Theory enters its next design evolution under the creative direction of Francesco Fucci.
Theory was founded on a guiding principle: to design essentials that are versatile, practical, and timeless. Minimalist in design, attention has always been given to creating the perfect fit and sourcing the finest fabrics; from the brand’s start two decades ago, through the artistic direction of Olivier Theyskens in the earlier half of this decade, Theory has been a leader in pioneering the contemporary fashion segment.
So how do you take an innovative and forward-thinking brand to the next level? Enter Francesco Fucci. A fashion veteran trained in Italy and Paris, who better than Fucci to usher Theory into the next phase of the brand’s evolution? The designer eventually landed in New York where he worked under the master of minimalism, Francisco Costa, at Calvin Klein, followed by a stint at Diane von Furstenberg, and most recently, the role of head designer at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s CFDA Award-winning brand, The Row.
We chatted with Fucci about his debut collection for Theory, his vision for the brand, and where you can find him in NYC.
You are getting ready to launch Theory’s Pre-Spring 2019 collection, your first for the brand. Tell us about your inspiration for the collection?
FRANCESCO FUCCI: I believe traveling was the best way to create a relevant point of view as a European designer working at an American brand. Before I started AT Theory, I visited Marfa, where I felt like I was discovering true America: amazing scenery, colors and even the sounds of the wind. I immediately became fascinated by the landscape, which heavily inspired the design and influenced the collection. I also looked at American uniforms of the past, like the nurse and the postal worker, as sources of inspiration to design more casual garments for every day. Another reference that I always bring with me is dancer Pina Bausch. Her work was about creating tension between a woman and a man. Theory is a brand that was born creating a menswear wardrobe on a woman’s body, like the perfect pant and shirt that Theory started with 21 years ago.
What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
FF: The classic white button down represents my vision for the line. This style is influenced by menswear and it is versatile, sophisticated, classic, and romantic.
A look from Theory's Pre-Spring 2019 collection
How do you stay true to the classic essence of the Theory brand, while also elevating it to a new level, with your own special touch?
FF: When addressing the essence of Theory, I sought to perfect the core pieces that the brand was founded on—the pant, the shirt, the jacket. I wanted to evolve the line and bring a new sophistication to its roots by refining the materials and the details of each garment.
In your eyes, how does Theory fit in to the overall American fashion landscape?
FF: With Resort, I aimed to define how Theory fits into American fashion today. The collection reflects on the principles of great fit, fine fabric, and pure style that have guided Theory for the past 21 years.
What can we expect from Theory in the future? What is your vision for the brand over the next 5 years?
FF: I see the next 5 years as an exciting opportunity to evolve and create a new point of view for the brand. I will continue to design collections that propel the Theory woman forward with an eye toward purity, refined fabrics, new constructions, emotion and romanticism.
Theory’s presence in NYC’s Meatpacking District is undeniable, but where else do you like to spend your time in New York?
FF: I love people watching on the city streets, mostly in Brooklyn where I live, and the impossible combinations that people seem to put together. In my down time, I visit the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY, which is sort of a church for me.
Explore Francesco Fucci’s Pre-Spring 2019 collection at local Theory stores and theory.com.
Photography by: Photography courtesy of Theory