!” He says, laughing. “My main goal is that people really identify themselves with something which is a fashion item. For me that is the number one rule. It has to be fashionable.”
So how does Lantink begin creating his designs? “It’s a puzzle. I start making collages and sketches and that’s the first step of my process,” he explains. “I tend to not think about practical technical things because people will always say things aren’t possible, but that’s not true. You just need to figure out a way to make it possible.”
In order to scale his business in the future, Duran is also developing an Artificial Intelligence to assist in his design process. He’s also playing around with the use of light, doing away with the need for fabric altogether. “What we do with the lighting is that it pops out of your accessories and projects around your body,” he explains.
“I’m proud of the collection for Browns because it was a big puzzle, and seeing the end result I’m really happy,” says Duran. As for the pieces themselves, they see Duran once again following his principles of genderless design, something he’s worked into his collections since the start. “All my collections have been gender fluid since 2012. Whoever feels like they should wear it should wear it. It’s just important that a person feels good and free in the pieces we create.”