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You're invited with Guillaume Philibert

Earlier this month Zalando came together with the Dutch modern luxury brand Filling Pieces. Celebrating the self, and our many unique identities, the campaign champions the idea that “it doesn’t matter who you are, what you identify with or what you look like, there is always a place for you”. Within this, Zalando x Filling pieces have designed a truly genderless collection and you’re invited!  It is an invitation to all, and one we were keen to learn more about, speaking with Filling Pieces founder, Guillaume Philibert.

Firstly — congrats! How would you describe this collaboration?
Welcoming, truthful & crafted.

Built around 15 items: what is the story you wish to tell?
The premise of this collection and the like-minded story is that we feel that in these challenging times, we need to keep on pushing for positive change. Filling Pieces stands for Bridge The Gap, and so our brand’s focus is to bring together different people, cultures and disciplines. When Zalando approached us to work on a collection that was inviting to all, it made sense to us because it’s so deeply rooted in our values. We see our brand as a way to show how we would like to see society, a place where we are united by diversity and it’s great to be different from each other.

And within this, how did you approach the design?
The collection was designed and developed to be fully fluid: free from any gender or sizing limitation, as that’s how we feel fashion should be. And this is also what we believe in within our company and team, so it made a lot of sense to join forces to spread this message to a larger audience in an authentic way.

The campaign features some amazing talents; how do you feel like bringing to life the collection?
We had a great cast of talents for the campaign that fully breathed the same ethos. In an industry such as fashion, where there used to be a lot of feeling of exclusivity and gatekeeping, we strive for a space where everyone is welcome. Hence, ‘You are Invited’. We are super grateful for these talents to be showcasing the collection, they look great in it. But more important is the fact they are fully aligned with the vision of our brand. It’s truly a collaboration where we couldn’t wish for a better cast and community to represent these values.

Inclusivity is key: how do you envision Filling Pieces as a brand can continue to push this message?
I think it should start from the heart and mind (of the team and company), I mean you really have to believe in it and I can assure you that this is our message, through collection, campaigns, events and everything we do. It’s part of our DNA, the core of our brand and beliefs, so we feel the responsibility to amplify this message but also put the action in. Even though we feel that we are on a great path, we also acknowledge we are not there yet, as it’s a learning curve. But with our mindset and openness to collaboration with our community and brand activities, we can come a long way. We see fashion as a platform to speak on social topics and make it accessible and relatable at the same time.

Within inclusivity is identity — how would you describe Filling Pieces’ identity and how this translates within the collections?
We believe in quality products that are responsibly crafted, for a noble price point. Besides quality, we always want to innovate and bring newness, while also being able to speak to a larger audience with more accessible fits. As a brand we believe it’s important to have the right combination of items in a collection, always staying true to ourselves and recognizable as Filling Pieces for our loyal brand fans and community.

How did the Zalando X Filling Pieces relationship first begin?
We have been talking for a very long time about working together, but in 2021 we decided to work together as they are very known and big in regions we would like to grow in and spread our brand message. Zalando is leading in e-commerce, not only on the data and tech side but also forward compared to other platforms with their marketing of values and social topics. We felt it was great to work on this project together with a company that has similar values and mindsets.

Totally, speaking on the collection specifically, are there any pieces which you are most excited to share with your audience?
Even Though I genuinely like all the items, the landscape loafer on its thick transgressive chunky sole, the Galli Chelsea Boot in bright green and the Leather Gilet are my favourites, as feel they are very FP but also innovative and carefully crafted.

For sure — the loafers are a pretty-epic statement: what’s the inspiration behind this piece?
Dress shoes and loafers have been an overall growth and well-performing category for us in footwear, so we decided to work out a version of our Summit Loafer with the landscape graphic. It is inspired by our iconic varsity jacket. We brought its recognisable chenille patch concept on the upper of the shoe. We then found this raised and higher platform sole that really fitted well with the rest of the shoe, to give it a new twist. I believe that after this huge momentum of chunky sneakers and runners, people are looking for more formal footwear, luckily it works for us.

And tell me about the colourway of the collection…
The overall colour of the capsule is black mixed with off-white and hints of green. I believe that black clothing and shoes are accessible and clean, but the beauty of it is that every black garment and leather component has a different shade. This gives a lot of the product depth and detail. The bright green is to uplift items and is used in trims, hardware and minor panels to amplify the shades of black.

Final question: this campiagn is all about insighting inclusivity and diversity within the industry, what changes do you hope to see?
I hope this project starts a conversation and ignites Filling Pieces and Zalando to keep working on the brand and community side to bring our values to a larger scale of people. Fashion is a language that is understandable and accessible to many, so we should use that voice and our platforms to create positive change. From here onwards, I hope more brands will actively and genuinely start or continue walking that path for change. ‘If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to come far, walk together’.

Shop the You are invited collection on Zalando here!


Words by Grace Powell

Shop the collection at Zalando

Images curtesy of Zalando X Filling Pieces