Investigations in Menswear: Aitor Throup’s New Object Research

At The Style Examiner, we firmly believe that stunning creative outputs can be engendered from the collision between creative arenas such as art and fashion. Such a momentous creative impact occurred on 17 June at an event hosted by Vogue magazine’s Sarah Mower and fashion journalist Tim Blanks to reveal the launch of acclaimed designer Aitor Throup’s anticipated range ‘New Object Research‘.

At the announcement (which was listed as part of the inaugural London Men’s Fashion Week) at the St Martin’s Lane hotel in central London, Throup explained the ethos behind his unique business model to a bewildered audience of fashion journalists and buyers. Challenging fashion’s seasonal structure and fast consumption (a somehow whimsical and brightly ironic concept in the context of fashion week), ‘New Object Research‘ presents a new and intriguing model for product development and release.

Throup’s offering, which has been in the making for years, will be presented in January 2013, and will consist of 22 ready to wear archetypes. An extended preview of products will be made ahead of the launch in October 2012 to coincide with Frieze Art Fair, with one complete outfit presented and available exclusively at London store Dover Street Market during that period. Until then, and to allow for public release by key retailers globally in October, the first of these 22 archetypal products was revealed at the presentation on 17 June: the ‘Shiva Skull Bag‘, a completely functional military bag constructed in the shape of a human skull that has been developed and refined for the past six years.

At the event, Throup also announced his fascinating design manifesto. In it, Throup highlights his personal focus that lies between the juncture of fine art and product design, with fashion happening merely through appropriation. He also describes his priority being the invention of new objects through designing concepts and processes, and resolving those through product design. The manifesto also explains each of the five separate existing concepts, which were also presented in sculptural form at the St Martin’s Lane Hotel as part of the ‘New Object Research‘ exhibition.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1980, Aitor Throup moved to Burnley, Lancashire, at the age of 12. A mixture of interest in fashion and drawing led him to start a BA in Fashion Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, from where he graduated with first class honours in 2004. In 2006, he graduated from an MA in Fashion Menswear at the Royal College of Art in London with a collection entitled ‘When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods’ which had a strong narrative thread running through it and a diverse selection of influences from generic military garments to Hindu symbolism.

In September 2007, he exhibited ‘The Funeral Of New Orleans: Part One’ during London Fashion Week. The presentation of this collection defied conventional ways of exhibiting fashion, by showing the pieces on life size sculptures (also created by Throup) rather than models, each in a different stage of transformation. Since then, Throup has exhibited his work in London and Paris, has worked with brands such as Stone Island and Umbro, and has been appointed creative director for the British rock band Kasabian.

Throup has won multiple awards over the years, including the ‘Collection of The Year Award’ and the ‘i-D Styling Award’ at ITS#FIVE (International Talent Support #5). He has worked as an art director/stylist with i-D magazine, Arena Homme+, V-Man, and GQ Style, and designed the cover for the December 2008 issue of Dazed and Confused Japan, which also included an 8-page portfolio of his work.