A Century in Fashion
An unexpected find in the archive, three boxes of 1970s paper patterns, made me
think of a woman’s new sensibility towards freedom of movement and freedom of
choice to celebrate the second act of Akris 100 years.
The seventies were about women wearing the clothes and not the other way around.
These were clothes for self-expression that shaped the Akris spirit for the
future. The rhythm of the streets. Real life.
A foundation was paved in 1972 when my father, Max, stopped making aprons and
acquired ateliers for tailored suits and coats that brought Italian menswear
masters and their knowledge of double-face to us. He felt there was a need for
change. A need for the woman who moves. A woman with a voice.
This collection is a sartorial homage to women and a dash of sleekness and ease to
their journey. The continuation of Akris 100 years – reaching its next act with
an exhibition in Zurich in May 2023.
Paris, March 5, 2023
The Abraham Flower
Surprisingly a flower. Often it is the geometric, architectural shape that sparks my designs. This time, it was the subtle, abstract beauty of a floral that caught my eye. A print from Abraham’s 1976 collection discovered in the Akris archive.
The seventies were a visual feast, and Gustav Zumsteg’s Zurich-based silk company, Abraham, provided fabrics for it. A regular in the studios of Cristóbal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, and Yves Saint Laurent, Zumsteg was the king of silk, who would host designers, painters, writers, and actors in his restaurant: Kronenhalle. All the beautiful world came to sit at the tables here, all the finest of 20th century fashion and art, shoulder to shoulder to get away for a while and seek anonymity behind the lace curtains on Rämistrasse.
In 1976, Zumsteg took me, still in my teenage years, to see Yves Saint Laurent’s haute couture show live for the first time. It was a defining moment and made me think of how I would love to, and someday maybe would, design clothes.
Original Abraham print, 1976