New Type #28: the Design Duo Behind Maxime Hernandez Interview

January 12, 2018 2:00 PM

The streetwear phenomenon in the fashion establishment is not slowing down anytime soon. The demand for high impact, no-fuss clothes with an urban flair continues to hold its own and coexist amongst the megabrands and luxury stalwarts. Fusing the craftsmanship of luxury design with a streetwear edge then seems like a no-brainer, which is exactly what New York-based menswear brand Maxime Hernandez, which launched two years ago, does so well. Each piece is made in Italian factories with rich fabrics, and the designs take inspiration from world travels and cityscapes. It's that familiarity and global sensibility that lets design duo Quentin Hernandez and Maxime Tiliouine find ways to incorporate personal touches and eclectic, nuanced details into each season. Their active lifestyles and love for fitness is another hallmark of the brand, which is aimed toward a busy, cool customer who appreciates quality, timeless sportswear. The designers opened up to TWELV about the brand's origins, their constant sources of inspiration, and what's next for the emerging label.


TWELV: Tell us about both of your backgrounds prior to launching the brand brand. How did the two of you meet?

Quentin Hernandez: I'm Puerto Rican and grew up in New York City. I started working in fashion 10 years ago, but I actually worked in finance after college and I hated it. I began playing with interiors which led to a job working for a swim company in South America as an assistant designer under the creative director.

Maxime Tiliouine: I'm from France and I came to New York City in 2014. I'm a self-taught designer. I realized that when I go shopping, I don't want what other people have. I wanted to create something for my image that's high end. Quentin and I met through mutual friends and shared a lot of common interests, which is how we had the idea to form our own brand.


TWELV: As a design duo, what’s the process like? Do you each focus on different aspects of the collection or is everything done collaboratively?

QH: My background is in sketching and technical design, but we really work together as a team and let our ideas bounce off of each other. Everything is done instinctually and we only create pieces we actually want to wear. We're both fitness guys and this is how we dress.


TWELV: Why do you think streetwear is having such a moment in fashion right now, particularly in the men's market?

QH: Streetwear is having a big moment and has taken over menswear and womenswear. We're seeing it on the runways, where the influence of the '90s is very much alive. Consumers want to dress in a relaxed, comfortable yet expressive manner which is why streetwear is flourishing.


TWELV: You design in NYC but manufacture your clothes in Italy. Tell us a little about the fabrics and materials you use for your collections.

MT: For Spring 2018, we used high-end fabrics that feel amazing on the skin, like organic cotton and Punto Milano, a heavy-knitted fabric blend of viscose and elastane, as well as Neoprene. Our cold-dyed cotton fabric has an interesting texture and vintage feel that's still fresh and new.


TWELV: What do you both do in your time off?

QH: To be honest, I have very little time off. Since we just launched two years ago, I’m always on work mode, but when I do get a moment, I love traveling, training at the gym, cooking and baking.

MT: Pretty much the same as Quentin. Having a strong mind and healthy body is important to me, so I go to the gym and eat healthily. I love to go to the movies and spend time with friends.


TWELV: How often do you both travel?

QH: I travel a lot, mostly for work. This year I think I travelled 10 times. The most memorable place I've been to is Jerusalem where I visited the Dead Sea and got to take in so much history and surreal moments. The sea alone gave me a full body facial and my skin never looked better.

MT: I've been to many different countries. I really love Brazil and Thailand, which are both quite similar not only in terms of climate. I love their culture, food, and the super nice people, as well as the architecture and beaches.


TWELV: Why is travel a such a big source of inspiration for your work?

MT: Since I'm always thinking about work, my travels naturally lend some inspiration wherever I go.

QH: We are constantly looking around for new ideas, and it's the simplest things that will inspire us. For Spring 2018, we grouped some clothes into themes from specific travels and countries because we saw something special in those places we went to.


TWELV: You also cite architecture as a focal point of your designs. What styles of architecture do you admire?

MT: Each city's architecture has something different and unique. We're drawn to both old and new styles, as long as they stand out.

QH: I'm drawn to modern architecture as well older forms such as the Massimiliano and Doriana styles in Italy. They designed a church in the town we produce our clothing, and we took inspiration from the some of the smallest details to the way they did the windows.


TWELV: What can we expect from the brand next year? Any exciting projects?

QH: Right now we're sold only online, but next season we're in the process of starting a wholesale business. We're excited to show our fall collection in Paris where we'll meet with the buyers. Stay tuned for updates on social media and our trunk events!


Visit MAXIME HERNANDEZ: Instagram | E-store








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