While many fashion designers jump right into creating full collections, Eduard Both graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2017 and started with socks.
“I always like to see a covered ankle,” he related over Zoom. “It was all about texture.”
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He segued into knitwear with his upstart brand, Creative Anonymous Projects, or CAP, scoring orders from such prestigious retailers as 10 Corso Como, Browns, The Room at Hudson’s Bay and Renaissance — only to put his brand on hold to go work for Miu Miu and Ports 1961 for a few years.
Now CAP Studio is back and it’s all about shirts, based on a men’s style from the 1950s with buttons lined up on the right, though he considers them gender-neutral.
“I embrace the freedom to do whatever product inspires me at a certain time,” he said. “The focus on product categories is very important. In a collection, it’s very difficult to have every category have the same quality and standards.”
While working in Milan, Both became obsessed with a Miu Miu colleague who looked amazing in her workaday uniform of a borrowed men’s shirt and a pencil skirt. He also stumbled across a mom-and-pop shirt shop in Milan whose quality astonished him, inspiring him to engage its factory, and scope out a range of specialty ateliers that could do screen printing, inkjet printing, embroideries, pleating and quilting.
“I decided to keep shapes simple. It’s more about treatments on top of the shirt,” he explained. “We’re trying to push the conceptual boundaries of what a shirt could be.”
Both plans to launch with about 10 styles, with short or long sleeves and two hem variations: curved or straight. They are to be sold beginning today on his new e-shop at Capstudio.be, along with some boxer shorts and also socks. Shirts are priced from 356 euros to 765 euros.
He kept the sizing basic — 1, 2 and 3 — to make his proposition more inclusive and inviting. Although conceived as a summer product, he considers shirts suitable for year-round wear, and is experimenting with quilted styles for colder climates.
Both said he plans to unveil a fuller spring 2022 range during Paris Fashion Week via a showroom presentation, and do two collections a year.
His yen for shirts stems partly from fatigue with jersey, which dominated fashion because of the streetwear and athleisure trends, and which took hold during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m craving a moment when people are dressing up again, and putting more effort into their appearance,” he mused.