Time to interview Fabio Cavina, formely co-founder of Nemen and 12th Man brands and now with it’s own brand Plurimus, focusing on technical outerwear with strong military inspiration. Let’s hear what he has to say on our Industry Talks section.
1. What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to music everyday, most of the day. I find music an essential background for my work and for my life in general. I tend to listen to different styles of music, although my favourite has always been rock music, I have been listening to a lot of Bowie and Pearl Jam over the last couple of years. I really enjoy going to concerts too when I can. I think I have a rock soul, in the same way that I don’t like to conform to rules.
2. How’s a typical day for you?
I don’t do the same things everyday, which is another part of my job that I really like.
Also, what I do is not the typical 9 to 5 job so I find myself working on weekends at time, while I might take a day off during the week etc. There are days when I just design and days when I am on the road visiting suppliers etc. If possible, I do some running at lunch time, I started doing that a few years ago and found it a very helpful way to focus on things, ideas etc. All in all, it is a bit difficult to describe a typical day since I don’t have one.
3. What is your Plurimus team like?
The Plurimus team is very small and very big at the same time. Plurimus is my solo project, there is just me behind it and I like it this way. I am totally free to do what I want, the way I want.
I do everything by myself, I design, source fabrics, reply to customers, post images on social media, I would say that Plurimus is really a 360 degrees project.
At the same time, when looking at things from a different perspective, the Plurimus team is actually quite big, if I were to include the suppliers I work with.
I like to work with passionate people who are both good at what they do and reliable, and I have worked and selected a supplier network over the years.
I pretty much consider them an essential part of my project.
4. Workwear, heritage, sportswear, streetwear, Ivy League… what is your cup of tea?
Workwear and Military apparel are my main fields of inspiration. Functionality is an essential part of a garment in my view. Yes, it has to look good too but the main focus of the design is and always will be functionality.
5. What brands have you been wearing lately? And which brands from the past would you give a round of applause?
I tend to wear pretty much the same style, actually. Basically comfortable things with pockets. There was a time in my life when I had to wear a jacket and tie everyday for my job and I kind of hated that.
6. What would you change in the menswear industry?
Ok, how much time do you have? Just kidding …
I believe that there are many things that need changing in the fashion industry. Actually, that is one of the reasons why I started Plurimus. I wanted to work with my own rules and have total control on my project.I believe the market has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the formula that worked back then does not work anymore these days, at least for new and upcoming brands which are small-medium sized.
I am not even sure the old concept of “seasons” works anymore.
Designers are working under continuous stress in order to meet tighter and tighter deadlines. Many retailers have been struggling and the web has become the main source when it comes to buy a jacket or a pair of trainers. The standard distribution chain makes it difficult to actually have a direct contact with the end user, which are the people who actually wear the garments and who will give you a precious feedback.
With a few exceptions, I don’t see this process stopping, on the contrary.