Paris-based designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin cut his teeth as an embellishment expert at Balmain for two years before founding his namesake label in 2017. After just two seasons, the label was nominated for the 2018 edition of the LVMH prize. Taking inspiration from artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, de Saint Sernin uses clothing to explore facets of gay sexuality.
Born in Brussels, de Saint Sernin grew up on the Ivory Coast before moving to Paris at the age of seven. After studying womenswear at École Duperré, he interned at Dior and Saint Laurent before joining Balmain, where he stayed for two years. “I can’t tell you how many eyelets I’ve sewn into garments” he told AnOther, remembering his time at the fashion house.
His designs, campaigns and runway shows, applying the ’90s supermodel era to men’s clothing, have positioned Ludovic de Saint Sernin as one of the raciest menswear brands on the market. The brand’s sexiness relies on a careful game of Tom Ford -at-Gucci-era hide-and-seek — balancing exactly how much to give away and how much to hide.
Elements of the New York S&M scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s can be seen in his collections, which feature cropped leather tank tops, lavender and pink tailoring, and leather lace-up trousers. Since his Spring/Summer 2018 debut at Paris Fashion Week, the designer’s lace-up eyelet brief has become a signature. The brief has been repeated in different fabrics including leopard and sparkling rhinestones, and now represents almost 40 percent of the brand’s sales. Most recently, de Saint Sernin also ventured into womenswear, creating a small, standalone collection.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin is stocked at Machine-A, MatchesFashion and Farfetch.