For todays article I had the pleasure of interviewing the up and coming designer Nicolas De Contades, the face behind minimalistic brand GarpArt, which was founded in 2006.

De Contades is a Swiss designer with his showroom based in Milan, who uses everyday inspiration such as literature and cinema to create clean-cut designs of different fabrics suitable for people all over the world. Here I ask him a couple of questions on how he started, where his inspiration comes from and much more! Keep reading for the full interview below!

1. Tell us how you started 

GarpArt was born from my enthusiastic passion for contemporary art. From a personal need to have graphic t-shirts with a relevant artistic aspect, that is how my friendship with FAUSTO GILBERTI, an extraordinary subtle ironic artist, was born. I wanted to bring his art out of the museums and share it with everyone, associating it with a well-refined product. I wanted to avoid creating a product that could be found at a museum shop, therefore I attentively selected the fabrics and the cut of my first t-shirts and I carefully chose a well thought packaging. Firstly, the product had to be well refined and of perfect quality. At the time it was a novelty to have t-shirts with an artistic attribute distributed in luxury multi-branded stores, especially with a relevant artistic stamp that could be recognized.

2. How do you manage to stay on top of the latest trends?

I don’t follow the latest trends, unfortunately I don’t decide the trends of upcoming seasons such as Prada, Commes des Garçons, Marni – a few of my favorites. It’s up to them.


3. Describe your creative process

My creative process essentially has a lot of freedom and my ideas for clothing and accessories are spontaneous as the concepts come to my mind at the time of the creation. Paradoxically I realize this only at the end and when the collection is finished. The greatest influences come from music, cinema, literature, art, but also markets I come across when walking around Milan or around the world. Others include the people I meet as well as new technology such as the Internet. The structures of the clothing are minimalistic and sometimes asymmetrical. I also like purity, freshness and lightweight features. This year I’ve used a lot of organza, creating an illusion of transparency on dresses, skirts and tops, it’s light and feminine thanks to its pleats and ruffles. I like to combine different fabrics and materials with weights and contrasting aspects, such as cotton, linen and pvc, but also jersey and poplin, nylon with special coating etc.

4. What age range do you target?

I think I have an eclectic mix of clients from different age groups but all have in common, being ironic, curious, cultured and chic.

5. What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses in the art of fashion?

Having the will to learn and to always do my best. Love, passion, enthusiasm, tenacity (which is fundamental) and curiosity would be the strongest points of my work. There are too many weaknesses.

6. What are your plans for the future? 
I aim to grow one step at a time in the volume of sales (to this day GarpArt is present in about 50 luxury multi-branded stores in the world) as well as, and especially in the number of products.


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