Christophe Loiron / MISTER FREEDOM answers to FCC's questions… His inspiration, his work, his life, his roots…
Quel autre job aurais tu pu envisager
que la fringue et la mode ?
What other line of work could you see
yourself in, besides clothes and fashion?
I had no idea what to do with my life when I was a kid. Nor did it really keep me awake at night. My attention span is very limited and I get bored easily. As a downfall, I can never finish a book, however brilliant, nor can I be an expert at anything. I always have the feeling that if you focus too much on one particular thing, you miss out on all the rest. So I’ve always dabbed into a lot of different fields, without persevering. Now I ‘ just one of those cats who know a little bit about a lotta things.
I could have gotten into making/filming documentaries. Ken Burns style. I could have gotten into Music, I guess. But when I heard Django’s « I’ll see you in my dreams », that took care of that dream !
L'image de ton papa revient assez souvent dans
ta communication, a t- il été l'instigateur d'un
certain style pour toi, était-il un "MISTER FREEDOM"?
voir "THE ONE" !
The image of Gérard Loiron, your Father, seems
to be omnipresent in your work. Was he the original
“MISTER FREEDOM” to you?
Indeed, he is my mentor. Although he was very remote from being a merchant or a fashionista, the images I have of him are always an inspiration for me. Subconsciously constantly looking for his approval. The man was a cosmopolite, athlete, jazz aficionado, accomplished horseman, stoic , tough guy, charmer, loner… and a great father. That’s a very large shadow to walk under, so I had to travel far on my own just to see some light. I wonder everyday about what he thinks of what I’m doing.
Te sens-tu toujours profondément français
ou métissé US ?
Do you feel French or American ?
When I arrived in California, 21 years ago, I was just a kid of 24. I had already travelled a bunch in Africa but was a baby. I learned adulthood here. Even if I still often act immaturely for a 45yo dude, America taught me the ropes. I remember getting my first ever paycheck in Los Angeles. I wanted to frame it, more than to cash it (the full $73.00!)
So I dream and think US, even if I’m grateful to have roots in different places. I actually always feel like my “rear-end is in-between two chairs”. Growing up ma family never stayed more than 4 years in a single place, so I learned of the benefit to not grow too deep of roots and to adapt, fast.
|Young Mister Freedom in the 80's|
Jeune tu étais musicien (c'est comme cela
que je t'ai connu…) si tu pouvais dégager du temps,
reformerais tu un groupe, de quel style ?
I first knew you as a musician.
Would you reform a band if you had the time?
Yes, I did have hair at some point, and a guitar to swing around… Music has always been a huge part of my life. Not only a passion, but very therapeutic. I could be new somewhere and meet people that way. Friends I met through music are always there. No need to talk, just start jamming again.
So yes, if they made days longer than 24 hours, I’d be reelin’ and rockin’ again! Ideally, a small “power combo” with an amplified django-esque guitar (the electric years…), a clicketing dog-house bass… strong harmonizing back-up vocals… doing very eclectic and melodic originals. With an old sound. But then I hear the amazing crazy mix of “Jan Pahechan Ho” by Mohamed Rafi… and that’s what I want! A bit trickier to set up rehearsal though…
Quel disque écoutes-tu le plus en boucle en ce moment ?
Your favorite records on repeat at the moment ?
Ok, here are the first four tunes on my Ipod “flavour of the month” biased playlist:
“Rock’n’Roll Riot” by the Stoltz Brothers
“Looking for a Love” by the Valentinos
“Everything I own” by Ken Boothe
“Be my girl” by the Nitecaps
I'm shuffling100 GB of sounds everyday at the store, from Andy Starr to Wynonie Harris to Dean Martin to Léo Ferré to Toots & the Maytals…
Some transitions are pretty amusing.
|"Pink Pegged Slacks" Eddie|
Quelle fringue aurais tu révé de dénicher
à 16 ans, 25 ans et aujourd'hui ?For clothing, what would have been
your ultimate find at 16, 25 and now ?
At 16, Eddie Cochran’s Pink Pegged Slacks.
At 25, Cool Hand Luke’s chambray shirt.
Now, my Dad’s original clothes when he was 20.
Si tu devais revoir ta carrière retrospectivement,
changerais tu certaines choses dans ta démarche commerciale, de création ?
Looking back, if you could change things business
wise or creatively, what would they be ?
There was never a master plan for me business wise. I never followed rules nor advices. So there was a lot of chaotic decisions in the making of Mister Freedom. But you don’t really know that fire burns until you stick your hand in it. So every mistake to me has a learning benefit. I never aim for the home run. I like the trip and fall approach. Teaches you to get up and not mope.
So things could have been done better, but I never look back saying “what if…”
As tu toujours en tête, une ou deux collections
d'avance ou tu avances au fil des saisons ?
Are you always a collection or two ahead
in your head, or just work seasonally?
I am the worst at making plans. I do everything last minute. Because I never know what’s gonna hit me, I don’t look too much ahead. I have plenty of scenarios for future collections, just waiting for the right mood. So much to do and so little time… Because I don’t wait for trends to inspire me, it’s the Wild Wild West in my head!
Le sujet des apaches, épisode rétro historique français
fort, est-il une façon définitive d'affirmer ton empreinte,
élégamment à coup de poing "américain" ?
The Apaches story of the latest collection is “very French”.
Is it a way to mark your new US territory with your French background?
When I started seeing the big Corporations coming up with chin strap shirts or sticking anchors all over the place, it was time to move on for me.
As a kid I was all into American garb. I remember, in my rockabilly days, that I’d only wear vintage European stuff if I couldn’t find the US version of it… Was not that easy to find what you saw in movies or record covers in a pre-Ebay world!
European garments were the underdog for me. Then I realized that not only young Jean Gabin or Lino Ventura had nothing to envy their US counter parts, but that most early American tailoring was of European origin. People got to Ellis Island with their trade and skills. Fabrics were imported calicos, twills etc… homespun textiles were loomed like in the old country…
When you tap into the turn of the century period, the specifics Europe and USA start blending.
Quel sont tes projets pour demain,
dans un mois dans un an, dans 10 ans…?
Any projects lined up for tomorrow,
next month, next year ? In ten years?
Tomorrow is easy… 10 years I don’t even know if I’ll be around!
One’s life’s plans must be a real crack up for whoever pulls the strings upstairs. By now, I think the Ol’ bearded Man got enough laughing material.
Lucas “natural born world shaker” Jackson, shouting at God:
“ …Let me know you're up there. Come on. Love me, hate me, kill me, anything, just let me know it…
Just standin’ in the rain, talkin’ to myself.”
Es tu un homme libre ?
Are you a Free Man?
I feel like I dropped the shackles a while back. I know it’s just an illusion and a subjective perception, if you get deep into it. If if you want to, pour me another glass…
But I don’t ask permission to do or go where I want to. That’s a big enough slice of Freedom to me...
|New MISTER FREEDOM apache collection|
Thank you Chris, and long life to MISTER FREEDOM!