Exclusive Designer Interview – Nicolas Huxley – „Elephbo“

Name Brand: Elephbo GmbH

Name Designer: Nicolas Huxley

Established: 2016

Kind of Style: fair and urban fashion

Instagram: @elephbo

1. Please describe yourself and your brand and its evolution in the past seasons.

I really wanted to serve the world with what I am doing. It’s not only about sales, it’s most importantly about the purpose of Elephbo which is to serve the environment, the customers and the producers. In order to live up to this philosophy I am very concerned that I listen well. What do my workers need to produce to my full content? What ideas does the team and my social environment mention that might elevate our brand? What adjustments do the customers ask for?
And that is the manner with which we have come from the idea on a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia in 2012 to the launch of Elephbo in 2016 to partnerships all over the world and to made-to-perfection offers in 2018.
Our products stand out with its Cambodian background and the values that the brand stands for. But also the design and the combination of the materials makes Elephbo products special. The major part is made of the recycled cement bags. Additionally, we only use Italian or vegan leather. That gives our products the perfect mixture of simplicity, elegance, quality and individuality.

2. Best and toughest part of designing a menswear collection.

We produce for people. Not specifically for men or for women. Consequently the design is strongly influenced by the needs of people. Designing and actually producing products with a completely unknown material which should not only look cool but also fulfill the desire and requirements of a modern everyday life, that was the toughest part.

 

3. What sources of inspiration are your biggest influence?

It’s all about being in the moment and actually living in the here and now. Regardless of nature, people, culture or any other context. If you are actually able to be aware what really happens around you all the time and don’t seek the escape from the here and now through whatever medium, it is the biggest of source of inspiration I believe.

That was the main reason for founding Elephbo. Every year thousands of tourist travelled to Cambodia and many of them also recognized the cement bags I believe, but saw them as a source of inspiration and acted upon?

 

4. What was your favorite collection so far?

Definitely most recent one. The only way to launch a new collection is to launch a better one than before. And that is what we did. We implemented new ideas, feedback and the experience from the beforehand processes to make the new collection to perfection.

5. How much of your success do you credit to the education you had?

Of course I had a great foundation of knowledge in Marketing and Business administration thanks to my studies at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and my exchange year in Hong Kong. This pre-condition made it more comfortable to put myself into the Startup adventure. But I had no experience or knowledge when it comes to designing fashion and distributing it. Therefore, I can definitely support the statement from entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Co. who say that passion and strive is more important than knowledge. That is really the case, because with passion comes knowledge but with knowledge doesn’t necessarily come passion.

6. What genre of music best describes your collection?

When we present our brand on catwalk we play Cambodian music mixed with modern hip hop beats. Maybe it’s a too evident choice but Cambodia represents a crucial part of our products personality. Without my trip to Cambodia and without our incredible team in Cambodia, we couldn’t provide our sustainable quality products.

7. How do you choose your models for your shows and campaigns?

We co-operate with people from official online platforms for young models who look for an opportunity to make new experiences. It’s a win – win situation: We have young ambitious people who are comfortable in front of the camera to represent our products and in return we share the copyright and give them attention and the opportunity to practice.

8. Do you have any favorite male models?

We’d be honored to have Brad Pitt as our model. I know he involved in a lot of charity work in Cambodia and through the adoption of his Cambodian son he has a personal connection as well.

9. Where do you plan to take your brand next?

This summer we are launching our new collection with female Sneakers, new Weekender Bags and a new style of Backpacks. Besides we are pushing into new markets like Japan, Korea and the Nordics. Regarding product development we have couple wicked ideas such as T-Shirts, jackets or furniture made of recycled cement bags. But everything to the right time and with the right people. The long term vision is to copy past our business model in other developing countries all over the world and thereby reducing waste wherever possible.

10. Beside fashion – do you have any special talents?

I love the challenge! For example I’ve cycled through Guatemala, Brazil and Myanmar by pushbike. For next year Eritrea is on my cycling bucket list.