IF YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE DESIGNER PASKHO THERE’S LITTLE DOUBT THAT YOU’LL BE FAMILIAR WITH HIS WORK. WITH OVER 25 YEARS AS A CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, HE’S TRANSFORMED SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST ICONIC BRANDS INTO PROFITABLE GLOBAL COMPANIES IN AMERICA, EUROPE, AND ASIA, WITH GIORGIO ARMANI, ANNE KLEIN, PERRY ELLIS, PACO RABANNE, TARGET AND GAP AMONG THE BRANDS HE HAS WORKED WITH.
"I had lost the joy that goes into making something that is entirely your passion and vision"
Since his departure from Gap a couple of years ago, he’s stayed pretty quiet on the fashion front. But instead of taking up the reigns at another global multiple, he decided on a new direction by launching his own clothing line called Paskho – a luxury active wear and lounge clothing brand.
We caught up with Paskho to find out more about his new line and his relationship with KTC “I have been lucky enough to worked with a lot of big brands and helped them get their focus back,” enthuses Paskho about his past. “But for me there was there something missing. I had started to question what I was doing in my life. I had stopped designing clothes, instead becoming a manager of people that did. I had lost the joy that goes into making something that is entirely your passion and vision.”
Described as a collection of clothes that ‘looks great, but that let you be really active and celebrate movement’, Paskho (which takes its name from the ancient Greek for passion) delivers a range which celebrates everything this creative visionary is passionate about. A true passion for clothes. His interest in those free thinkers who do what they are most passionate about in life, despite the risk and how daunting the challenge might be – adventurers; entrepreneurs; deep thinkers; an artist; and designers.
They are the sorts of people who cultivate experiences to stretch and grow, opportunities to step out of life and into living. Inherently non-conformist, they value freedom and innovation. They seek out a better world and the ability to align inner needs with outer realities. He explains: “These people go out and make life around their passions. It knocked me in the head one day that there were interesting clothes you could make around this concept. Beautiful clothes that could go anywhere and do anything. Meaning you could climb a mountain in them and still go to dinner in them looking great. Paskho sits right there in between your everyday and those experiences that make your life fulfilling. For me it was all about combining a certain beauty with functionality.”
Who better then to turn to than KTC to imagine Paskho’s passion and turn it into a reality? Paskho knew what he wanted to have in his collection from an aesthetic point of view, what he didn’t have was a forward-thinking factory with the knowledge and skill to deliver the technical and functional attributes he was after.
"Combining the beauty and the functional"
“KTC popped up because I was looking around the world at the best brands with the functionality part I really admire. I saw Arc'teryx and Rapha and wondered who made them. That’s when I reached out to KTC, I don’t think they understood what the hell I was on about at first. I said I wanted to design clothes you can wear in everyday life, and that I wanted KTC to give me all the technical functionality and the genius. Combining the beauty and the functional.”
Combining KTC’s 40-plus years of manufacturing the highest quality performance apparel for its elite international partners with Paskho’s 25 years of fashion know-how was always going to deliver something special (and new) to the market. However with Paskho’s “the world’s already got too much stuff in it” and “people don’t need anything else” viewpoints, their combined efforts resulted in a less is more approach to their thinking.
“With the launch of the brand I took a step back and thought, where’s the one place I can really make an impact with the products I am making and telling my philosophy,” continues Paskho. “The place I ended up was with bottoms. I thought that if I can make a great pair of pants that can take you to multiple different places, people will be much more likely to come and talk to us about all of the other different products.”
"adventurers, entrepreneurs, deep thinkers, an artist, and designers"
“We started developing pants with KTC that will take the wearer from their office to a hike. KTC has helped me develop the range further and faster than I could ever have done on my own, particularly when it comes to the functionality part. The precision and the functionality of the end products is genius. And KTC’s innovation process never stops. Every time I go and see them they push me in 10 different directions which are new for them. They are always looking at new technologies.
The result is an elegant and utilitarian collection which includes versatile lounge, active wear and urban clothes which evoke an active, urban soulfulness, filtered through a cool, minimal aesthetic.
“My pants are about freedom of movement and mind, bringing together active sportswear with the demands of everyday life to create a new lifestyle brand for the athlete in everyone. They have loads of incredible details but they are all very subtle. Innovative fabrics and details combine to create distinct urban staples. KTC puts everything into developing fabrics. They have opened their chest and opened my eyes to what’s possible with fabrics, introducing me to things I never even knew existed. KTC has given me an education. They dive really deep into the philosophy of your brand. With them everything is possible.”
While end users have very little knowledge or appreciation of the craftsmanship required to produce a KTC garment, Paskho also challenged them on finish and workmanship to tap into their unrivalled knowledge of stitching, taping, bonding, and welding and techniques that have been perfected by the craftspeople at KTC over time.
“I think I challenged them on some of the workmanship and the ideas I wanted because I wanted the pieces to look like they had been finished by hand, that they really had been crafted. I want my mark to be left on the products. After them thinking I was completely mad, they figured it out and captured that. KTC really pushed themselves and actually gave me more than I was asking for. The results are phenomenal.”
With Made in China no longer a mark of shame, Paskho knew that the quality of premium activity specific technical apparel he was after could not be matched anywhere else in the world. “I have worked with couture houses and with some of the best factories in the world. KTC delivers at that level in terms of quality and consistency” concludes Paskho. “At other levels of the market you don’t have functional apparel with that level of craftsmanship and skill, that’s why KTC stands out. You go there because nowhere else has that quality. They are at the same level as anything I have ever worked with. This is why I am not worried about Made in China. Turn these clothes inside out and they are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.” Enough said.