In an industry forever in flux, a return to origins can be as refreshing as the latest trend. For Spring/Summer 2024, AZ Factory is doing just that by spotlighting the talents within, placing the spotlight on Norman René Devera and Peter Movrin. Instead of introducing another outsider as “guest amigo“, the brand turns its gaze inward, giving voice and vision to the duo that has stood by its ethos since inception.
Mauro Grimaldi, a Richemont executive, mused, “They’re doing their own collection, not a studio collection… It’s the first time they’ll express their point of view.” This significant shift recognizes the depth and potential of its internal resources, instead of continuously seeking inspiration from outside talents.
A historical backdrop sets this decision in context. When the late Alber Elbaz founded AZ Factory in 2019 in association with Compagnie Financière Richemont, he envisaged a revolutionary fashion house dedicated to “smart fashion that cares.” He had handpicked Devera and Movrin, and their chemistry and collaboration with various luminaries post Elbaz’s tragic passing in 2021 proved that his trust wasn’t misplaced.
The pair’s credentials are, without a doubt, inspiring. From the rustic charm of a Slovenian town where butchery was family trade, Movrin’s sartorial journey led him to the revered halls of Central Saint Martins in London. It was there that his avant-garde graduation ensemble ensnared the tastes of fashion’s elite, the likes of Lady Gaga, Björk, and Marina Abramović. With an aesthetic that couldn’t be contained, he soon found himself weaving narratives for legendary maisons such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Celine, and JW Anderson, culminating in his role as a senior designer at AZ Factory.
Devera, a London native, refined his fashion acumen at the esteemed London College of Fashion and Middlesex University. Those college corridors echo tales of his time mastering patterns under the tutelage of Vivienne Westwood, and honing skills beside Giles Deacon. The labyrinth of fashion took him to work under the astute eye of Phoebe Philo at Celine. But fate had an enthralling twist, as he joined forces with Elbaz at Lanvin, a collaboration interrupted by the designer’s unexpected departure. But Devera, ever the chameleon, navigated roles at Louis Vuitton, aligned with Raf Simons at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, and dabbled in the opulence of Versace. His journey came full circle as he returned to Elbaz’s visionary side for the inauguration of AZ Factory.
Known to redefine fabrics and silhouettes with his 3D design prowess, Devera now dons the title of Design Director for ready-to-wear and accessories at AZ Factory.
Their upcoming collection, “AZ Factory by Them,” scheduled for a grand reveal during the Paris Fashion Week, is eagerly anticipated. Devera and Movrin have previously collaborated with an eclectic range of talents: the likes of Parisian Lutz Huelle, the dynamic duo behind Colville, Molly Molloy and Lucinda Chambers, and the size-inclusive brand Ester Manas, steered by Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre.
Amidst this legacy of collaboration, Grimaldi observes, Devera’s approach, reminiscent of Elbaz’s magic touch, “transforms fabric into something major.”
By embracing the genius of Norman René Devera and Peter Movrin, AZ Factory embarks on a journey that feels both familiar and groundbreaking, celebrating the spirit of innovation that rests at its core.