AITOR THROUP NAMED CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF G-STAR
By Crash redaction
G-STAR APPOINTS AITOR THROUP AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Following three years as a creative consultant for the Amsterdam-based label, Aitor Throup has just been named G-Star’s new creative director. The 36-year-old designer is responsible for some of G-Star great successes, such as the recently launched Raw Research Lab and “What is Raw?” campaign. Throup also designed the new Elwood 5620 Motion and 3D Staq models, which makes him the perfect candidate to take on the role of Creative Director. In honor of his appointment, we take a look at our interview with Throup from Crash 77 From Paris With Love, where he talks about his career as a designer, his work for G-Star, and the groundbreaking Raw Research Collection.
For over twenty years, G-Star has pushed the boundaries of denim with one constant motto: “Just the Product.” Developing a pioneering approach that fueled the Amsterdam-based label’s meteoric rise, G-Star revolutionized our common conception of denim through the groundbreaking 3D pattern-making technique at the origin of the G-Star Elwood, its most iconic pair of jeans to date. As the Elwood celebrates its twentieth anniversary, innovation and experimentation are just as present as ever before. Last June, G-Star presented the RAW Research collection, the first ever collection originating from the newly created RAW Research Lab. Curated at a high level, the collection will be distributed in select concept stores starting in November. Initiating this groundbreaking business model, one creative has teamed up with G-Star on its development: designer and multidisciplinary artist Aitor Throup.
Growing up in Argentina, Throup discovered a passion for drawing. His mother was a medical student, which accustomed him from a young age to movement and anatomy: “My sister and I used to go to her lectures with her because there wasn’t anybody to look after us. We were surrounded by medical books, so this idea of human anatomy being horrific wasn’t true for me.” Moving to Madrid around the age of eight opened his eyes to the visual arts. “We were always surrounded by works of Picasso, Goya, Velasquez, the Spanish greats…” Embracing comic books and football culture after his family moved to England, his broad and varied influences paved the way for a career as a multitalented designer, eventually leading him to create his own label: New Object Research. Joining G-Star in 2014 as creative consultant, Throup sank his teeth into different aspects of the brand, including store design and art direction. “I was so impressed because I had no idea they had such an amazing heritage and such an incredible product sensibility.” Sharing this sensibility with G-Star, Throup quickly earned his stripes within the company.
“We’d been talking for about a year and a half, trying things, changing the way we operate. Only then I felt ready to suggest creating a design lab. What would happen if we tried to work outside the system and re-imagine the philosophy of the brand without the commercial pressure?”
His professional journey led him to initiate the RAW Research Lab about a year ago. “We’d been talking for about a year and a half, trying things, changing the way we operate. Only then I felt ready to suggest creating a design lab. What would happen if we tried to work outside the system and re-imagine the philosophy of the brand without the commercial pressure?” That’s RAW Research right there: a place for product experimentation through innovative approaches. “The way G-Star has actually developed new products is always through innovation,” Throup underlines.
The lab soon gave birth to the G-Star RAW Research collection, a 20-piece premium line spanning the full spectrum of denim, from its rigid and untreated state to a maximized bleached-out effect. “I love this idea of minimal maximalism,” says Throup. Entirely focused on the product, the RAW Research collection fully embodies the G-Star DNA. While it showcases all of G-Star’s skills, the line was not originally conceived as a stand-alone collection: “Looking at these rails of prototypes, we saw a value in that clarity from a design perspective as well as a consumer perspective. We wanted to see that in a shop.”
Of course, embarking on such a groundbreaking business model has its fair share of challenges: “When you innovate, you’re basically making your life very difficult.” As a result, G-Star expanded its relationship with Bionic Yarn, integrating its technology into the main collection in order to strengthen the link between innovation and sustainability. Working with specialized factories, G-Star found a way to maximize sustainability during the denim bleaching process, which ordinarily takes a huge toll on the environment. “The only way we can do something so extreme is to do it in a sustainable way.”
“I think any brand should have the responsibility of taking those challenges and improving the world by showing new possibilities, otherwise we just become sterile.” Though it is not a fashion line in the traditional sense, Aitor Throup’s G-Star RAW Research collection offers the most accurate and innovative translation of G-Star’s core concern: the product.
Grab your copy of Crash 77 From Paris With Love HERE
Portrait by Elise Toïdé for Crash