by Sophia Dyer
  • 3 minute read
  • January 15, 2024
White Hot Quiet Luxury brand Fforme takes Net-A-Porter by storm
Fforme Middle East

It’s fair to say that when a new fashion label enters the scene, it has to find its niche in order to compete. And American fashion house Fforme has done just that. 

Helmed by Paul Helbers, formerly a menswear designer at Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, and most recently The Row, the collection has been designed for woman looking for chic evergreen attire. Going from dressing men to women, Helbers wants to empower his clientele through pieces crafted in sculptural shapes from timeless fabrics. 

Entering the global fashion space at New York Fashion Week last autumn, the ensembles have been cut to frame the body with an elegantly understated essence. Made for women seeking high-quality essentials, the modular collection will be available on Net-A-Porter from this week.  

Ahead of its Middle East launch, Villa 88 spoke to Helbers on his inspiration behind the brand. 

Paul Helbers for Fforme

Empowering the female 

“You don’t have to wear a suit to compete in a man’s world. Ffrome represents a subversion of power dressing. It gives you power and authority, but in a very feminine way. The femininity comes from the shape and from the cut.”

Working with fabric 

“I do all the first initial ideas. I cut them in cotton and drape them directly on the body. That makes it 3D and the clothes become about the movement. It’s about showing the body, by covering the body. It’s not about exposing, but sometimes you see some skin.” 

Modular collections 

“Going forward, we’ll do more unconventional essentials but also some wardrobe statement pieces, so you can look stronger, or more subtle. Fforme is very modular, everything is designed to go with everything in terms of colour, fabrics and also in fit. So if you buy a piece, you can layer it up according to your own personality. Or, keep it super simple.”

Not collections but art 

“We don’t call them collections, we call it a body of work. The body of work keeps growing like an artist, you start painting, and you start sculpting, and you keep making new work that adds to the existing work. And that’s also by how we like our clients to experience it. You can buy one piece, then next season another and they work together. Each item stays true to what we do.” 

Practicality first 

“The clothes are made to be worn. There’s nothing precious about them. You have to wear them. Our idea is that we know in ten years, our clients and to call them in 10 years and to photograph them, and see what a piece looks like.”

On being front and centre of the brand

“I haven’t changed what I do. I’ve always been making discreet clothes that are expensive with a very high quality. The way I approach design is very old school and you really understand the difference and when you try the pieces on, they really come alive. I’m happy to represent that, there’s nothing to hide.”

Expect things to get experimental 

“We’re not fixed on one theme. We want to keep experimenting with what we feel is right within what we do. There will be character building every season. My characters are moving forward and there will be more colour, textiles and embellishment. We’re not fixed to one theme. There are no boundaries.” 

Sustainable focus 

“We don’t want to do big collections. We have a very precise small number of fabrics that we work with and we want to keep it like that. Our biggest sustainable asset is that collections are small and the quality means it lasts. When you buy these pieces, they will last for a very long time.” 

All about ease

“The message for us is ease. When you put the clothes on, they frame you and immediately make a beautiful look. You almost don’t need anything else. Perhaps a pair of shoes, some lipstick and you’re good to go.” 

Shop Fforme on this week. 

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