The New Monthly Payment Collection Shows Alexandre Faulkner's True Vision
14 November 2021
Left Title Picture: Mathieu Fortin, Courtesy of Monthly Payment
Right Title Picture: Alex Black, Courtesy of Monthly Payment
Pictures: Courtesy of The Wasted Hour
To introduce you to Monthly Payment, Martin had a chat over the phone with Alexandre Faulkner, the founder and creative director of the Canadian label. They talked about the story and motivation behind Monthly Payment and how Alexandre shares his vision of a classic wardrobe with his new ready-to-wear collection.
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‘It all started off as a project, a vision, an idea – a way for me to show my vision of contemporary wardrobe with a couple of key pieces.’ This is how Alexandre Faulkner, founder and creative director of Monthly Payment, describes the beginnings of his Montreal-based fashion label.
He started off on Instagram, presenting his made-to-order pieces. ‘It was kind of a test to see how the people around me would react and if anyone even desires what I make. That helped me to sharpen it into something more solid and mature.’ Now, Alex launched his first ready-to-wear collection – with The Wasted Hour as the first stockist.
Alex’ new collection is very different from the clothes that he used to make. Before, he was more into the aesthetic, editorial aspect of designing clothes. As he puts it, ‘The first portions of Monthly Payment were more about showing my skills – it was a parallel side of who I am.’ However, Alex came to realise that that way of designing was only him ‘adapting to the market’ and not his ‘real voice.’
So, instead of ‘crazy styling’, as he puts it, the new Monthly Payment collection is about only a few key pieces and matching outfits. To Alex, this meant a great transformation: ‘My label became the message that I genuinely wanted to share: my classic wardrobe. It became my way to make clothes intuitively, unapologetically, without feeling the need to please everybody.’ In contrast to his previous designs, the new Monthly Payment collection is sharper, more refined – really Alexandre: ‘It’s a shirt and a trouser – and that is me.’ As he puts it, the shirt and the trouser are ‘the main characters’ of his brand, and everything else is ‘an extension of that.’
Although he feels like in fashion, there’s much pressure to do the next big thing, Alex knew, ‘That’s not why I make clothes.’ Still, he was stressed that the new Monthly Payment collection wouldn’t be ‘enough’ because it was simple, with little twists and details – ‘but still a bit of fantasy, a dream here and there, of course.’ However, the reactions were exactly like Alex himself feels about his new collection: ‘It’s more mature and more honest.’
Talking about his motivation behind creating fashion, Alex says that he does it ‘for people, to share it, not to gain a reputation, to be in, like, Vogue.’ With Monthly Payment, Alex has found a way to make beautiful clothes, without the feeling that he has to produce an extraordinary collection with a new theme every 2 months.
‘I continuously ask myself what I can bring in this world that is different from what already exists.’ For Alex, it’s all about making his clothes into something personal. He only produces a minimum amount of clothes, and pays great attention to detail, also playing with them. ‘It can be a centimetre that makes the difference. I re-do a pattern or fit several times until I really love it and it feels like my own.’ This is why Alex is able to say that ‘I’m proud to say it’s ready to wear.’
What additionally sets apart Monthly Payment from other emerging brands is its distinct attitude. Alex does his own thing, deviating from the mainstream and from what the fashion industry dictates. ‘I don’t follow the f***ing rules! I don’t embark on that calendar: There’s a design festival, so I have to present something – no, I present when I want to, when I’m ready to, and when I feel like there’s a reason for it.’
The new ready-to-wear collection is produced in Portugal, which Alex explains not only with the favourable tax and duties regulations between Canada and Portugal but also because of the production conditions there. ‘The clothes are of high quality, they source well, and get fair payment and working conditions. I also like knowing the people who I work with.’
When asked why he decided to become part of The Wasted Hour, Alex doesn’t hesitate: ‘Because I love you! I love how The Wasted Hour is curated: You have a limited selection of brands, each one hand-picked, based on an aesthetic, a vision, and values – a language similar to that of my brand.’
‘To have my first order with someone that I know, that I respect, that I appreciate, and that I have seen evolve parallel to me – that makes this new experience of starting my business even more powerful. Instead of negotiations, it’s me and a friend deciding that we want to be part of each other’s worlds, and I love it. The fact that you believe in Monthly Payment makes the whole difference.’