It’s only apt that we take a look at a label that’s going places while we’re all stuck. It’s poetic that it’s BLUEMARBLE—a fashion brand that’s all about celebrating how all our diversities blend into one facade.
The name is based on the photograph, entitled “The Blue Marble,” taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972 of the earth from 29,000 kilometers above. Visually, it shows how all our differences meld into one beautiful image.
BLUEMARBLE is by Filipino-French designer Anthony Alvarez. Established in 2018, the menswear line aims to unite various influences “ to create a unique and universal language expressed through its fashion.” Every season, he focuses on a certain city or place and tells their story via his clothes.
Settling between schedules and the time difference between Manila and Paris, I got on a video call with Anthony to talk about where his sartorial travels will take him to next.
What’s your brand philosophy?
The values that I have for my brand are the same values that I grew up with. First through my own family: having a bicultural family with my mom being French and my dad being Filipino. And then, there’s how I grew up in New York. It meant I was always around different types of people. It was so important to use those values for my brand.
We are inspired by a different voyage every season. It’s vital to celebrate individuality and how we come together as people from different backgrounds. In these BLUEMARBLE clothes, I hope they connect us. It’s extremely important to me that it’s not just about the clothes, but the values behind them.
How do you stay true to your founding vision?
I stay true to it through certain shapes that we are consistent with every season. With prints that we hand draw on silk shirts, we represent and pay homage to every trip that we make.
In my first collection, I was inspired by Manila. For me, that’s where BLUEMARBLE started. It was important for me to represent that symbolically, and it’s something I want to explore more because as the seasons go by, I go back to what inspired this adventure. So in upcoming collections, I will look for ways to pay homage to the Filipino traditional culture.
How did you get inspiration this year despite being unable to travel?
That’s a good question. I haven’t been able to travel for almost a year now. I really enjoy traveling because I do a lot of extreme sports. My passion for travel is because of sports. I surf. I ski a lot. I do a lot of skimboarding as well. I wasn’t able to do those sports as much in the last few months.
But the inspiration I had during this time is really strong. I went back into my souvenirs and was able to appreciate them. My spring/summer 2021 collection that we presented in Paris last July was about a memory of my friends and I going on a surf trip to Europe. We pushed it further with some psychedelic references and sunset colors.
It’s also about how, because of COVID, we all want to escape. It’s also about optimism: We will all get out of this stronger together. It wasn’t tough for me to find inspiration. It was just tough for me to express it by meeting new people and exchanging ideas. Hopefully, it will be better, and we will be back to traveling and meeting one other soon.
What’s your stand on sustainability?
I think sustainability in fashion is extremely important. As a young brand, I think it’s very tough to combat anything that’s anti-sustainability.
But in BLUEMARBLE, we do our best to pick organic fabrics. We try as much as possible to re-use fabrics, and generally, I try to make clothes that last longer than a season. For me, it’s crucial that my pieces can be used for several years. That, for me, is a good way to promote sustainability.
There was a wake-up call for fashion on sustainability, and I think it will keep going because it’s crucial to support it.
Your clothes and inspiration is all about travel, so I have to ask how your clothes pack
That’s really interesting. I’ve never been asked that question, but it’s so essential. Most of my clothes are for men, so they pack pretty easily. Some of the pieces from the summer collection do have to be steamed. But most of the clothes pack pretty well and don’t wrinkle.
Describe the BLUEMARBLE man
I think it’s really hard to expect who your customer will actually be. It changes a lot. Our store in Paris has the studio downstairs so I can see who buys the clothes. We have customers who are 30 to 35 years old who want more expensive, dressed-up pieces. We also have many young customers because we have a big skate park near the store, so young kids buy t-shirts and hoodies.
I don’t want just one person to wear the brand. I think the brand is wearable on different occasions and is for different types of people. It’s very cosmopolitan.
It’s also based on the collection. Sometimes, I want to dress more formally, and sometimes I want to be dressed up more sporty on the weekend. Or even mix both. And I think that’s possible with our collections.
Where else do you want to set up shop?
That’s a tough one. I’d love to do a pop-up in Manila. That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I want to do it correctly and well-prepared.
As for opening another shop, I would go for either London or New York. For now, we want to focus on our store and develop our wholesale and pop-ups. We’re still growing, and we’re still a young brand, so there’s a lot that I am open to.
We have a couple of stores that do carry us. We are going to be sold next season in Selfridges in London, also in Lane Crawford. We’re also in Please Do Not Enter in Los Angeles and another store in Dubai. It’s pretty cool because the brand is becoming international, and that’s the brand identity. You can travel in the clothes—we want to keep on working with that.
Who is a celebrity you’d want to see in BLUEMARBLE?
It would be Pharrell Williams. He’s a big inspiration to me. He represents for me an effortless style. It’s a great mix of chic and sportswear. He pulls off both very well.