NYC-based designer Victor Glemaud has quite the fashion-industry resume: a degree from FIT, prominent roles at Paco Rabanne and Tommy Hilfiger, and time spent as a publicist for Versace and Marc Jacobs. Today, however, the Haitian-born Glemaud is best known for his namesake label and vibrant knitwear, worn by everyone from Michelle Obama and Florence Pugh to Issa Rae and Laura Harrier. Like many, the designer has found himself changing course in the wake of a global pandemic and social unrest, though not stepping back completely from work.
“Creatively I’ve been on a roller coaster,” he tells Bustle. “I planned for my next collection to be dark and drab. Now, three months in, I’m dreaming again and will infuse that spirit into the next collection. Joy and optimism are needed in fashion, and in the world, now more than ever.”
The recent relaunch of the Victor Glemaud website speaks to that sentiment. The designer tapped models Indira Scott and Precious Lee, curator Kimberly Drew, and singer Adeline for his Fall 2020 campaign —a celebration of both his designs and his brand's commitment to size inclusivity.
In keeping with today’s social distancing measures, Scott, Lee, Drew and Adeline each recorded videos of themselves at home in the collection, which is available in sizes L-3X. “We were all in different places [but] bringing the same vibe,” he explains. “The most exciting element of the campaign is how celebratory everything is. In each video you can see how much they love each look and are having fun. Pure joy!”
Among pieces featured in the campaign are a pair of midi skirts — one solid A-line and one color-blocked pencil silhouette — a merino belted trench, and Glemaud’s favorite, a red cut-out maxi dress. “It's such a versatile dress. I’m really into the idea that every piece we design functions in different parts of your life, and this dress does that depending on how you style it,” he says.
In terms of size inclusivity, it’s something Glemaud has long pondered. “As a designer and consumer, I often find that size inclusivity is an afterthought in fashion,” he says. “This is something I’ve been thinking about for years. I took a leap of faith to pivot now because it was the right thing. We are starting to build real relationships with customers organically due to the fact that my brand has always celebrated inclusiveness and body-positivity with the celebrities and [the] casts we work with.”
Inevitably, the Glemaud brand ethos is making its way into the designer’s wardrobe. Describing his style as “joyful and colorful” he adds, “I’m very specific about cut, color and fabrications. Everything needs to be nice on the skin, breathable. I only wear natural fabrics which is why I only use them in my designs.” Recently, he’s found himself buying pieces from Nike and LA-based brand RTH, favoring a palette of navy and black with pops of red and prints.
While uncertainty looms over the fashion industry, Glemaud says he’s thankful for the exposure that helps small independent brands stay afloat — both via press and social media. As for the future, his desires are not unlike many others at this time. “My hope is for the brand, the team and me to all remain healthy.”
Additional Reporting By Mekita Rivas