It is an honor to talk to Alex – founder of Hate Couture, can you please tell us how was this brutal brand founded?
Hello! And first of all, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity to talk via The Mosh Pit Maniacs Horde and it’s an honor to be here! To make a long story short, Hate Couture was created during the spring of 2016. I had participated to a clothing line before doing Hate Couture and when the previous brand disbanded, I decided to start my own thing. As simple as that.
What was the vision at first, when you started Hate Couture?
Nothing was planned as everything comes and works naturally. The vision is ours. The brand reflects my thoughts. I am a very sarcastic individual, into dark sense of humor, mocking a lot of things, be it people, ideologies, values, events etc even if it doesn’t mean I’m a dumb individual with no values, faith etc. I have values, mine and they are reflected in what we’re doing even if it’s not important for people to understand us. Hate Couture is making apparel not excuses, history or politics. For example, our “Long Live Death” is not referring to the words of the Spanish fascist José Millan Astray, not at all.
The truth is way funnier: when I was a kid, I was watching a movie called “Le Corbillard de Jules” (Jules’ Hearse) occurring during world war two and there’s a part when the hero (played by Aldo Maccione) is fucking a girl in a truck in a street and people are screaming from their windows because of the noise and the hero raises his gun, shoot it and yells “Viva La Muerte”! And it made me laugh a lot. I viewed it like a better way to say Fuck You and fits better!
Some people viewed it as a fascist reference and spread rumors we were praising far right ideology but the most intelligent of them realized that if our credo was to praise an hypothetical white racial supremacy we wouldn’t have put low lives like white sociopaths on our shirts aside to french serial killer like Guy Georges, Thierry Paulin who were blacks.
We’re based in France, a culturally rich country even when it comes to murder, darkness etc. So why would I praise death with Mexican death designs as we french people have the Guillotine death machine? We have a bunch of shirts with french serial killers. Not famous worldwide but who would have been as known as Ted Bundy if they were Americans. French sociopaths like Francis Heaulmes, Emile Louis, Joseph Vacher, Landru would even kick some American serial killers asses trust me.
Our most famous t-shirt is the face of Charles Manson above the “Je Suis Charlie” words originally used when Islamic terrorists murdered the designers of sarcastic paper Charlie Hebdo. Well, I know it’s not original and can be viewed as a very simple idea and some people insulted us telling it’s a shame to mix theses two symbols/ icons.
But when you look at it a little deeper (and we’ve heard it several times) : it’s maybe the most sincere tribute to Charlie Hebdo as they were very hardcore and sarcastic. Way more sincere than people waving the “Je Suis Charlie” everywhere when they never read this paper and when they did they became disgusted even telling “well, I understand they chocked some individuals who decided to murder them” (and no I’m not telling it was a false flag attack. We’re definitely not embracing conspiracy theories).
We watch, we read (I love books as much as I love records), we listen, we think, we work, we keep our mouth shut about our future projects, far from everything and it has proven to be the best way to act.
Your clothing line is just brutal, and at the same time it addresses the heavy metal with its sub-genres cult, were there any hardships at the beginning of doing so?
In fact the hardest part was to find a name for the brand. And I think I found the best name! As written above, the ideas come from my mind and there’s enough shit and hypocrisy surrounding us to be inspired. The gap between the disbanding of my previous brand and the birth of Hate Couture lasted 6 months.
During this time, I chose to withdraw myself from a lot of things, I travelled a little and I came to realize it was the best way to work and find inspiration. Today, it’s the same: we’re living far away from everything, in the mountains, almost in the woods surrounded by boars, cats, foxes, goats, vultures feeding on dead cattles, ruins of castles who were inhabited by the Cathares (considered heretic by catholic church who chased and burned hundreds of them) like the castle of Montségur surnamed “The Synagogue of Satan” by Simon De Montfort an important figure during the inquisition.
Our area is sick and I’d like to quote my friend Papacito from FDP de la Mode: “we could put underpants on the occitanian cross (the symbol of our region) as its balls are sweating because of its history”. And we should wring theses underpants and make people drink the sweat to educate them.
We don’t see a lot of people, we rarely go to shows. We prefer to walk in the woods looking for skulls and tranquillity than exposing us in a pseudo metal jetset with fucktards thinking the cast of Bleu Blanc Satan movie is their circle of friends at shows where people are telling us “give me a free shirt I’ll promote your brand”. We’re not your average “bistrot misanthropes”!
Tell us about your Hate Couture team, and the process of producing something that is incredibly brutal with a great sales force to it.
For a year now, Hate Couture team is made of me and my wife. We’re both taking care of designs, ideas, shipping, logistics, promotion. We have a full space dedicated to that.
Arranging a good work place is very important. Be it for your mind, mood and work efficiency.
Who are your biggest clients? Do you also sell to heavy metal labels?
For the moment, Hate Couture apparel is available via our e-shop while a tattoo shop (La Machine Infernale Tattoo) is selling our stuff. But of course, any shop, mail-order, retailer etc can contact us in order to sell us. We sell all around the planet directly on our shop but our main clients are from Europe due to the money barrier.
Are you designing and producing official clothing merchandise for bands? If not, did you ever think of it, and why hasn’t it been on your agenda so far?
We sometimes do collaboration with artists that we have bonds and connections with. Only exclusive designs, limited editions. We are very picky as some bands come to us to have designs and shirts for free and not caring about the essence of the brand.
Hate Couture has worked with Hangman’s Chair, Loudblast, Urfaust, Arkhon Infaustus, Vortex of End, Osmose Productions and more recently with Carpathian Forest and we’ll be soon publishing a t-shirt for Norwegian thrashers Blood Tsunami.
All theses people are connected to Hate Couture in various ways and that’s the first thing we’re looking at.
How does music influence the work of Hate Couture?
In many ways. We’re constantly listening to music: when we work, when we drive. We’re very open minded when it comes to the music. I’m mostly into the music I was listening when I was younger but I have some crush on recent sounds too.
For example, the new Hangman’s Chair album is brilliant!
The use of symbolic imagery, black metal fonts gives a bleak and cool atmosphere to lots of your production. What is the story behind that?
I’m not an artist. I love art too much to consider what I’m doing ART. I just have ideas I transfer into designs. I come from the underground black metal scene of the 90’s/ 2000 where the bleak Lo-Fi graphics are very important and this is the kind of designs that best fit the brand’s credo even if we’re not using all symbols and codes linked to the black metal scene.
We’re not using the inverted cross that much as it’s being too much used today, especially by hipsters etc. Looks like inverted crosses are blooming on people of this kind like Che Guevara face during the 90’s and CBGB logo a few years ago. Same goes for Sulphur Sigil even if we could use it as we’re living in an area famous for its sulphuric waters.
Are there any diversions in design considered in the future of Hate Couture? If so, what would that be?
I don’t think you’re going to see more than 2 or 3 colours on our designs.
Aside from your web-shop, where exactly can people find your stuff? Any plans to expand as well?
Only one shop is currently selling our stuff as most sellers are telling us our stuff is too much for them (and I understand them). We sometimes attend festivals market with our booth. We recently did the Netherlands Deathfest and a bunch of other festivals are planned for 2018.
Much thanks for your opportunity!
Long Live Death!