We at BARE like to take care of our male readers. So, stylish boys out there, pay attention! Caliber.59 offers comfort and style - as founder Virginie Suos put it, "a Caliber.59 T-shirt can make every man look like a model."
I interviewed the founder of Caliber.59 and Cal Haas Alumni, Virginie, and got her to tell us a little about Caliber.59 and male fashion.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your line. What sets it apart from other lines?
My parents are originally from Southeast Asia. I was born and grew up in Paris, France but I have also been living in California for a while now. When I design, I just let myself become inspired by everything around me. Caliber.59 reflects the Parisian Haute Couture mixed with a bit of California’s comfortable lifestyle with urban and stylish looks that can be worn everywhere.
2. I see that you were a business major, what made you go into fashion?I got into Haas thinking that I would work in a corporate office one day. However, after graduating a year early, I spent a few months searching for a passion career, a drive to succeed doing things I like. I tried to think of ways in which I could combine my business and creative interests. I played the piano in a conservatory of music in Paris for eight years, yet I wasn’t ready to start a career as a musician. During college, I started designing, and built a greater career interest for fashion. I knew that working in the fashion industry would be a lot of hard work, but it would certainly be more glamorous and fun at the same time.
3. Cal students have a reputation of being fashion slobs, how did you (or do you) try to go against that reputation while you were a student?
I actually learned to love that aspect of Berkeley, where everyone can be themselves, and feel comfortable wearing anything... or nothing at all! Just joking. Though this is what makes Berkeley so unique. I personally like to bring a sense of fashion; that love for urban and glam looks has stayed with me over the years. However, life comfort is also important, especially during finals; there were also these days where I would just wear my Cal sweater and jeans.
4. What trends do you think will be big for this spring/summer? What would you like to see?
Fashion trends are always unpredictable. You never know what is going to happen next and that is what keeps the industry fresh and interesting. On my part, I will definitely continue to push the envelope with new products and new design challenges. You’ll just have to wait and tune in.
5. What do you think should be every guys' must-have item?
I like when guys look casual, yet stylish. Jeans, nice shoes, a fitted Caliber.59 t-shirt with a blazer that is a bit tailored, not baggy can make every man look like a model. I think everyone should have a great blazer that goes with everything.
6. Who is your style icon? Your inspiration?
Coco Chanel's influence on Haute Couture is really my source of inspiration. She was one of the only French female designer that was extremely determined, talented, and able to build a brand image for herself that is now recognized worldly.
7. Why male fashion and what are your goals for Caliber.59?I simply find more inspiration designing men’s apparel. I also feel that the selection for male fashion these days is rather limited, as compared to womenswear. I started my collection with t-shirts because the cut is simple, yet the style is everlasting. Also, what’s sexier than a man in a fitted T-shirt? In the upcoming months, I plan on generating more designs on 100% cotton, form-fitting shirts. I also want to produce unique cuts for Caliber.59 garments and expand the line to other products such as jeans, perfumes, and accessories. My dream and ultimate goal would be to open a Caliber.59 store on Fifth Avenue in New York City someday.
8. Where can people find your work?
My collection is featured on our website www.caliber59.com. Shirts can also be purchased online without additional shipping fees, for a limited amount of time only, so please visit the website now.
9. Any advice to future Cal grads interested in fashion?
Research what the industry is about, and do not be afraid to try different things. Develop your talents, and be driven to succeed.
Here are a few more photos from their latest shoot this week:
Photography by Stephane Nguyen and Edouard Le Men
BARE Blog Editor