If you don’t remember 31 Fevrier, the handbag and jewelry sensation of the late ’80s from Marc Gourmelen and Helene Nepomiatzi, we won’t hold it against you — we don’t either. We do know Nepomiatizi’s new label 69-96, however, and since their inspiration comes from 31 Fevrier ‘s early vision of associating handbags, jewelry and shoes, we’re forced to reference the concept pioneer. 69-96 takes one detail (for AW ’04 it’s the kiss-lock closure of a purse) and spreads it across 15 different pieces (accessories and clothes) that are slightly kitschy but mostly chic. Partners Helene Nepomiatzi and Claire Savary worked at Celine (where Nepomiatzi assisted Savary as leather goods manager), then at Nina Ricci (directing fashion accessories), which explains how they come to choose the best leathers and hardware. A cool mix of street meets luxury, built on the concept of developing obsessive ideas, marks 69-96′s unique story. The label sells at Tracey Ross in Los Angeles and at Onward and Maria Luisa in Paris.
Photos: 69-96 Fall 2004