Interview: Jiri Kalfar

Emmie Cosgrove interviews the zero-waste designer Jiri Kalfar after attending his London Fashion Week show, ‘Eden Eden’.

Images by Shaun James Fox

LR: Tell us about this season’s collection and runway, what was the inspiration behind it?

Jiri: The original inspiration for this collection actually came about twelve years ago. Whilst I was studying dance, one of the choreographers did a show called Eden Eden, which is the name of this collection. Even the music we used was similar to the music used in the show. I loved the quirkiness of it and how he represented the technology and artificial intelligence in it. Me being an activist and being a sustainable brand I thought I’m kind of sorry to see what’s happening right now. I feel like there is a time that we can improve how things are but we can’t do this without technology. At the moment we’re using technology for the wrong reasons, when we should use it for the right reasons, and speed up the process of recreating our planet. That’s why I used the name Eden Eden and had the morph suits.

LR: Why is zero waste important to you?

Jiri: [laughs] I mean, there’s just so much waste. You know, I actually grew up in a village with animals and we got what we had and our own resources and now I see all these markets and everything and clothes everywhere. I used to just get clothes from my cousin, and it was very different, but it’s not even that long ago, it was only 20 years ago. I don’t ever remember having so much choice, and so much everything in your face. If we’re talking about sustainability I also think waste is the most damaging. I don’t think it’s polyester or cotton, we should be talking about waste. To me it’s the most damaging one. Obviously as a designer who comes up with a new collection every half year I need to think about it, so I cut all the wholesale stores and sell directly what people actually order so I don’t get any waste back.

LR: How does London Fashion Week compare to New York Fashion Week?

Jiri: Um, cooler. I came back here for a reason, I’ve already done three fashion weeks here and three shows. The vibe here is different, people here are somehow more interested in the general concept of the clothes rather than the wow factor and even like the team here is, it’s kind of more enthusiastic. I don’t really know how to explain it. I lived here, so I’ve known this place. I’m European so it’s also much more European here. I don’t think the greatest designers happen in Paris either, they happen here, they just all end up moving to Paris. Like Richard Quinn and Molly Goddard and all these people who are the new generation. They all happened in London. Like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. So, I think really the trends are happening here.

You can read more of Emmie’s work over on Twitter at @Em’s_Pen

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