|Occupation||Fashion designer, creative director, journalist, dj, entrepreneur|
|Known for||L'Épicerie, Cire Trudon, Officine Universelle Buly 1803|
Ramdane Touhami (born 23 September 1974 in Montauban, France) is a French-Moroccan artist, fashion designer, product designer, DJ, business man and journalist.
Often called " a multi-disciplinary and polymath entrepreneur " by the international press, he has created different companies in the fashion, art, PR, and beauty industry since the early 90s.
- 1 Influence of skateboarding on fashion
- 2 L’Épicerie
- 3 Projet Hypeteam
- 4 Fashion designer: Japanese inspiration
- 5 Aesthetics: From fashion to fragrances
- 6 Collaborations
- 7 Additional projects
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Influence of skateboarding on fashion
In 1993, he created the first "Teuchy" tee-shirt, a spontaneous sample of "Stussy", the famous tag of a skateboarding label. Not long after, Ramdane Touhami sampled a second brand, " Teuchiland ", riffing on the Timberland logo with a reference to cannabis. The brand's t-shirt was sold in twenty shops.
In 1996, aiming to search for a music producer, he leaves his hometown and goes to Paris, " with 50 French Francs and a pair of underwear ", he quotes. Looking for a new experience, he introduces himself as a stylist, around the Sentier neighborhood, known as a textile and garment manufacturing district. He is then hired by one shop, and thanks to this last one's support, Ramdane Touhami launches the French skateboard clothing brand " King Size ". The brand is sold in sixty shops, and sponsors skateboard champion, Tom Penny.
During his " King Size " phase, the idea of creating a place where he could present a selection of aesthetic creations, from clothing, accessories, to music, magazines and art pieces was born. But the project wasn't ready yet, due to financial reasons.
In January 1997, Ramdane Touhami is ready to launch his project, when, Colette, a new concept store opens at Rue Saint Honoré, in the 2nd district in Paris. He creates a new t-shirt called Polette (mocking Colette), which becomes an immediate buzz, due to the cynical and ironic tone of the text written on the back of the t-shirt. 286 copies of it were sold through different distribution channels.
Opened on 17 September 1998, at 30, rue du Temple, in the 3rd district in Paris. L’Épicerie embodies the anti-Colette. With his friend, Artus de Lavilléon, he created an activist movement dedicated to support new rising designers. The idea captured the attention of renowned designers such as Jeremy Scott, Marc Jacobs, Jean Touitou, Jérôme Dreyfuss. L’Épicerie slowly becomes, both a music shop and an art gallery. The collaborations with different designers are a big success, " X by l’Épicerie ", " L’Épicerie by X " and this is when, the shop starts to be called " the trendiest shop in Europe " by Dazed & Confused, Herald Tribune[SIA disambiguation needed], Le Monde, Vogue and The New York Times.
On 3 April 1999, l’Épicerie closes its doors.
Consulted by Renault, for creative design research, he starts working on different side project of his own. In 1999, he launches " hypeteam.com ", a website result of his travels to Japan and the discovery of unknown and forgotten European brands. Without this technology, all of these treasures would have remained inaccessible.
The website was developed as an international airport, with destinations three destinations, Paris, Stockholm and Tokyo. A specific universe corresponds to each "boarding area", including different boutiques and categories of purchases on the site.
The products sold on Hypeteam were not available outside the website, a selection of imported goods and exclusive sales.
Fashion designer: Japanese inspiration
Headed by Riku Susuki, the Japanese Group Sazaby wants to reinvent their brand. The group owns a brand store which can make this mission possible, And.A. It counts with thirteen shops, and targets a " salary japanese woman ", offering goods such as, tableware, accessories, clothing, plants). The aim is to relaunch the brand and repositioning it, with a more coherent and improved brand image.
Ramdane Touhami is named creative director, and on 25 April 2000, he moves to Tokyo, in order to set up a new team and a new office. Everything has to be completely redesigned, without disintegrating the brand image. The interior architecture of the boutique stores, the visual identity and marketing materials, purchasing, display, the creation of clothing collections for men and women, and even the musical selection.
College et Coolax
He starts this new project with a clean slate, which includes two clothing-line collections and accessories for And.A, College (the first preppy revival) and Coolax (street), a specialized selection of products (electronics, furniture, books, magazines, jewels…) and a policy of selective releases or reissues of products (watches), the new personality of And.A.’s line.
Additionally, he starts prospecting, selecting and negotiating with new suppliers. Ramdane Touhami himself performed these "door-to-door" calls to better inspire confidence in the brand's renewal among his contacts and manufacturers.
The collection designed by him for And.A is called "Collège". A curious class photo inspired him: the unusual mental tableau of two rows of half-Tokyoite, half-Oxfordian schoolchildren led him to revisit “school clothes”. The result was a hybrid between the clothes worn by British and Japanese secondary school students. Playing on the constraint of the uniform, of the off-beat creativity generated by this code, he found ways to reach a market known to be difficult and very choosy through one of his iconic themes. Interpreting outfit elements one by one (three-quarter raincoats, pleated skirts, trousers, shirts, cardigans, teddy), Ramdane Touhami brought them forward to free them from constraints. Tools of predilection, prints, patches, shoulder patches, punctuate his work, as well as the attention paid to fabric selection and the care for details. The collection was presented in Paris in October and in Tokyo in November 2000.
“Coolax”, a collection designed for a more masculine and street public. This collection will only be sold in Osaka and Aoyama. Consisting on t-shirts, trousers, sweats, jackets and accessories marked with a gold rivet, (one of the designer's signatures).The thirteen boutiques opened their doors on 12 March 2001.
For this collection, he uses the same camouflage print launched in 1998, by l’Épicerie, which becomes one of its classics.
Each of these collections, " Collège " and " Coolax " has its own graphic identity.
Along with his team, he designs the architecture of the shops and works on each one's visual identity. Therefore, each collection has a strong image.
He uses a matt black cube when designing the shops. This cube, in all its forms, creates step by step, the universe of the shops (façade, internal volume, furniture, lighting).
RT and Résistance
Ramdane Touhami launches a chic, classic, made by local craftsmen new clothing line, called RT. He designs and develops the fabric and the printed patterns which are used in the collection. All the pattern making takes place in Japan.
A second brand called Résistance is then launched. This last one has a more urban style. The designer honors some of the most important historic and politic icons. In terms of distribution, Ramdane Touhami, decides to do a pop-up store, before the increase in popularity of concept stores. The Parisian shop, placed in the heart of the Latin Quarter, is called " bureau politique " (Political Office). They don't show any clothing piece on the window display.
From the selection of atypical models, the catwalk decor, the design of the shops, to its staff and musical conception, Touhami works alongside : Howie B, the Black Panthers, Hangin Tan, Darius Khondji, Philippe Parreno.
R.T. & Résistance clothing lines are sold in 180 retail stores around the world : " Maria Luisa " in Paris, " Nom de guerre " in New York City, " Isetan " à Tokyo, among others.
Aesthetics: From fashion to fragrances
Upon his return to France, he starts a new entrepreneurship project. Inspired by his wife’s passion, he creates, with a small budget, a new concept store specialized in beauty and cosmetics, called Parfumerie Générale. Located in the 8th district of Paris, this discret concept store opens its doors, offering a selection of one hundred brands. Most of them, unknown to the public, arrive for the first time to the French market.
As the creative director, he designs a shop dedicated to men, mixing the concept of a beauty bar with the one of a barber shop corner. A different color is used to differentiate each product category, a unique graphic universe, with the aim of breaking the rules of the existent beauty shops. The cosmetic's industry luxury codes are updated, all the skincare and makeup are displayed by categories. A mail order catalogue, a graphic novel " Beauty Notes " are launched. A second sale point is created at the French department store, Printemps.
In 2006, a French wax manufacture owner offers Ramdane Touhami the possibility of taking over the company with him, in order to reinvent it. Touhami starts studying the history of the company, and rediscovers the history of the " Trudon Manufacture ". A company founded on 1643, and appointed the title of " Royal candle maker ".
Officine Universelle Buly 1803
Alongside his wife, Victoire de Taillac, he reinvented the 19th-century perfumery, of the once master perfumer Jean-Vincent Buly. He is the inspiration behind 1839 Honoré de Balzac’s, Cesar Birotteau book. An ancient apothecary, a one of a kind perfumery and a worldwide source of unknown beauty secrets, l'Officine Universelle Buly 1803 embodies a quintessential beauty.
In 2014, the duo opens their first old-school apothecary, at 6, rue Bonaparte, in the 6th district in Paris, and their second one, in 2017 in the trendy Parisian neighborhood, le Marais at 45, rue de Saintonge, in the 3rd district in Paris. Within this last address, they awaken another 19th-century Parisian legend, the Café Tortoni (originally located on Boulevard des italiens), associated also to "Nani Koré", a Japanese bakery stand and finally, a dried-flower florist. L’Officine Universelle Buly has been called the " New French Empire " by journals like The New York Times, and today it counts with shops in Taipei Tokyo, New York City, London, Hong Kong Seoul.
Bon Marché’s " Corner 33 1 R lax "
In 1999, while Ramdane Touhami was working on the " hypeteam.com ", the Parisian department store, Le Bon Marché, reaches out to him in order to work a new project. This one consists on designing the " hype corner " on Paris’ Left bank. He creates the " 33 1 R lax ", an area reuniting magazines, CDs, electronic devices, furniture, accessories. He works once again with Yorgo Tloupas for the visual identity of the place.
Searching to reinvent their brand concept, Santa Eulalia, a luxury shop based in Barcelona, Spain contacts him to do the job. Founded in 1843, the brand belongs since the 19th-century to the Sanz, a traditional and genuine Catalan family.
Ramdane Touhami sets up a " bar à eaux de cologne " (perfume bar), the idea behind it was to create a perfumer's palette, with different types of scents. For the restaurant, he created a bistro-inspired decoration with Thonet chairs, with a menu offering typical and casual Catalan food.
- 2001: Launching of VDT press office alongside Victoire de Taillac (ex communication director at Colette).
- 2003: Participation at " Hello Kitty's 30th birthday " exhibit at Mory Museum, in Tokyo.
- 2004: Day 14 publishing books associated.
- 2005: Regular contributor to Jalouse, L’Officiel, V Magazine, Intersection.
- 2006: Collaboration on Black Panther's 40th birthday collection.
- 2006: " View of the sea ", first movie directed with French graphic artist Artus de Lavilléon.
- 2007: Costume designer for " Il tempo del postino ", at Manchester International Festival.
- 2013: Launching of the independent beauty magazine " Corpus " alongside Victoire de Taillac.
- 2017: Judge at the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2017.
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