- Photography by Mr Dima Hohlov
- Styling by Mr Tony Cook, Junior Fashion Editor, MR PORTER
- Words by Mr Peter Henderson, Senior Fashion Writer, MR PORTER
When Paris-based businessman Mr Jean-Victor Meyers couldn't find cashmere knits which met his exacting standards, he decided to collaborate with a close friend, Mr Louis Leboiteux, and make his own. In this way Exemplaire was born, and since its inception in February 2012 this young label has carved out a niche for itself by offering knits that match the quality of traditional brands such as Loro Piana and Hermès with the fashionable, clean aesthetic common to names such as Saint Laurent and Dior Homme.
"On the one hand you had sweaters which were very high quality and very classic, and on the other there were 'designer' ones which were available in slimmer fits, with darker colours and leather detailing, but there were none which combined the look I wanted with the level of quality," Mr Meyers explains.
It's all about having a nonchalant attitude... and of course there's a hint of rock'n'roll attitude too
Exemplaire now fills that gap in the market nicely with its precisely cut, sombre-coloured knits that work as well in the office as they do for a night on the town. "They're also great for travelling," Mr Meyers says, "since cashmere is a very luxurious fabric, but it's also extremely comfortable, and that tactile appeal can be welcome on long flights." Whether you opt for the turtleneck cableknit, the shawl-collar zip-up cardigan or one of the classic crew or V necks, you can be sure that the quality and finishing will be impeccable.
"As well as working with the world's leading cashmere supplier to get the best yarns, we also work with highly skilled craftsmen in France and Italy to construct the pieces properly," Mr Meyers tells us. And what about the secret to getting that Parisian look which Exemplaire encapsulates so well? "It's all about having a nonchalant attitude, and investing in discreet yet sophisticated pieces with subtle details that you can carry over from season to season," he says, "and of course there's a hint of rock'n'roll attitude too." Click through the gallery, above, to view the collection.