Structured as a book, the new cosmopolitan brand Arjé, based in New York and founded by Oliver Corral and Bessie Afnaim Corral, a couple in work and in life, finds in the subdivision in “Chapters” the best way to tell stories.
The concept of “collection” in the fashion world is revolutionized: with the presentation of three shows a year, each piece is fundamental and inseparable to narrate the evolution of this brand, which can be defined as one of the first “See Now, Buy Now “brand, in fact, every piece is available for purchase two weeks after it has been launched.
Against the waste and the continuous purchases, Arjé’s designers propose a new way of living, made of durable luxury clothes created in the Mediterranean basin.
What characterizes every single dress made by Arjé is the beauty, celebrated in essential forms, inspired by nomadic style, and connected to each other from season to season, year after year.
Linked to the past philosophy, but projected towards a sustainable future, the aim of Arjé is to create an endless world starting from the “essence of everything” to shape a new emotional experience, a new concept of lifestyle.
Can you tell me something about your brand and its concept?
ARJÉ is a modern luxury lifestyle brand and represents the beginning of a new era of luxury fashion. We are building an endless world where we create clothes to live in for Him + for Her.
We are a brand with an ancient soul and a modern mind.
Why the name Arjé? What does it mean?
ARJÉ comes from a word used by ancient Greek Philosophers to describe the essence of everything. This word represents for us the beginning of the beginning of a new era of luxury fashion. And a word that reflects this endless world we are building.
Could Arjé be considered a “life philosophy”?
Absolutely! These clothes, the wardrobe is the beginning of not just a lifestyle brand but truly a way of living – making considered choices that enable and connect us as people.
In your opinion, can luxury be sustainable? If yes, how?
Seeing Arjé as a life philosophy helps answer this question. We all have an important opportunity to reimagine what luxury and consumption is to us. Collectively, We have spent too long making, and buying needlessly. We can all apply a sense of sustainability to our own lives but choosing to buy better, buy less and care more – with Arjé we help achieve this with a collection of inspired luxury essentials that are developed with a close community of makers, minimum waste in the sampling and production process and an effortless synchronisity between our ‘Chapters’.
A huge percentage of the world of fashion ends up in wastelands as too much is produced and we are very conscious as we grow to remain focused and aligned in creating what we believe should and can be consumed and not more.
I’ve read that you identify your collection with the term “Chapter”, why?
Each chapter is rooted in a personal story and philosophy that we are currently experiencing in real life, our inspirations come from an authentic place and as we create these “Chapters” they all completely work with each other season after season year after year. We don’t push you to buy something new “just because” we inspire you to buy something new and wear it back to something you already own.
We made this a promise to our customers and our stores, so essentially pieces never need to go on sale, they don’t have an expiry date and something from Chapter one is just as relevant as a piece from Chapter six.
I’ve read Arjé is like a cultural “melting-pot”, a mix of different cultures: English, Spanish… and Italian! Why you chose Italy for the production?
And Turkish! And American!
We are based in NYC and live between NYC and Italy, to be exact in Umbria where we develop and produce the collection. And we are both from Europe – Oliver from Madrid and Bessie from London.
All of our production is MADE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, with the majority being in Italy, in the Umbria region. We believe MADE IN ITALY is an extremely important aspect to our brand, we work with most amazing fabric mills, producers and suppliers and we believe the quality and attention to detail on our garments really show that the garments are made in Italy.
In your opinion, what’s the future of fashion? How Arjé will be part of it?
On a wider level, the future of fashion is about conscious consumption , not conspicuous consumption. That does not prevent any of us from stopping enjoying fashion! The future of fashion is to encourage people to ask more of the world around them and to see brands grow in a more integrated way into their lives, marrying fashion with retail, experience, travel, food and of course, people!
For us, it will about a complete lifestyle WORLD… including kids wear, homeware and more and more…
Our vision for ARJÉ is about creating a space where you can eat / sleep and be ARJÉ.
We see ARJÉ being a brand that bridges hospitality, experience and retail in one.
Concept that inspired your latest chapter?
The primeval constant of the changing season; at once both an ancient concept that forms the structure of our year, and yet a modern condition of an ever shifting climate, reflected in Chapter Six.
Within the change of the season, the one emotion we constantly wanted to feel and express was “warmth” we built the collections tones on this emotion, are you warm because you are drenched in sunlight, or are you warm because you are covered in cashmere and shearling.
Close your eyes. Imagine a shape or object that let you think about your Country.
We both imagine a circle – a shape that’s both whole and complete and represents stability and roots and strength.
A welcoming space that feels both safe and warm and has space to move and grow in.