Tell us about Antonin Tron; what are your defining characteristics?
I am a very active person, I love sports. I practice boxing and yoga regularly, and try as much as possible to surf, which is my passion. Physicality is very important to me, and I try to communicate this through ATLEIN. I always put the body first. Movement, and comfort, is my priority.
Tell us about the early days; what was your vision when you set out? And have things played out how you expected?
Funding ATLEIN was a way to create my own world with my own set of rules and making fashion with the values that are important to me: quality, creativity and independence. In this sense, yes, I am still working with the same cornerstones. Surely, building an independent House is an enormous challenge, and it requires strong will and a good dose of fortune.
What was your background before launching Atelin?
I started studying literature in Paris. A friend of mine was studying at the Royal Academy of Antwerp. I was immediately pulled into its pure creative world. I decided to apply and was accepted. After the academy, I interned for Raf Simons, then moving to Louis Vuitton, and eventually Givenchy and Balenciaga.
Where did you grow up? Has it had a lasting impression on your creativity?
I was born and raised in Paris. However, I have also spent a big part of my life outdoors, in the countryside and on the ocean. There is a duality in between the very urban and the very natural that has shaped me since the beginning, and I feel it in ATLEIN as well. Paris is culturally extremely rich and I was lucky to have access to all of this from a young age. I hope this sense of European culture is also present in ATLEIN, the respect for heritage and tradition, the past informing the future.
What advice would you give your younger self?
As I was told by someone when I was younger "don't listen to advice". I would say the same.
What is the philosophy behind ATLEIN?
ATLEIN was a secret word of mine, It came up many years ago as I was going surfing. For me, it describes a feeling, the one I feel before diving into the ocean. Literally, the word ATLEIN comes directly from the word Atlantic. The ocean, and nature are very important to me.
As most people from my generation, I feel a strong connection to the environment and the health of our planet. I wanted to give ATLEIN a conscious mind, the one I have. It is also one of the reasons why I left big houses. I wanted to create something that felt smaller, more independent, on a human scale. ATLEIN is sourced and produced locally, mostly in France from family run factories and ateliers, as low carbon footprint is very important. Moreover, a part of the collection is always developed with luxury stock fabrics from heritage french houses. This allows us to be conscious of our design process, and minimise the buy of new materials.
Where do you find inspiration? How does that design process start for you?
ATLEIN is about construction and materials. I use my hands and let the fabrics guide. It is a very instinctive process, physical.
Tell us about you’re A/W 18 collection and the influences that inspired it?
It was relating to my personal experience as a surfer. The whole thing. The sensuality and energy I find in this practice. The deep connection with the natural world. Fluidity and structure. Surfing construction details are placed on many pieces, sometimes in a more obvious way, sometimes it's just about construction. The client may not notice it, but she will feel it as she wears it and lives in it. In the collection notes, I have quoted Barbarian Days, a beautiful book by William Finnegan I read last year. It describes perfectly well the experience of surfing, in its most poetic way. It truly touched me.
What's next for Atelin and Antonin Tron?
Keep our focus, which is easier said than done, and develop the House in a healthy, honest way.