As part of our showroom photo shoot series (see James Coviello and JF & Son for more) we popped into Archetype showroom to shoot the Corpus Fall 08 collection. Earlier that day, we had a rager over the revival of acid wash (didn't this just happen) and when we got to the showroom, low and behold, a pair of cherry red acid washed jeans were looking us in the eye. So, we thought of the shoot from the vantage point of a prep school in the early 1990's. Maybe even an English prep school, we thought, which probably popped into our minds with our model Estella, telling us about her move to New York from sunny London. We first saw the Corpus Fall 08 collection at Capsule, and right away the Navajo print cardigan caught our eye. One of the first major purchases everyone makes when Fall is on it's way is a new cozy cardi. It's hard to think about now, as all New York has on it's mind are the sweet blue skies of summer. But it's true. If you think back to the first time there's a chill in the air, the first time you opt for a hot coffee and a croissant over an iced coffee and a bowl of Margarita, you start thinking about cozy knits and country homes. Queue Navajo print. Seriously, it conjures all of those cozy cravings in one fell swoop. Funnily enough, the guys behind Corpus, Jerrod Cornish and Keith Richardson, live in Los Angeles. Somehow, the pair have captured an East Coast moment with their Fall 08 prep school versus the college professor vibe. Like romanticizing a change in seasons, maybe a little bit of distance makes for a brighter future. Our interview with Corpus below as well as our exclusive Coutorture editorial of the Fall 08 collection.
Can you tell us a little bit how Corpus began?
Jerrod and I had been friends for awhile. One day we were talking and decided that we wanted to start a clothing line. We saw something missing in the market and wanted to fill that void.
What was missing? Was it a few specific garments you envisioned, or a particul aesthetic?
We felt there was a lot missing. This was over 5 years ago when we started the process of getting Corpus rolling. Streetwear was huge and there wasn't much of a middle ground between high fashion and low priced clothing. So we set out to do clothes that were not cheap but also not trying to be a uber fashion like Lanvin. We wanted to make quality fashionable clothes that you can wear but didn't look like you were walking down a runway.
Do you think there is anything inherently West Coast about the brand?
The West Coast is amazing and we are very proud of residing here. But our brand is not like most brands from the West as far as the styling and type of garments we make. There are not many people making moreno cashmere sweaters with navajo prints knit into them out here. But the West Coast resides in places for sure in the brand I just can't put my finger on it.
May, over at Archetype, told me that you were friends with the designers of Fremont. Are many of your friends designers or artists of some sort?
Yes we know Devon. He's great. We have many friends in the creative feilds. Its great to be around like minded people no matter what form or art the do music, paiting, fashion etc.
Is it difficult to be immersed in a community of other designers and artists and yet still create collections that are, to you, nonconformist?
No because most clothing in our category looks the same. And in LA there are not many clothing designers we are inspired by. Its more like minded people that inspire us. We spend a lot of time in New York and get direct inspiration from fashion designers and artists and just the general public in New York but in LA there is a disconnect--your in your car all day. You just don't see many people in LA. Its your home, to your car, to work, back to your car, and home. It's hard to get inspired living that lifestyle. You have to look much harder to see what's out here.
If Corpus had a manifesto, what would it be?
Just to make clothes we are proud to put out there. Never conforming to what the rest of the market is doing.
How do you differentiate between the women's and mens lines? Do you treat them as separate entities, design everything at the same time, design something unisex and spin it in two directions, or some combination of all of these things?
The womens line is growing slowly into its own entity. Soon we will have more womens specific pieces.