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Laurenceairline is a small Paris-based menswear label, that was founded less than a year ago by Laurence Chauvin Buthaud who was born in Ivory Coast in Africa. She was raised in Switzerland and spent most of her childhood there before moving to Paris, where she then worked for Louis Vuitton, as well as with French fashion journalist and television personality Agnès Boulard. Today she is one of France’s emerging designers.

In her collections Buthaud avoids the traditional ‘tribal’ clichés that are too often associated with African inspired fashion. Instead Laurenceairline re-imagines the continent’s cultural inheritance in a distinctly modern and international way with excellent fabric sourcing, sleek sophisticated construction, great prints and daring panelling. For Fall/Winter 2012, the brand’s second season, Buthaud mixed African influences with Japanese polka dots and Scottish plaid.

As taken from an interview by The Business Of Fashion the entire line is also made in accordance with ethical manufacturing practices in a workshop in Ivory Coast, which Buthaud founded herself, along with a training programme for local employees. “We started up a real training centre there; we train people on their sewing techniques and then we offer them a job with us in the factory.”

Why the name? “Because I feel like I spend most of my life in planes,” she says.

Words by Georgia Reeve
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