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Olivier Lapidus, the first couturist to launch a solely online house

Olivier Lapidus, the innovative designer amalgamating fashion and digital technology, known for using vegetable fibers and luminous materials back in the 90s. Launched his online ‘Maison de Couture Digitale’, named Création Olivier Lapidus on Saturday. An original concept that aims to bring couture and digital together - with no actual store, Lapidus commented in an interview with AFP “is it a new freedom that allows to raise a much smaller capital to exist".

As debuted on the Création Olivier Lapidus site, his eponymous collection with both haute couture and ready-to-wear lines, feature eight pieces each and are marketed without seasonality. Ready-to-wear pieces range from 2,000-6,000 euros, and haute couture made on demand for the client come "between tens of thousands of euros and infinity” said the designer, adding "if a customer asks me to put real diamonds on her dress, I execute”.

The online couture house will see clients order online, then visit one of Lapidus’ trusted workshops for measurements. The client will be able to witness the garment being made in an online video, helping to get a sense of the time taken to produce a haute couture piece - therefore bringing customers closer to the creation of their robe wherever they are in the world.

Olivier Lapidus, the first couturist to launch a solely online house

The website will feature many videos, enticing clients to learn about the pieces and reinstate the hand craftsmanship that goes into every piece. As customers use the website now, they can see a 360 degree angle of each design, zoomed in to show intricate details of Lapidus’ embroidery covered silk designs. Perhaps Lapidus’ innovation will retain couture’s ever slowing customer base by opening couture garments to a wider audience.

“Couture is theatre – a woman marching along a runway. And has been for the past half century; but the Internet is cinema – which is why I present in this manner” explained the designer.

In 1989 Lapidus took over as artistic director of Lapidus Couture, the house founded by his father, Ted Lapidus. Directing for 12 years, Lapidus unveiled his first designs at the Louvre which featured integrated telephones and solar panels.

“Maybe I was too ahead of my time? A solar panel in the Louvre...hm. We even had ten patents. But I have always believed in the cross fertilization between craftsmen and laboratories. Today people accept that – so it’s the right time for me to come back, with my own house”, he explained.

For the past decade Lapidus had stepped back from fashion, returning to Paris from Beijing where he opened his own publishing house and designed decor and furniture for the famous hotel Félicien.

Now, Lapidus says he is “happy to be in tune with my time and not too early for once!"

Credit: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Screenshot Olivier Lapidus website/