And now for something very different at AZ Factory: rather than another collaboration with a “guest friend” or outside talent, the design responsibilities for the Spring 2024 collection will fall to the two men who have previously worked with all invited AZ participants: Norman René Devera and Peter mover.
“In a way it’s like collaborating with someone who has never done a solo project and has never signed a collection alone,” said Mauro Grimaldi, managing director of Richemont, making a distinction between a collection attributed to a studio and one of his two main talents authored. “They make their own collection, not a studio collection… It’s the first time they’ve expressed their point of view.
“Rather than looking outside for talent, we decided to give the leaders of our design team a chance,” he added.
Devera and Movrin were handpicked by the late Alber Elbaz when he founded Richemont AZ Factory in 2019 as a joint venture with Compagnie Financière Richemont, billed as a newfangled fashion house producing “intelligent fashion that cares”.
Her collection, called AZ Factory by Them, will be unveiled on the runway on October 2nd during Paris Fashion Week.
Following the death of the founder in April 2021 from COVID-19, AZ Factory has so far invited a range of guest creatives, ranging from young up-and-coming talent to more established talent.
Those with whom Devera and Movrin have collaborated include Paris-based designer Lutz Huelle, founder of the Lutz label; Molly Molloy and Lucinda Chambers, the design duo behind Colville; South African designer Thebe Magugu and size included brand Ester Manas designed by Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre.
Alongside other divisions of the AZ Factory, the two men have also made their expertise available to emerging designers creating couture collections or one-of-a-kind ranges: Lora Sonney, Tennessy Thoreson and Cyril Bourez.
“This time, AZ Factory will focus on recognizing the exceptional in-house team and their endless ability to combine diverse influences into a new and eclectic aesthetic,” the brand said in a statement sent exclusively to WWD. “Sometimes you just choose to stay home and enjoy the wonderful family you’re part of.”
Of course, the two design bosses from AZ bring a wealth of experience with them.
Born into a family of butchers in a small town in Slovenia, Movrin found his way to Central Saint Martins in London, where his graduation collection caught the eye of discerning fashion greats like Lady Gaga, Björk and Marina Abramović.
He then worked for fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Celine and JW Anderson. His title at AZ Factory is Senior Designer.
London-born Devera, a graduate of London College of Fashion and Middlesex University, worked as a pattern maker for Vivienne Westwood and as a studio assistant for Giles Deacon during his college days.
He worked under Phoebe Philo at Celine for years before joining Elbaz at Lanvin in 2015, just two weeks before the Israeli designer was ousted from the brand after a celebrated 14-year tenure. Devera left Lanvin to work as a senior womenswear designer at Louis Vuitton, then at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC under Raf Simons and finally at Versace before returning to Elbaz where he was responsible for founding the AZ Factory.
Known for his 3D design methods, Devera is design director for ready-to-wear and accessories at AZ Factory.
Grimaldi, a strategic adviser to Philippe Fortunato, managing director of fashion and accessories houses at Richemont, marveled that, like Elbaz before him, Devera possessed the uncanny ability to “turn fabric into something big”.
Paris-based AZ Factory produces about six product stories a year.
https://wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/az-factory-next-guest-designer-spring-1235781422/ AZ Factory has found its next guest designers in-house – WWD