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Clement Taverniti of Still Good Speaks About the Brand's Beginnings and Inspirations

Hot on the scene comes Still Good, a fledgling Parisian menswear fashion label with an air of new-age French swag. Beginning in 2010 with a line of tees that won the Who’s Next contest, Still Good has matured into a sturdy brand this year with a full collection of pieces including cardigans, pants, shorts, outerwear and even shoes. We meet with the label’s young creator and designer here for a little chat.

Can you please introduce yourself and your role at Still Good?
My name is Clement, I’m 24 and I live in Paris. I established the brand Still Good in 2012.

What’s the premise and philosophy behind Still Good?
I have been a part of the fashion world since my father — Jimmy Taverniti — had his own brand during the ’80s. I have always been connected to this world and it quickly became a real passion… Before launching Still Good I was working for Kitsune and Dries Van Noten. I have been thinking about creating my own brand since I was a student at Esmod in Paris though – I was drawing a lot, reading a lot of magazines, blogs, and I also made some tees during my time in school. I really enjoyed graphic design and also worked part-time for the French brand Homecore. Naturally, the time came for me to launch my own brand.

Taking this project very seriously, I determined to show the market my own style and vision for fashion. I really needed to express myself trough this “art”–that was a necessity! My aim was to create an innovative brand which would still be easy to wear and provide style and self-confidence.

I chose a personally significant name for my own brand–Still Good had been used by my father in one of his brand advertisements during the ’80s. A homeless guy was taking a pair of jeans out of the trash, exclaiming “Still Good”–-encore bon.

I have always loved breaking fashion rules and mixing culture with style to deconstruct wardrobe classics so they become more modern, creative and comfortable. Still Good means that everything is still possible–there are still a lot of things we can explore and create, and we can still find something new and attractive with deep introspection and reflection.

Following this philosophy, I’m developing in the website a section called “LE MUR BLANC.” It’s a page where different artists–graphic designers, painters, photographers, writers, singers, etc.–can express themselves by posting their own work and sharing it with other artists. All the different posts will be gathered on one white page like a mood board, and I will choose one artist maybe twice a year to do an interesting collaboration with me.

How would you define the brand in your own words? 
I would say it’s a creative brand for the contemporary and modern man. This is a brand for the really fashion-passionate, a real designer brand offering its own vision of fashion while providing style and self-confidence–a mix of street and high-end culture fusing neoclassical styles.

Where do you find your inspirations? How do you apply non-fashion inspirations to clothing?
I am always looking at all my favorite designers’ works–-Marni, Dries Van Noten, Watanabe, Jil Sander, Neil Barrett, etc. It is also very important to see their products in person, so I often visit stores to check out and touch the products. I also walk a lot in the streets to get inspired… I take a lot of photos–it can be street art, interesting architecture, people, etc. I love spending time in the library discovering books with amazing imagery that you can’t find on the internet. I love design, painting, graphic design, and these are also some of my inspiration sources–-a painting, or a special architecture can really provide me a lot of ideas on how to build a garment. With inspiring graphic design, I can make tees or use them in the lookbook. I really love the abstract, modern and minimalist style. For my upcoming 2013 spring/summer collection I have been inspired by a painter called Barnett Newman who is very minimalist, modern and abstract, so you will see some clean shapes and nice color blocks – with a lot of dark navy driving a creative, elegant, innovative and very modern collection.

How do you approach each season?
I first try to get lost in a lot of ideas, putting them altogether in my precious sketchbook that I can’t live without! I stick photos, pieces of fabrics, etc. to create like a mood board, then brainstorm while looking at all my favorite designers and gather more inspiration from design books… but this is an all-year-round work–anytime I get an idea I will put it in my sketchbook. Then I visit all my fabric suppliers–either at Premiere Vision in Paris or in the fabrics market of my production place–and I pick fabrics I’m attracted to, finding specific prints and colors, and always looking for something different and innovative but also comfortable and high-quality. When I’m looking for fabrics, I’m always inspired and develop new ideas.

After organizing all the fabrics I’ve chosen, I create a theme for the collection by adapting all the fabrics to my designs through a “plan de collection.”

Where do you see the brand developing in the next few seasons?
I’m working hard on getting new collaborations and developing brand credibility to get my own vision and place in the market, but collaborations take time to confirm and be realized–this even more so with big companies… I can give you an exclusive piece of news – a collaboration could take place with Dickies but not before 2014 fall/winter, so you will have to wait a bit more to see it!

Otherwise I would really like to gain market recognition gradually by demonstrating my own vision for fashion, and my aim in the future is to be considered a real designer like Dries Van Noten, Kris Van Assche, Junya Watanabe, etc. My aim is first to establish strong brand identity, and a signature that is easily recognized.

Well, the other exciting thing about this business is that you can meet a lot of nice and passionate people who really respect you for your work and that’s a really good feeling…

What has been some of your greatest difficulties growing? 
A difficult thing is that I manage everything alone, from design to production to sales! It’s good to be everywhere because you can get things done the way you like but it’s a lot of work! And so the first season was kind of tough to prepare for… I can say that when you start your own business without a financial partner, things go step by step and slowly–it’s like a big fight everyday to get your project alive! But with motivation, passion and tenacity nothing can stop you!

Any last words?
Do things with passion or not at all!

Still Good is available through our online store.

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