Localité Koché is collaboration between the MA Fashion Studies students at Parsons Paris and the Paris-based brand, Koché. Working closely with founder and designer, Christelle Kocher, event director Julien Lacroix, and led by artist, Justin Morin, the task was to imagine Koché first brick and mortar space according to its brand identity. Two out of twelve projects (including my own) were chosen by Christelle and Julien to be exhibited during Paris Fashion Week A/W 2019.
My project, "Koché In Transit," develops Koché’s ideas of diversity, transition, and urbanism that are inherent to their brand identity. In the climate of 21st century identity politics, I wanted to nuance their take on diversity by looking at notions of in-betweenness – geographically, between people, between identities, and how technology affects all this. Pulse, distraction, being in between places and in many places at once – these characterise how we live today and define “Koché In Transit”. Taking cues from literature on identity politics (Francis Fukuyama), psychopolitics (Byung-chul Han), and the brand’s love of David Foster Wallace, the project introduces Koché's first retail space(s) as four shipping containers to be set up in four different locations around the globe simultaneously. Each container carries the Koché universe and invites customers to not only shop Koché collections but to discover the brand’s backstage world (music and literary inspirations, sketches) and to be part of events after store hours. People are invited to come and pause for a moment in these temporary spaces of togetherness. They can also share their experiences social media which will be broadcasted on the outside walls of every container – what one is posting about from a container in Chengdu will be seen on a container in New York. Even though people are apart, there is a (fleeting) unity across distance and time. In essence, “Koché In Transit” uses fashion as a vehicle to address the complex topic of diversity in the midst of our distractedness. It uses Koché intellectual footing to expand on its customer’s desire for cultural awareness and solace in fashion.
"Localité Koché," The New School, Parsons Paris exhibition.
Photos by Lisa Sarma.