COLMAR X JOSHUA VIDES FALL/ WINTER 2023

Time for cultural trailblazers: “The global economy, in general, is in a large adjustment phase. In times like these, it is where true craftsmen and cultural trailblazers thrive. Once the economy bounces back, only the strong will have survived.”

Ever thought of a mobile canvas? Well, Californian artist and streetwear designer Joshua Vides did and has – thanks to this genius approach – become a powerful voice in the fashion/streetwear and pop art world. It is to no surprise that Colmar, the historic Monza-based fashion company, selected Vides to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary. Joshua Vides has a mission: He wants to create a blueprint for others to follow with a vision so strong that can motivate generations to join. He founded his inde-pendent apparel brand CLSC in 2009, a brand with which he started to express his fascination for sex, drugs, sports and music. In 2017, he experienced a major breakthrough by transforming a Reebok and, after that, a Nike Air Force 1 sneaker that went viral on social media and found major resonance. Only one year later, Vides expanded his ideas and moved onto visual art, to work with the idea of constructing entire worlds. By now, the Guatemala-born creative is a successful, globetrotting artist, collaborating with the biggest names in the fashion and luxury industry. Innovation and an urge to search for creative solutions is the strong bridge that connects the two worlds of Joshua Vides and Colmar.

The power of the Italian fashion brand Colmar shows mostly in the intense research in technical and performance fabrics to shape and contribute both to the sports and fashion world. Starting from the brand’s historical archive that goes back to 1923, Vides created a full collection that consists of ten garments, reinterpreting the brand’s culture and expertise. The most iconic pieces are two jackets and a reversible padded vest, printed in black and white on one side and black on the other, on which the very first Colmar logo from 1923 is reproduced as a blow-up and in a graphically revised form. The legendary ski jacket made in the 1970s for the Blue Avalanche and renamed Ceffa by champion Erwin Stricker is reinterpreted in a cashmere and wool jacquard knit that also celebrates the company’s years and birthplace. On deciding for the now instead of trying to control the future: 16 questions answered by Joshua Vides.

Can you give us three words that will – according to you – influence our future the most?

Happiness, determination and quality.

“When in doubt about a decision I’ve made or curious about the future, I remind myself that I’m doing everything I can in the best way possible every day.”
Not to sound pessimistic, but in which way happiness?

I’ll never stop chasing the high you receive from happiness. Fortunately, beyond being a loving father and husband, my dedication to forming my life through creativity eliminates all senses to cut corners.

What defines your vision on shaping this future with your work as an artist?

My work and energy should only ever live as inspiration to the next generation or current creatives and entrepreneurs. If I’m not motivating or creating a blueprint for others to follow, then my life’s work is useless.

How do you cope with dystopian narratives and aesthetics, especially in your position as a creative?

I try my best to focus on what’s happening now and what I have control over today. When in doubt about a decision I’ve made or curious about the future, I remind myself that I’m doing everything I can in the best way possible every day. By believing in that idea, there’s no reason to stress about the past or future when you’re doing everything you possibly can with your best intention, today.

“Every day we have to conquer new ideas or problems, but I thrive with pressure.”
Beautiful. How much positivity, solution-finding and problem-solving do you find in the nature of your work?

Positive energy is my only energy. As for problem solving, I’ve been blessed with a double-edged sword of a brain that can attack creatively and what I believe in is a professional, entrepreneurial mindset. Every day we have to conquer new ideas or problems, but I thrive with pressure.

Which past experiences working as a creative have defined and influenced your vision the most?

Failure through creativity and ideation is why I’m here today. Surely, my Instagram or Google search may look effortless and successful, but I don’t tell stories around a campfire of my wins. I tell you about the near death experiences or shattered dreams that shifted my life for the better. When I think of where I want to be, I’m reminded of where I’ve been.

What would you call your biggest life lesson so far working as a creative?

Try everything once and make everything you can, while you can.

Is there one specific creative or artist whom you see as an inspiration or even mentor?

I can list a thousand people here that I either look up to or who have paved the way for me as an artist, but the person that inspires me, I am most proud of, and seek answers for most – is myself.

“There’s no reason to stress about the past or future when you’re doing everything you possibly can with your best intention, today.”
What was the biggest challenge working on your collection for Colmar?

Time. I flew into Milan on a Tuesday and the collection had to be designed on Wednesday.

What does Colmar stand for the most, according to you, and how did you try to express that within your collaboration?

Family and victory. The victory part was easy. We were able to reference photos and magazine pages of champions during the Olympics wearing Colmar. As far as family goes, being a guest in the house of Colmar, it was important to take off my shoes and wash my hands before entering the space. I did my best to implement my creativity into their world without knocking over a glass on the floor, just out of respect.

What is your favorite part of the capsule collection?

The jackets being of such high quality and far from anything I could ever produce myself. But also the simplicity of the beanie and its design might be at the top of my list, too.

When was the first time that you were introduced to Colmar and learned about the brand?

Definitely in my younger years – Colmar was a symbol I recognized when venturing in the mountains with my family. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I knew what the product symbolized and why it existed. Once this opportunity came about, it felt like tapping back into my past to reference where I was and what I was doing when I first experienced the brand.

“Once the economy bounces back, only the strong will have survived.”
Give us your most creative dream scenario of where and how you would like to see your reinterpretation of the iconic 1249 down jacket worn.

Hopefully on the mountain, as someone zooms by me. As the design is so bold and identifiable, that image will be difficult to forget.

Where do you see big potential, and where are there huge issues and challenges in the current nature of fashion and its industry?

I think the global economy in general is in a large adjustment phase. In times like these, it is where true craftsmen and cultural trailblazers thrive. Once the economy bounces back, only the strong will have survived.

Which big trends, not only in fashion, do you see taking over the near future?

I think we’ve already seen a big jump in sustainable products being created, which is amazing. AI seems to be the next wave of not only assisting with design, but also preparing for big collections or shows.

“I’ll continue to explore my creativity through ceramic works until the next medium or source of expression comes knocking on my door.”
What are your thoughts on AI?

I have yet to use it for myself. I applaud anyone taking advantage of the resource and finding success with it. Does it frighten me? Maybe a little, but as I mentioned earlier, I only focus on what I can control. AI is out of my hands.

What do you want to experiment on more in the near future?

A lot of my creative practice has fallen into the ceramic world. All I know is that I’m really enjoying it right now and I’m doing my best to get better every day. I’ll continue to explore my creativity through ceramic works until the next medium or source of expression comes knocking on my door.

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