Carven is a happy brand, with an optimistic feeling," says Mr Guillaume Henry, the designer responsible for giving this Parisian fashion house a new lease of life in the 21st century. "The challenge was to provide something with quality and style, which is also affordable." Founded in 1945 by Ms Carmen de Tommaso, the label had lain dormant for several years before Mr Henry, a former assistant to Mr Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, was hired in 2009 to oversee its revival. With the womenswear line his clean, contemporary aesthetic (available at an attractive price point, especially given the hand finishing that goes into each piece) immediately won Carven a new wave of female fans.
Instead of resting on his laurels, though, Mr Henry decided to launch the label's debut menswear collection this season, with impressive results. "When we first started working on menswear we decided to take the codes of what we do with the female line, but instead of copying them, to adapt them to a male wardrobe. So we propose a real wardrobe for everyday life, but with a charming French touch," the designer explains. Wardrobe staples inspired by "1950s style and 1950s shapes", with an elegant Parisian edge? Count us in. "The best way to wear this collection is your own way - mix it the way you want," Mr Henry says, summing up the appeal of Carven's fresh, wonderfully easy to wear pieces.