Among the crew of fashion wisemen assembled by Yohji Yamamoto in the Hyères 2012 jury is Alan Bilzerian, owner of the eponym Boston boutique, who was kind enough to answer the questions of the Hyères partner blogs…
How important is craftsmanship in a collection for you?
Actually, its one of the first points that bring me closer to the designer. It puts a skip in my step when young designers succeed in translating quality.
When looking at the Hyères ranges, what is more important to you, the designer’s ability to conceptualize a range and see it through to its most artistic and expressive, or do you focus strongly on the commercial viability of the ranges?
I feel very uncomfortable about looking at large ranges of any designer. I believe you can exhibit your emotion of design very clearly in short exhibitions. But I look at both the commercial side as well as artistic expression.
How supportive are your consumers to young designers? What is the most challenging aspect of trying to sell a young designer, and what can the designers do about it?
The consumer will listen to us about any new designer and will certainly give it a chance with a try on or touch. The competition is so strong because of the immense amount of product, we feel you need a little push from the editorial side and a strong support system with shops of high caliber.
The corporate fashion conglomerates are assembling more and more brands under their umbrella and control through advertising the exposure of fashion in the editorials.This makes it harder for young, independent designers to create visibility and establish their vision and brands. How do you see this affecting your work as a buyer?
Its always very challenging to move into new names because in my shops I like consistency to prove that I made the right decision for the customer. The fashion umbrella of the conglomerates are needed as well because of the visible progress shown to the consumer, it helps momentum.
What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?