Atlein Designer Antonin Tron on How Surfing Inspires his Free-spirited Collections

Antonin Tron spoke to L'Officiel USA about sustainability, family, and fluidity while styling Tiffany's latest collection.
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Antonin Tron’s free-spirited, down-to-earth personality is apparent in all aspects of his label. Even the brand's name, Atlein, comes from the Atlantic Ocean where he loves to surf. Tron's debut collection in 2016 was humbly showcased in his Paris apartment, where his mother was serving coffee in the kitchen.

Atlein also displays Tron’s masterful grasp of the female form, shown in his work through a variety of sillhouettes ranging from carefully draped, body-hugging jersey dresses to structured separates. His expertise in his craft is a culmination of his past experiences: first through his studies at Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, then through working with a number of fashion houses including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Balenciaga. With Atlein, Tron certainly holds his own.

Atlein’s modern, fluid pieces and Tiffany's timeless jewelry make for a stunning pair. Along with Angel Chen and Christopher John Rogers, Tron interprets the elegance of Tiffany jewelry for the modern Parisian lifestyle. Read on below to meet the emerging talent—and to see his vision come to life in 'Styled to a T.' 

Lisa Immordino Vreeland: What kind of women inspire you? Can you describe the one you are dressing?

Antonin Tron: I’m inspired by women with a certain spirit; women who are very intelligent, empowered, and have a creative sense. That’s something I try to channel in what I do.

When I design, I have to be an observer. I have to listen to women, to look at them, to understand what they want, what they need, and then merge that with my vision. I'm friends with a lot of women that are not into fashion at all, but they inspire me with their spirit, by the decisions that they make in their life, and what's in their mind.

I relate so much to women who are free-spirited, and I wanted to create something that addresses that independence with Atlein. It's something for women that maybe don't want logos, who want a different kind of creative product with quality and integrity that is still luxurious.

LIV: Where does the name of your company, Atlein, come from?

AT: It's an homage to the Atlantic Ocean. I spend as much time there as I can, and I have a very strong relationship with the ocean. I love surfing; it's my favorite thing in life.

LIV: When did the subject of sustainability become so important in your life? How have you applied it to your collection?

AT: I think sustainability is something that has been always present in my life, thanks to my parents. I remember when we were driving the car in the summer, my mom wouldn’t put the air conditioner on because she would say we needed to save the oil for our future. 

It’s something that I grew up with, but I also think—same as everybody—I’ve become aware of this very unsustainable lifestyle that we are all living and how we are all in a transitional moment.

When you start a company, every choice that you make has an impact on your environment, and it was really important for me to create a company with these values. We started Atlein in 2015 after I had been working at big companies for many years. There was this idea of waste that became really difficult for me to cope with, so I wanted to create an alternative system, because how do you create fashion today? Whenever you create something, you destroy something.

I believe the answers to a lot of these environmental issues reside in making things smaller: making fewer things and working more locally. This is a family business. It's me, and it's Gabriele [Forte] who is my partner in life. My brothers help out, and my mom also works with us. She does accounting, and actually makes the jewelry for the shows, and then she cooks for everyone after. I couldn’t do it without her.

LIV: What is the story that you are trying to tell by taking Tiffany jewelry and mixing it with your aesthetic? 

AT: It’s about contrast. Most of my dresses are this very fluid jersey construction, and having this jewelry—this harder element—creates a very nice tension.

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