Accessible luxury: Munich brand Boulezar pursues quality design with an ethical conscious
'When I founded the company just over four years ago I saw an opportunity in creating fair and really high quality luxury products,' says Boulezar founder, Sebastian Kaiser who operates as CEO and creative director. 'There was always too much branding or pieces were bad quality. I wanted to change that.'
With no formal design training – he previously worked in finance – Kaiser’s motivation was a personal one: to create a luxury and accessible brand that was responsibly and ethically made. Today, all production take place only two hours from Boulezar’s headquarters in Munich where a team of ten works from a renovated townhouse. Fabrics such as double faced silks, jersey and cashmere are sourced in Italy and Japan, which he considers 'incredibly reliable - you get what you order and they work in a traditional artisan way which we could totally relate to. Also, these are two countries for which we can somewhat guarantee that fabrics are made under fair working conditions. For the entire team here it's very important that we know it’s a fair product.'
For S/S 2016, Kaiser and his design team looked to the 1972 Munich Olympics. 'That was a big restart for the city of Munich,' he says. 'A lot of buildings and infrastructure was created. We became inspired by the sports that were played at that time and the outfits that were on the courts and the pitches.' For women, that means shirt dresses, a suede t-shirt with tie waist and summer weight rib knits, which work in tandem with cashmere crewnecks, fine gauge polo shirts and jersey shorts for men. There is a unisex feel to certain pieces but subtle design tweaks mean each is perfectly considered for the wearer; a women’s hoodie may come in a men’s cool, boxy fit but sleeves are hemmed with soft jersey cuffs. 'You could call them sporty shapes, but we are not trying to be sporty,' Kaiser insists, 'its about being comfortable. We are trying to create clothes you can wear every day for any occasion.'
Working in Munich allows Kaiser and his team to remain focused and yet have global reach thanks to their digital e-tail site. 'Every city has its own style, pace and rhythm. What’s special about Munich is its quite slow really, it’s not as buzzing as London, Paris or Berlin really, but it’s more about quality of life. Boulezar is about slow fashion and we create timeless designs that are made to last a lifetime.'
'Where’s fashion really going?' questions Kaiser as we wrap up. 'What values out there will remain important? We would really love to see the origin of fashion and products getting more attention. Luxury is not only about big brands and pieces being expensive: luxury is about the trade of quality, comfort, honesty and transparency. Only then can you call something a luxury product.'