At her second appearance at Paris Fashion Week Men’s, emerging designer Jeanne Friot explains her ambitions for a genderless luxury label that is politically engaged and sustainably produced.
Jeanne Friot burst onto the Paris Fashion Week Men’s scene last June with her debut presentation: a party in the basement of the Palais de Tokyo, where models danced for three hours straight wearing her clothes, to an audience of press, buyers and friends. It was a bold start from an unconventional designer, whose brand celebrates youth and LGBTQ+ culture.
“It represented my vision of my queer community partying after Covid, being free again. We would love who we want, where we want. I wanted that to be the first thing we presented to everyone,” says the Parisian designer, whose brand motto is “No gender, no carbon, no hatred”.
Previously a designer at Balenciaga, Friot launched her eponymous label in 2020, seeing an opportunity in sustainably made, female-designed, genderless French fashion that explores queer identity. She’s known for her signature feathered jeans, chainmail tops, cutaway brightly coloured separates and activist slogan T-shirts, made from deadstock.
Friot believes in fashion’s power to make a statement and drive change. Her Spring/Summer 2023 collection, presented in the Palais de Tokyo, was entitled Love is Love. Soon after, the reversal of legal case Roe v Wade led the supreme court to eliminate the right to abortion in the US. “I thought, ‘wow, we have to build something really different for the next collection’,” the designer says. For Autumn/Winter 2023, Friot will open her presentation with a reading of the 1969 feminist text Les Guérillères, by French writer Monique Wittig, as a statement against the treatment of women protesters in Iran and the overturning of Roe v Wade.
The reversal of US abortion rights also prompted Friot’s collaboration with The Frankie Shop on a capsule of T-shirts and caps in August last year, with the slogan, “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention”, and all profits going to to the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) in the US.
What about the fluffy jeans that typically sold out just three hours after going live on the site? “I could have never guessed!” she laughs. “But, it’s great to see something that really expresses the brand be so successful.”
Friot is developing a new-age luxury label, focused on a womens’ point of view, LGBTQ+ culture and genderless design. Despite resistance from the traditional structures of the fashion industry, Friot is slowly building her business, with community-focused events and responsible production.
Jeanne Friot is a mirror reflecting our multiple identities.
An article by Dominik Böhle.
With notes from Vogues Business, Financial Times and French Fries.
Dominik Böhler is the Editor-at-Large of GAY45. A 25 y.o., PhD candidate, passionate about the transcendence of science in the philosophical stance that emphasizes the individual and social potential and agency of human beings. Works in Vienna and commutes to England at the University of Oxford where to continue the DPhil (doctoral) programme in Information, Communication, and the Social Sciences. Böhler does not have a social media presence.