Introducing Officine Generale to The Helm
Known in many circles as a “cult” menswear label, Officine Generale designs surprisingly approachable clothing. Urban, utilitarian, retro, and sporty all at once, their pieces are made for everyday life, and they should be worn that way. We are very excited to bring their laidback yet incredibly thoughtful collection to The Helm.
How it started
Officine Generale was founded in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés in 2012 by Pierre Mahéo. Mahéo started his career in fashion by working under Michel Barnes, a celebrated tailor in France, who taught him to be discerning when it comes to fabrics and construction.
He moved on to begin working for some major fashion houses in Europe, but he became disillusioned by the poor quality clothing being produced. He had a dream of creating high-quality clothes at an accessible price point, so he sat down at his kitchen table and began designing his own collection--one that he could guarantee was being made right.
Meant to be worn
The inspiration behind the designs comes from Mahéo’s desire to really, truly live in your clothing. He creates styles he would wear himself--things he could wear skiing in the winter, sailing in the summer, and generally existing in on the streets of Paris year-round. The colour palettes are often focused on earth tones that can easily be mixed and matched, taking the deliberation process out of choosing what to wear each day.
Mahéo has recalled stories of watching his grandfather garden in a 3 piece suit, instilling the attitude that your clothing should be able to be worn day in and day out. This inspiration results in collections that effortlessly merge heritage workwear with classic tailoring--clothing that serves a function, but that always looks refined.
The tailoring is soft and the jackets are shorter than average to allow for greater movement. The fabrics are intentionally chosen. The sweaters are often seamless, so a scratchy edge isn’t distracting you from daydreaming while you casually sip your espresso.
Made to last
Every decision Officine Generale makes is to ensure the longevity of the piece. From the way it’s stitched to the fabric composition and timeless styling, they want these pieces to live in your wardrobe for years to come.
Every item is made in Europe, where workers are paid fairly to do quality work. They use high-end materials and mills, using fabrics like premium Japanese selvedge Oxford cloth and Loro Piana wool. Even the smallest details are painstakingly considered, like the depth of a pocket or the way a fabric will fade with age.
These are items you can wear season after season, year after year, and maybe even generation after generation.
It’s really not surprising that Officine Generale catches the eye of the most prominent fashion figureheads at menswear shows each year. It’s never flashy, but those who know, know. Their collections communicate that sense of French elegance that is not always easy to find, and nearly impossible to fake.