Interview : Frédéric Llosa, Artistic Director & Founder of L L O S A

September 2022

Marie-Christine Serin - Head of Coordination and Press at Carlin International Group: Hello Fred, first of all, could you tell us about your professional career?

Frédéric Llosa - Artistic Director & Founder of llOSA: Artistic Director for the past 20 years, I started my career as a designer in 1998 with a small urban boardwalk brand, during the golden age of streetwear. Self-taught and passionate, I have more or less 20 years of experience in active wear and men's ready-to-wear as a designer. I still work as a consultant, notably for the young French sportswear brand AERTH and the men's clothing brand DUKE STORE. I was also the Artistic Director of the Inmouv agency, the Carlin group's sports subsidiary, where I had the opportunity to sharpen my eye for future trends.

"My goal: to bring together vibrant softness and nonchalant elegance. "

M-C.S: What were your motivations for creating the l'O S A brand?

F.L : Since I was a teenager, I have always loved clothing, some would say "underwear". I would define myself as a child of the streetwear of the nineties. In 2020, at the dawn of my 40th birthday, I felt the emergence of a new kind of urban sportswear, more elegant, more open, less coded. From then on, I set out to reconcile several desires. To build a brand that would correspond to a new, hybrid, versatile lifestyle. Our lives are no longer as compartmentalized as they were 20 years ago. This desire, not to say this obsession, to reinvent the basics of men's clothing guides me. My goal: to bring together vibrant softness and nonchalant elegance.

M-C.S: Could you describe the l'O S A brand in a few words?

F.L : The l'O S A brand is based on the concept of Tailored Motion. Between a fantasized past and an alternative future, we invent a dreamy wardrobe where the tailor's know-how is in motion. At a time when the world is accelerating digitally, l'O S A productions are inspired by a capsule lifestyle where we allow ourselves time for a PAUSE. The brands of urban elegance with structured comfort are revealed in contact with natural ergonomics. Let's say it's really a dream of tomorrow's uniform.

M-C.S: Can you define your style and the kind of universe you convey through your collections?

F.L : My design philosophy remains simple and minimalist. I would say that the rigor of classic tailoring meets the flexibility of urban sportswear. In short, | O S A tends to speak to all souls in search of a demanding softwear.

M-C.S: What are your sources of inspiration?

F.L : The sources of inspiration are daily and diverse of course. I've always had my head in the clouds, more or less. I suppose that my imagination has been nourished by graphically rich universes such as Heroic Fantasy, or anime. Of course, the abundance of new urban architectures also influences my creative vision. I am obviously a big fan of Zaha Hadid's work. A final key point in my stylistic approach is the work on colour. At Carlin, we work a lot on chromatic concepts and their evolution, and I believe that this question of palettes is central, especially for the men's wardrobe, for which I believe there is still a lot to do.

M-C.S: Who is your dream client?

F.L : No "dream" client, strictly speaking, I would rather build an inspiring wardrobe. One that makes you dream. Let's say that it is rather the idea of an ambivalent wardrobe that drives me. For example, the very constructed French collars rub shoulders with the roundness of Japanese sleeves, the classic textured cotton is associated with recycled technical fibers, the tailored bibs are treated as ultra-comfortable quilts. A silhouette at the intersection of two worlds: formal and athleisure.

M-C.S: We know how attached you are to the material, where do you do your sourcing and where do you manufacture?

F.L : The material is key. A carefully chosen texture says something about us! I source almost all of my fabrics in Europe, from Italian, Portuguese or French houses. I make all the drops in Paris, in my workshop. I was lucky enough to meet exceptional artisans who agreed to take time to understand my requirements and make my childhood dream come true. I take this opportunity to thank them here.  

M-C.S: What are the problems you encounter as a young designer?

F.L: The same issues as most other designers: the infamous "MOQs" (Minimum Order Quantities) that constantly push us to rationalize our creations. But it's not new, it's a nice challenge to try to overcome that. I like to take my time to do things right. I would say that in a digital marketing race, you have to stay calm and take it step by step.

M-C.S: Do you already have some aficionados?

F.L : Some people do. A lot of people from creative or sporty circles have already found their place. Often people who want to stand out or simply free themselves from the codes of traditional men's ready-to-wear. More generally, people looking for a contemporary comfort-chic.

M-C.S: What are the next steps in your development?

F.L: Opening a store of one's own with an adjoining workshop to control everything from A to Z, but that's another story.

M-C.S: What is your dream?

F.L : A vast and difficult question. A creative person has by essence a constant dissatisfaction within himself. But this is also what keeps him going. It is said that happiness is already on the way, and not only at the end of the road. If I'm being completely honest, I would say that my sweet dream would be to make IOSA a global brand but respectful of its values.

M-C.S: Thank you so much Fred for this inspiring sharing rich in meaning and creativity. A pleasure to collaborate with you!

Photo credits: Antoine Guilloteau

Marie-Christine Serin
Head of Coordination and Press

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