Faith Connexion recently named French-Croatian designer, Nikola Vasari as its – officially appointed – first creative director. The Paris-based brand is mostly known for a certain streetwise edge, its quasi-punk-like take on glamour, and its distressed urban looks. It is also known for its distinct collaborations informed by a blend of street culture, art, and fashion. Even internally, Faith Connexion creatively operated along similar lines by using a team of designers who had a collective and combined say over the collections.


Nikola Vasari. Photo: Courtesy of Faith Connexion. 

Vasari, who previously worked as a designer for Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent and then under Christophe Decarnin at Balmain, was part of this team, working with Faith Connection for close to five years now in collaboration with this anonymous collective. Interestingly, although Vasari is being named Faith Connexion’s first creative director, it’s been quietly known in the industry that Decarnin acted as a head designer for this collective.


The new collections reflect this subtle but important transition. While the S/S 2019 collection will continue to be a joint effort under the brand's current design team, Faith Connexion’s F/W 2019 collection – which will combine women's and men's – shall be Vasari’s solo creative responsibility, launching in February next year.


We spoke to Vasari to discuss his tenure at Faith Connexion, the weight of legacy, and how sustainability can stimulate design.


Faith Connexion Spring/Summer 2019. Photos: Courtesy of PR. 

How important do you feel previous experience with Faith Connexion will be in your role as creative director? Was this time spent with the brand important in accepting the position?


Of course, it’s something essential that, in the process, resulted in my getting appointed to this position today. I feel it’s more an evolution than a revolution for the moment. These past years working for Faith Connexion have not only given me the opportunity to reinforce my expertise in different product categories, but also allowed me to analyze with hindsight the expectations of our clients as well as the need for developing new collections.


When considering the offer of becoming their creative director, what is it that you felt you were more excited about?


We have the chance to work in a company with a very positive energy, a family business. It all came naturally, I feel.


Do you feel that your previous work with YSL and Balmain informs your present design for Faith Connexion?


What I love is constantly learning new things. Working for houses with a huge legacy, sometimes it’s difficult to express a new vision or something original. At Faith we still have so much to give on writing the next chapters. It gives you more freedom to express yourself without weighting decades of heritage. However, your experiences contribute to the person you are becoming and influence your vision and designs.


Faith Connexion Spring/Summer 2019. Photos: Courtesy of PR. 

There is a collaborative spirit being fostered by the brand and it seems more like a key approach than, say, an occasional or convenient one. What does this bring to the brand or to the table creatively?


Having guest brands contributing or custom artists altering a selection of articles gives the diversity that allows us to express the whole story of our collections. It’s hard to put together hundreds of products season after season, and it takes a lot of people to get involved in each step through the result. It allows us to propose a variety of products to our customers and cover a large range of categories and styles.


The collaborations that we’ve seen are quite diverse – ranging from Swiss Beats and NTBM to Marvel and Kappa. How do these relationships emerge?


Every time there is a story, a meeting, an evidence… Love of creating together.


How will you go about selecting those you collaborate with?


Every season we will have a red thread that will guide our tribe and collaborators.


From where you stand, what are trends or recent developments in fashion that interest you the most, that you feel are defining instead of fleeting?


There are so many possibilities today for people to express themselves.


Faith Connexion feels timely in how it uses art, music, and fashion as sources of inspiration, and merges it all together. What does that mean for you as a creative director?


It means you have to keep your vision open wide, on 360-degree angle all the time. It’s also very constitutive of the core identity of Faith Connexion.


Faith Connexion Spring/Summer 2019. Photos: Courtesy of PR. 

As a designer, is sustainability or recycling something you keep in mind first, or does the craft come first?


I feel it’s somehow the duty of designers these days. You can’t go on not caring about the waste we are causing… Sometimes you can also find, in impediments like recycling fabrics or materials that were not your first choice, ideas you would have never thought of just developing a file on a computer or a tablet.


You probably have much to tackle for 2019 and beyond, beginning with your upcoming FC collection. What do you hope to accomplish the most within the near future?

Find coherence and unity in offering the Faith universe.