Luxury is not a question of money, but of mood
Words: Caiza Andresen
»I never studied fashion. I just knew what I liked and it wasn’t necessarily what everybody else liked.«
-David Obadia (Founder and Artistic Director of Harmony Paris)
I started »working« in fashion basically eight years ago. My interest in this art form and the many cultures that accompany it was sparked many years earlier. Not insignificant for my training in the world of garments was a website named tumblr. A microblogging and social networking website founded in 2007 which granted the user a dashboard to reblog other users´ content or to blog in the most easiest way possible. Entering a hashtag brought you into a world of uncountable impressions of pure aesthetics. Screenshots out of movies, an excerpt of an interview from way back, a behind the scenes look from a music video… Not much information, but the pictures spoke for themselves. You used your tumblr page to create a mood that represented yourself, your personality. Being schooled there certainly gives you an advance in one of my favourite fields of creative working: the mood board. Now for all you mortals: A mood board is a visual presentation, a collage of images texts and samples of objects in a composition. It helps you to easily convey ideas for one of the many projects you are working on.
I knew about Harmony Paris’ founder David Obadia before I knew about his brand itself. His account was suggested to me by a friend of mine and it instantly reminded me of my tumblr days. It’s filled with moods. Jack Nicholson smoking a cigarette while wearing yellow sunglasses and a crispy white bucket hat, Ralph Lauren horseback in a Canadian tuxedo, a young Al Pacino. They seem out of context but they connect to something bigger. An identity. An identity of timeless cool and leisure. Nothing forced.
Googling his name also reminded me, that it was him who founded Brooklyn We Go Hard, a company that you might remember for their crewnecks sporting the slogan »Brooklyn parle Français« and Puma collabs from a couple years ago. Back then »Brooklyn parle Français« gave out a very certain vibe. A cosmopolitan vibe. Something that manifested itself in Harmony Paris, which he founded in 2014. If you follow both David and Harmony on IG you will see the similarities. A sophisticated mood with European flair. Just by looking at the channel I feel a desperate need to visit Cannes.
Harmony gives you strong vibes of high fashion. High fashion directed by somebody rooted in streetwear with affection for Shawn Stüssy and James Jebbia. He also was an intern for Stephane Ashpool at Pigalle by the way. So you can see his evolution and how Harmony became what it is. I read that David said that he will never loose his streetwear rooted DNA. That this is a power and energy that still drives him even though Harmony is not about graphic tees and sneakers, but offers their buyers blazers, knit sweaters and classic coats.
Harmony’s foundation can be brought down to three cornerstones that make the brand stand out:
1. Excellence in limited quantities
Meaning their interpretation and modernisation of daily essentials to help their customers build a perfect wardrobe. Their limited quantities strive with high standards and timelessness.
2. Their approach to create a new luxury
Harmony does not equate luxury with a high price point. Their quality is their main focus.
3. Transparency on how they manufacture
The majority of their products is manufactured in Europe with quality fabrics in close-knit, people friendly family workshops, which they visit on a regular basis.
Harmony is luxurious streetwear but not in the sense of a sweat suit embroidered in Gucci pattern or a sneaker that looks like a regular New Balance but with a slapped on Louis Vuitton logo and a price the equivalent of our monthly rents. Speaking of sneakers: Harmony still stays connected to a particular branch of street culture by releasing collabs with brands such as Asics and Puma.
It’s a sophisticated vibe dreamed up by somebody who grew up on streetwear and never decided to follow a given path but followed his own vision with the attitude of Lady Di in a letterman jacket, sports heroes like David Beckham, James Gandolfini flipping the bird at some paparazzo or Jude Law in »The Talented Mr. Ripley«.
Harmony is now available at HHV and of course I have some dapper recommendations for you guys:
The Presley USA Sweatpants (If you did not notice, let me assure you, that the classic sweatpants have returned. Move over, track pants.)
The insanely smooth Tao Polo (Made out of 100% cotton terry cloth)
And the Positano Sporting Club Tee.
Check out the whole selection of Harmony SS21 at HHV: Harmony | HHV
Visual content: Harmony