HOPER – Madrid
Influenced by objects and minimalist composition, designer Laurent Gibiot’s novel approach to women’s accessories is apparent in each handcrafted collection by HOPER. Based in Madrid, the fashion accessories label features both delicate and durable materials that Gibiot uses to craft intricate and ornate pieces. Each HOPER design is limited, radiating an aura of individualism and exclusivity. Constructed out of leather, metals, and fine fabrics, HOPER accessories have become coveted among many fashion enthusiasts. Check out BANGSTYLE’s interview with the man behind the inventive label: Laurent Gibiot.
BANGSTYLE: Tell us about HOPER and its handcrafted accessories for women.
Laurent Gibiot: HOPER launched last year. It is a collection of carefully handcrafted accessories and goods for women. Based on high quality materials and exclusive handmade production, each item is a limited and unique piece.
BANGSTYLE: Did you always want to design unique handcrafted accessories?
LG: While studying fine arts and then fashion design in Paris, I got more and more interested in objects. For my graduation, I decided to develop an accessories line rather than a fashion collection because I found, in accessories, a way to combine my main interests and skills.
BANGSTYLE: According to the bio on your website, you are from Paris, but you now work in Madrid. Why did you choose to base your label in Madrid?
LG: I came to Madrid for love and stayed.
BANGSTYLE: Your website says that HOPER is your latest project. What other projects have you been involved with?
LG: I worked on a music blog project for two years. The idea was to create a platform in which we could publish and share play-lists assembled by artists, musicians, and designers. It was a great experience, but then I started to develop HOPER and felt the need to only focus on this new challenge.
BANGSTYLE: What materials do you use to craft HOPER accessories?
LG: Mainly leather but also metals and fine fabrics. For me, materials are really important and always carefully chosen. They are key in all HOPER collections.
BANGSTYLE: What influences your designs?
LG: My main influences are objects, design, and minimal art.
BANGSTYLE: Your website says that each piece is limited. Can you explain why you chose to do this with your work?
LG: When I started HOPER, I decided to handcraft every single detail of every single item. For this matter and the level of detail, there is no other way than to do it myself. This is why all of the pieces are limited.
BANGSTYLE: You have a list of tracks on the HOPER Tumblr account. Are you inspired to create your collections by the music you listen to?
LG: Music is present in my everyday life, but it is not the inspiration. Music is the channel in which I find my inspiration.
BANGSTYLE: Your promotional video (“Wish You Were Here”) is very tasteful. Can you tell us the story behind creating the video? Also, is the collection also called “Wish You Were Here?”
LG: “Wish You Were Here” is both the name of the video and the collection. The video came as an opportunity out of the campaign photo-shoot. The place had so much charm that we went ahead and filmed it even though it was not planned.
BANGSTYLE: Can you tell us a little about your design process?
LG: I don’t work using a mood board; I prefer to start working on a technique or precise idea—playing with materials and colors. I love this phase of experimentation: manual work, making prototypes with paper or cardboard. It’s the moment that I get a view on what the collection is going to be and the direction I’m taking. Then, I draw the whole thing and produce it.
BANGSTYLE: HOPER accessories can be purchased on your website. Where else can fashionistas find HOPER accessories?
LG: HOPER accessories can be purchased worldwide on our online shop and in select stores in Madrid.
BANGSTYLE: We love the name of your latest collection, “Para Siempre.” Why did you choose this name?
LG: “Para Siempre” means forever. It is a phrase I’ve had in mind for a long time now. While working on the summer collection, I was thinking of designing what would be the HOPER classics, a series of simple pieces that would be the essence of the brand. This is the reason why it is called Forever.
BANGSTYLE: Can you tell us about your latest collection?
LG: The latest collection is mainly set on lamb leather origami and the incorporation of unique python skin. It was particularly exciting because I was able to create something more feminine by adding silk ribbon for closure. I think this detail gives a delicate touch to the whole piece.
BANGSTYLE: Which pieces/collections are you most proud of?
LG: I’m really happy with the result on every collection. The origami technique never ceases to amaze me, even more so when I manipulate it with leather.
BANGSTYLE: You have a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid logo in the Invitation section of your website. Which pieces were featured at fashion week and which year(s) did you showcase your work?
LG: I had the opportunity to showcase HOPER Summer 2012 and next Winter 2012-13 collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid last February.
BANGSTYLE: Where do you see HOPER in five years?
LG: I want HOPER to become a concept, more than a fashion label. All kind of things that interest me, mixed up in a sole idea, and from there develop different kinds of projects.