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Tina Kunakey & Vincent Cassel: ‘The Kooples campaign was a chance to work with my love’


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  • Power couple Tina Kunakey and Vincent Cassel have joined forces again for the AW21 campaign of cult Parisian label The Kooples.

    It’s their second for the brand, and the married couple went on a French road trip for it, behind the wheel of a vintage eighties’ convertible. Photographer Morgane Lay, a close friend of the model and the actor, managed to capture the married couple’s playfulness and complicity in the shots.

    I spoke to Tina and Vincent about their love of fashion, and what it was like working together.

    How was it, working on this campaign together?

    Vincent: I would say pleasurable more than anything else and to be totally honest, that was the main reason why I personally accepted. This is a professional connection with my dear lovely one.

    Tina: It was very easy to work together.

    The clothes are unisex, simple and versatile. Is this reflective of your personal style?

    Vincent: I’m not sure about that. I’m pretty classical, but she can be much more over the top. She’s a hundred times more daring than I am.

    And do you ever influence each other’s styles?

    Tina: I don’t think so?

    Vincent: You do influence me, actually. She has a tendency to add a little more fantasy in the way I dress sometimes, you know, saying I should try this or that. Otherwise I’ve I got one silhouette, one style. I’m like Batman.

    Tina: He’s the kind of man who goes to a shop and buys like 10 versions of the same t-shirts. And myself, I’ll go to 10 different shops and buy 10 different t-shirts, even if it’s a simple white one.

    What does fashion mean to you?

    Tina: I really love fashion. I’m really interested in all the new things, I follow the shows, and he probably finds that annoying!

    Vincent: No honestly, I’m not annoyed. I think of fashion as a snapshot of its own era, meaning that it represents the present, but things tend to go out of fashion. That’s why, if you don’t follow the trends too much, you’re timeless, you know? So fashion is like a wave that you decide to serve or not, depending on the trend of the time.

    Tina: I think you can do both, you can be timeless and follow the trends.

    How has your style evolved over time?

    Vincent: (To Tina) Well, you had one bag now you have 57!

    Tina: (laughs) I’ve always loved clothes you know? My mom is always telling me this story that when I was like two or three, I was going to my closet and I was like putting everything that I had in my closet on me, which was like two pants, a skirt, a dress on top of it, like two coats, you know, I was like always obsessed with clothes.

    But I think, since I started working in the fashion industry, I got more precise with my style, knowing what I like and what I don’t like, and I really, really, really love to feel like comfortable in what I wear.

    Vincent: From an outside point of view, what I see, since we’ve met, is that you are more sophisticated. It’s not a bad thing at all. For me, I have this feeling that I dressed the same way from ages 16 to 33. I was like into this sneakers thing, I would go to New York and spend a lot of time, like buying pants and all of that. And now, I mean, literally I do not care. I do not care anymore. If you take me to shopping, I get fed up after 15 minutes. But, when I find a brand that really matches with my way of living, then I will literally get in the shop and buy the shop.

    Tina: I don’t go to shops too often either. I go to the shops when I really have something specific to buy, but if not, I buy online because I know my size, and I’ve seen the collection before at the shows. When I go to the show, I make a mental selection for the next season.

    Do you have a go-to outfit that you always wear no matter what you do or where you go?

    Tina: Black. If you don’t know what to wear, wear black. You know, it’s fairly easy.

    Vincent: I realise that we are definitely, I would say that the victims of our environment and I’ve really noticed that because we go to Brazil a lot and we’re in Paris. Or even in London, people are dressed in black, grey, navy blue. It’s very discreet, but then you go to Brazil and if you’re dressed in black, you look weird, you look like a lost punk.

    Over there suddenly I realised that I might rock some orange shoes and some green shirts with shorts. And it works because it’s so, I mean, I would say because it’s sunny is like, not only because of the weather.

    Tina: Not just the weather, it’s the people too you know? There’s this thing in Paris, where you have to be discreet. Even if you’re like chic, elegant, you don’t have to show off too much. In Brazil, people dance, sing, they accept themselves. It’s ok to make noise, it doesn’t mean you’re trying to show off.

    Vincent: If you really look at it, let’s go from Spain to Germany, the higher North, you go, the more boring it is in terms of clothes, Germany. Spain is colourful, and the more South you go, it gets a little tacky, but it looks good. You know, it’s like in Southern America, people wear this really super red lipstick and it works.

    You can really see it with the street style during Fashion Month, how it varies from New York to London, Paris and Milan.

    Vincent: It’s different in New York, it has, or had, such a strong music influence that it really tainted the whole thing. Like what we call urban-wear. It starts in New York, in the eighties and the way they took, I don’t know, clothes that were supposed to be for sports professions, I’m talking about the Dickies or the Carhatts and the Nikes and all that.

    And it became a whole fashion language in itself. And if you really look at it right now, all the big brands, like the high luxury ones, that’s what they copy. Except like what used to be a hundred dollars for a pair of Jordans – and it was really expensive – it’s now a thousand euros.

    There’s always this image of French style being classic and stylish. Do you think there’s a secret to nailing it?

    Vincent: You’ve got to pretend that you didn’t do it on purpose. So it’s all about the attitude and the posture, but look at the Italians. I think they have been the predominant fashioned tellers of the last years. Don’t you think? They’re more daring than the French.



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