Alexander Girard Inspires New Akris Collection

2 October, Paris

Albert Kriemler, creative director at the Swiss fashion house Akris, found inspiration for his Spring/Summer 2018 collection in the versatile, vibrant works of American designer Alexander Girard. The catalyst for this collaboration was Albert Kriemler’s visit to the exhibition entitled ‘Alexander Girard. A Designer’s Universe’ at the Vitra Design Museum on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein.

Alexander Girard (1907–1993) was one of the most influential textile artists and interior designers of the twentieth century. He created worlds of colourful opulence in which everything was precisely and artfully coordinated, from the smallest details to the big picture. The primary focus of his wide-ranging oeuvre was textile design: as head of the textile division at the Herman Miller Company, Girard created numerous fabric patterns and products reflecting his love of festive colours, motifs and textures.
"When you practise in all fields of design, each field benefits from your experience in the others. And all design is related, whether houses, gardens, furniture or women’s clothes."
Alexander Girard
Akris's Spring/Summer 2018 collection is a tribute to the designer. It features well-known prints such as the Double Heart, which have been reinterpreted in woven leather and a jacquard knit. Albert Kriemler also drew inspiration from a number of lesser known objects, designs and sketches from Alexander Girard’s oeuvre, providing a new perspective on the elegance and esprit of Girard’s creations. Albert Kriemler adapted the designs in close collaboration with Alexander Girard’s descendants, his grandchildren Kori and Aleishall Girard, who jointly run the Girard Studio today:

"We were pleasantly surprised to see the selection of our grandfather’s works that Albert Kriemler chose for this collaboration. He found inspiration from many aspects of our grandfather's career: wooden sculpture, architectural renderings, oil paintings and collage, to name a few. Seeing how Albert has interpreted these designs and adapted them for clothing is exciting for us, as we have always seen the potential for this work to translate very well to fashion. We feel that the final outcome is a beautiful and unique tribute to the work of our Alexander Girard."

The designer’s creative estate formed the basis of a major retrospective at the Vitra Design Museum from 12.03.2016 – 22.01.2017. «Alexander Girard. A Designer’s Universe» made a lasting impression on Albert Kriemler.
"I visited the Girard exhibition in the Vitra Design Museum three times, because I was so excited about his creative genius. He saw things differently. He had a way of changing our view of the world."
Albert Kriemler, Creative Director, Akris
The Vitra Design Museum exhibition ‘Alexander Girard. A Designer’s Universe’ is now touring internationally and will be on show at the following venues over the coming months:

16.06.2017 – 08.10.2017 Cranbrook Art Museum, USA
20.12.2017 – 04.03.2018 Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul, South Korea
20.06.2018 – 09.09.2018 Berkeley Art Museum, USA

Publication Date: 2.10.17
Image: Charles Eames, © Eames Office, LLC