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Christophe Copin: Dress for yourself

The head of menswear design at COS is inspired by music and movement

It’s important to feel comfortable and feel confident in what you’re wearing.

My earliest fashion memory is… the first time I opened French Vogue when I was young. I remember thinking how bright and light everything was — fashion should always be light and carefree, and this is something I always try to keep in mind.

The most stylish item I own is… I’d say a white shirt that we created for the COS Pitti Uomo Soma collection. We focused on the fabric and connected the design to the movement of the wearer. Knowing the full journey behind creating the piece and, of course, its emotional connection to the performance with Wayne McGregor, makes it a unique piece in my wardrobe.

My most valuable item is… For me it’s simply the everyday. I feel so lucky to wake up and do something I love and am good at — it’s very inspiring and something I believe should not be taken for granted.

It’s important to feel comfortable and feel confident in what you’re wearing.

The difference between fashion and style is… In my opinion, these are two completely different things; fashion is easily accessible and can be replicated, whereas style is more of a mindset. I look at certain people, both young and old, and everything just looks effortless and sits beautifully on them; it’s just part of their character.

The one look I wish I could pull off is… When I was very young, I would wear a yellow towelling co-ord set, which I loved. I don’t think I could get away with that now, but it remains a fond memory from my childhood!

The one item nobody should wear is… I don’t believe there are any pieces we should not wear, but it’s important to feel comfortable and feel confident in what you’re wearing. I encourage people to dress according to the way they are feeling, which can change each day — it’s about dressing for yourself and your own mindset.

What are your thoughts on accessories? Accessories are as valuable as the garment itself and can often be the important details that create the final silhouette.

When I shop I… try to let my mind go. I often have something I’m searching for, but sometimes I just look at everything and see what grabs me. It’s a bit like my morning routine — I love to listen to music and some days I know exactly what I want to listen to, but depending on my mood it can sometimes take time to find my way.

Do you prefer bricks or clicks? I really don’t have a preference; they’re such different experiences, like reading a digital book or holding the paper in your hands. Both are useful, and both are enjoyable if you have a good experience.

Who would you say is the most stylish man to have ever lived? I have a lot of people I look to for inspiration, but right now I would say Serge Gainsbourg. He wore very simple, classic pieces in such an elegant way and always looked so chic. He was also very talented, which only added to his charm.

If you could invite three designers (past or present) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve? The first person I’d invite is American photographer Saul Leiter. A book with his quotes was published recently, and his writing is fantastic. Then I’d say Christian Boltanski — he’s one of my favourite artists and is both very conceptual and straightforward. Lastly, I’d invite Martin Margiela. I’ve met him before and he’s someone you can’t forget. He finds beauty in things that nobody’s seen and has pushed so many boundaries, which really moves me.
I’d love to meet over a simple breakfast of coffee, baguettes and salted butter. It doesn’t need to be early, but I find it a great way to start the day and wake your mind.

The one item I can’t live without is… a pen and paper. I carry these with me all the time, day and night.

What I like best about my role is… that you’re always surrounded by different talent and people who are so passionate about what they do. I work with such a mix of different departments, which always creates interesting discussions and ideas. We are always very open, and you need these different ideas to take the collections to new places.

How do you feel about the industry? I don’t really think of it as an industry, more of people creating things out of a passion — doing what they love. The word industry suggests that the garments are simply designed and manufactured, but there’s such skill and craftsmanship that go into the process, which is incredibly important and that we shouldn’t forget.

If I weren’t in fashion, I would… be an architect; possibly a landscape architect. I draw a lot of inspiration from this field and am always inspired by the work of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and how he created such interesting and futuristic designs from concrete.

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