New York based designer, Tim Coppens, launched his eponymous menswear label in 2011 and was instantly recognised as a rising talent, securing retailers like Barneys New York, Mr. Porter and Harvey Nichols. He was a finalist for a Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award, last year he was nominated for the LVMH Prize and this year is competing for Swarovski’s Collective Prize for Innovation. Now, his spring/summer 2015 marks a new venture: into womenswear.  

He'd been hatching plans to create womenswear all along but wanted to nail his menswear first – Coppens has certainly done that. Striking a balance between an athletic aesthetic and femininity came easily to Coppens who has a background designing sportswear for Adidas and Ralph Lauren. “The athletic references are there because I design for a woman that moves and is active,” says Coppens. “Not necessarily sports related, but street influences and movement are engrained in my brands DNA and naturally come through in the designs.”

The street influences he speaks of stem from his childhood. “I come from a very small village in Belgium and fashion was not that important there,” says Coppens. “It was also pre Internet – social media. I created things, objects to use, sometimes garments. If you flip through old skate magazines you will see a lot of DIY and that kind of vibe was very present when I was young.” The street may be the essence of his label but there is no DIY vibe present. In fact, quite the opposite, architecture plays a role in the construction of his collections. Before attending the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp he momentarily pursued the subject. “For me creating a garment is very close to architecture,” say Coppens. “The construction and combination of materials and how that influences the drape fit determines the overall look.”

His SS15 collection is inspired by the '90s, particularly Ian Brown’s lyrics ‘When your halo slips for good, you’ll have to wear your hood.’ The luxurious fabrics used with "a raw edge," says Coppens is “kind of like going to a dark underground club in the middle of nowhere with the coolest people in the coolest clothes - without the kitsch and the bling.”

Tim Coppens womenswear collection is available exclusively at Harvey Nichols.

Text by Janine Leah Bartels