Victor Weinsanto, new sensation of Parisian fashion

In just two years, the 28-year-old Alsatian designer has managed to do well with his refreshing and responsible burlesque creations, a symbol of true renewal. Portrait.

His name was at the head of all the others in the Spring-Summer 2023 Fashion Week calendar. On Monday 26 September at 5 pm Victor Weinsanto opened the Paris fashion week with the third show of his brand. The next day, the show Daily he called him the “new fashion prodigy”. On Friday 30 September, at the end of this week full of emotions, she received us near her studio (and living space) in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. The young man is sitting on his favorite terrace, a drink the same bright orange as his hair laid in front of him. His features betray both the tension, which has not completely subsided, and the joy of the work done.

It must be said that the 28-year-old designer can be proud to have risen, in a few seasons, to the coveted rank of designer in sight. And not just in the eyes of industry commentators. Bold pieces of her have already won Madonna over, Olivia Rodrigo has made her way into the show Emilia in Paris and in the show Drag Race France. A dazzling trajectory for those destined for the limelight, but not for the podium.

From the Lower Rhine to the Parisian footbridges

Far from the Parisian menagerie, Victor Weinsanto was born in Alsace, from a computer scientist father and a hospital manager mother. Nobody around him works in a creative industry. However, it was when he saw his mother and his sister dance that he developed a passion for the art. After the Conservatory, he rushes into an intense sports curriculum, which makes him travel but imprisons him in a rigor that does not suit him. At 17 he finally returned to Strasbourg and became interested in fashion “a little by chance”. He sees in this practice the creative freedom that he did not find in dance.

Kouglof bag and traditional headdress, Weinsanto invokes its region of origin during the parade Hopla Geiss. (Paris, September 27, 2021.) Abaca

Sewing has never been this far: her mother and maternal grandmother practice it. And it turns out that Victor has immense affection for his grandmother. To the point of exchanging his surname, Brunstein, with his when it comes to founding his brand: Weinsanto. Her grandmother’s voice will also accompany her first show at Paris Fashion Week in September 2021. You can hear her say the name of the collection, Hopla Geiss, an expression that translates encouragement into Alsatian. Family and roots: two leitmotifs for those who left Alsace so early.

Saviors and do good

With his baccalaureate in hand, the young Victor entered the school of the Atelier Chardon Savard in Paris and multiplied his internships, particularly at Y / Project, as an admirer of Glenn Martens. He then joins the ranks of Jean Paul Gaultier, a few weeks after the latter’s final parade. During this internship, Victor Weinsanto prepares his first collection at night, and during the day, he participates in the last of what he calls “Monsieur”: a sign of deference, tender, antiquated and typical of the maison, which preserves his experience of he. There he also formed ties with the Grande Dame, a drag queen who attended the show (and would later wear one of his creations of hers on the show. Drag Race France ). A week after Gaultier’s final farewell, he presents what was supposed to be a “crash test parade”, a sort of portfolio, in an attempt to find a job. We are at the beginning of March 2020 and seven days after the first confinement the situation changes: «I said to myself: the recruitments are over. As long as you do, you might as well create your own brand. “

On that day, Victor Weinsanto manages to attract the attention of Adrian Joffe. The influential partner of the designer Rei Kawakubo holds the ranks of the Dover Street Market, an avant-garde and prestigious concept store. Appreciate the energy of this first baptized procession Connes-sur-Mer, and moved by the presence of his whole family, he offered him unexpected logistical and commercial support. “Adrian was our savior,” the creator remembers today. Always accompanied by his parents, flanked by his partner (modeling agent and accountant of the brand in his spare time), and by a team of young people for some hired after the internship, Victor Weinsanto goes headlong. And luck smiled at him. Journalist Loïc Prigent documents the first steps of him and Marylin Fitoussi, the costume designer of Emilia in Paris, dresses actress Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu with one of her sensual dresses in the first season of the series. An extraordinary look: the sales of this dress, as well as its denim pieces, will put the brand on the rails.

Cabaret aesthetics and “awake” mode.

On the catwalks, the Weinsanto brand is synonymous with extravagance: cabaret atmosphere, monumental hats and sexy (and different) silhouettes are the designer’s prerogative. What inspires Victor Weinsanto? He can’t give a precise example, he talks about flamboyant women and “ideas that make him laugh”. Like that of having his designer friend Charles de Vilmorin on the catwalk with his designs suspended above his head for the spring-summer 2023 fashion show. His motivations are more precise: to give an image of Alsace “sexier than sauerkraut. and sausages “. He therefore makes his cultural heritage a playground, with pretzel harness, kelsh fabric and traditional headdresses revisited, particularly in the collection Hopla Geiss. Translated into ready-to-wear, her vision of glorious femininity comes in pieces with architectural cuts, which emphasize the lines of the body. They are acclaimed by the industry, with a spot as a finalist for the LVMH award in 2022. Her star followers include Madonna, Daphne Burki or Bilal Hassani.

Victor Weinsanto invites Filipino Leroy-Beaulieu to close his Fall-Winter 2022-2023 show. (Paris, February 28, 2022.) Abaca

Creative but far from crazy, Victor Weinsanto has a strong opinion on fashion: “It’s entertainment, dreamlike; a political domain, because it represents an identity; but also an unreasonable industry “. From this derives, according to him, the mission of his generation of creators: “Rejoicing the system” bringing to each a small sense. A movement in which it includes Kevin Germanier, Alphonse Maitrepierre, Benjamin Benmoyal, Charles de Vilmorin … They all maintain friendly relations and help each other whenever they can.

The new scene is due to its good practices: using French materials, recycled, produced nearby, using means of transport with a lower C02 impact … The “value for money” always in mind, Victor Weinsanto is also pulling the its margins to limit their prices. And he supports common sense: “If you buy yourself a piece, you can keep it for 3, 4 years, for a lifetime. Today we have lost the value of a garment, we buy pieces made at 3 cents on the other side of the world in frankly not terrible conditions; suddenly we lose sight of the fact that it is not normal to wear clothes too much.

If he does not consider himself irreproachable, the designer claims an “awakened” fashion. And he dreams of having fun all the time, whether it’s with his label, as the artistic director of a house – if the brand’s speech speaks to him -, or even in a completely different field. “The important thing is to have fun, so as not to have regrets. For being a rich creator in my ivory tower, no thanks.

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