Coming to our attentions via a trip round Berlin’s Mitte ‘hood, Homecore is a French brand that has edged into the more mature realms of casual work-wear, while never forgetting its street-wear roots. Find out more with our Q&A with the founder Alexandre Guarneri after the leap.
SL: How long has Homecore been around and where does it call home?
Alexandre Guarneri: Homecore was born in 1992 but I actually started doing “clothing” with my friend stefcop in 1987 at that time it was graffiti printed t-shirts.
What we call HOME is more than a place, it’s something you have in you, a kind of energy which is inside of all of us – CORE is the center of it – you can see it as you feel. My view is that HOMECORE is the energy that makes us what we are at that very moment when we decide by ourselves what we stand for
SL: What does Homecore stand for as a brand?
AG: Homecore stands for freedom, lasting quality and style.
SL: Homecore began as very much a street-wear brand but today we can find more mature offerings, such as casual work-wear and evening wear. What was the reasoning behind this evolution and who, now, is the Homecore man?
AG: Homecore started as the first clothing brand related to Hip-Hop in france, journalists called it streetwear because they needed to categorise something they did not know before, but for us it was just Hip-Hop clothing. At one point around 1996 Hip-Hop too was kind of categorised and stereotyped by major labels. It became more and more empty from its original spirit. That is the starting point of my idea for the evolution. I wanted to do clothing that would not necessarily categorise the people who wear them, clothing with great quality that would stand for freedom, style and unpretentiousness.
I would say the homecore man is a man who wants to look great and cool without imposing too much. A man who is not in the competition but still can stand next to any competitor and make the distance – who feels good in his skin and in its his clothes.
SL: The images of your clothes on your site are displayed in quite a dynamic way – is the notion of movement very important to your designs?
AG: In my designs I use anatomy as an inspiration base. Movement is life, clothing should accompany it, not block it.
SL: And there’s a clear sense of fun, of joie de vivre, that comes across from the on-site look book. Is this something that you think many menswear brands – and, indeed, us guys – tend to overlook? Are men a bit too serious when it comes to clothes?
AG: I think its not all about the clothing, but how you wear it, how you feel and appreciate life in it. If you are a happy person your clothes will look happy on you. A lot of people are still very influenced by the eye of others. They fear somebody will judge them and they don’t want to be judged bad. They can’t accept that somebody else will dislike their look so they dress like everybody or with mainstream brands so that they are safe. It’s starting to change and I am happy about that.
SL: On the care label of my A/W10 hooded knit, there are the words: “Take a look around. Breathe deep. Think positive” – what’s the thinking behind putting such a considered motto in such a hidden place?
AG: I like the fact that the people can find out more about the clothing even long after they purchased it. It’s like talking to the new owner of the garment in a direct but subtle way- subtleness is a sweet thing and discover something that is a bit hidden can be something special and personal.
SL: On the other side of the care label, it states: “Wash as nature friendly as possible”. How important is the notion of being “nature friendly” to Homecore, and in what ways is the brand environmentally responsible?
AG: Anywhere in the world you go you can see the devastations pollution makes I think it is important to call for more reasonable acts in our everyday life. Clothing have to be washed so I thought it was good to suggest to wash “as nature friendly as possible”. But I also did not want to impose it so I leave it to everybody to decide how.
The brand is responsible In how we choose our manufacturers and designs. We manufacture in portugal and try to use mostly local fabrics and accessories to avoid too much transport. We design pieces that can be worn again the next season and the season after so you always feel good about them and don’t have to overconsume.
I think to have a responsible behaviour is to not overconsume, my collections are different each year but are not anchored in time. When I make my collection I insist on the style, the timeless aspect, and the quality of the product.
SL: Finally, if you could pick three key pieces from the latest collection, what would they be and why?
CENTER SHIRT (white shirt with random colored buttons), a FIFTIES PANT (our special chino), and CATANIA (newest version of our long time sweat shirt jacket) because you could wear them five years from now and still look good.
Words: Alex Jackson