Interview With Alphonse Kai, Architect Of The Tony Ward Headquarters & Flagship Store
Be it fashion legends like Pierre Balmain and Paco Rabanne, or more recent designers such as Tom Ford, some of the most iconic fashion designers have started their careers in architecture. Meanwhile, contemporary architects such as Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry are often solicited by fashion brands to design capsule collections or 3D printed garments. Also, with the rise of flagship stores, architects assume an increasingly important role in incarnating the ideas and values of fashion designers. However, while Architecture is here to stay, Fashion is something that is meant to be renewed every season... Between timelessness and change, Alphonse Kai (JC International), the Architect who won the International competition to design the Tony Ward Building and Interiors, shares with us how he worked closely with Tony Ward to translate his vision into breathtaking volumes and details.
Should Architecture Follow Fashion?
In my opinion, Architecture must be timeless; it should be sustainable and must not follow any trend, vogue, or "fashion". This is why I went for pure geometric shapes, straight lines, rhythm, extra thoroughness and precision. I opted for black and white with shades of gray to highlight Ward's fashion and the bright or pastel colors of his collections.
What was the concept behind the Tony Ward building architecture?
When the "Maison de Couture Tony Ward" competition was launched, I challenged myself to find a concept and to answer the question that most modernists ask: "How to combine architecture and fashion." I tried to overcome this hard task by searching for a simple yet coherent answer.
Being an architect faithful to Le Corbusier, I wanted the architecture of this fashion house to be nothing but a podium, a pedestal, a base, a foundation that adds value to all fashion masterpieces perpetually created by Tony Ward.