Charly created a few years ago the brand Makabu. The principle of Charly is to give a second life to vintage clothing. He is one of the forerunners in France of the up cycling. His favorite material is the rice bag, which he recycles on his works as well. He explains his approach in an interview.
Feat-y: What is fashion for you?
Charly: It’s the pleasure of getting dressed while having the possibility of breaking all the codes. You can wear a brand name or no brand name at all and enjoy yourself. It’s also about dressing according to yourself: you can be very simple and sophisticated at the same time. It depends on each person.
Feat-y: Do you think the way you dress describes your personality?
Charly: Yes and no, at some point I assume that with fashion you can convey a lot of things and through all these things it can be assimilated to a disguise, a kind of camouflage
Feat-y:Do you pay attention to the origin of your clothes as an ethical designer?
Charly: As far as I’m concerned, I like thrift store clothes for their timelessness, and also because you can find classic clothes as well as street-wear, thrift stores are not sectarian. When you hunt, you can find really rare pieces. More generally I like originality, to stand out.
In a way, your choice to be an ethical artist is in line with your way of life?
Charly: Yes, but I think we need to redefine ethical fashion, in a way there is a correlation, and considering all that it encompasses (and that even from an economic point of view), it fits me
However, even if I pay attention to the ethical side, it’s mainly the fashion side that takes priority. My approach is really to put forward the fashion side, to show that there is everything in the ethical environment.
Feat-y: Personally I find that the label of artist suits you better than that of ethical stylist
Charly: Generally speaking, I don’t like labels. But whatever you do anyway, people always try to put you in a box, but it’s true that I prefer the artist side. My goal is to make clothes and paintings and maybe tomorrow there will be something else I want to do. So for the artist side, I agree.
Feat-y: Where do you get your inspiration to create your works?
Charly: From the street, from the people I meet, I try to be as observant as possible. The main thing is to manage to bring out the things you feel, in short it comes as it comes. You have to be open to be able to create, and then you have the possibility to go into worlds that are not necessarily yours.
Feat-y: The idea of using rice bags?
Charly: Originally, I wanted to make T-shirts but I’m not a graphic designer. I had this project with a friend but we had too different points of view. I started by making jackets for myself, I made some with burlap bags. Then I needed raw materials, I asked a friend who brought me a lot of rice bags. That’s when it all clicked. Visually speaking, I had the impression to be able to make my own creations. I really wanted to be able to make my creations alone. Then I showed my first creations to some friends and to some stores, they all found it nice. And there, everything started. But I think the luck factor was very present, because if my friend hadn’t brought those bags of rice, I wouldn’t have gone in that direction. And now we might not be here talking (laughs)
Feat-y: What does Makabu mean?
Charly: (laughs) My brand had to represent me, so I wanted to put my origins forward and as I am of Martinique origin, and I wanted it to be done in a discreet way, I chose the name of the beach in Martinique where I used to go when I was little. I liked this name and I think it’s easy to remember.