A SERIES OF SHORT FILMS
This year JOSEPH celebrates a remarkable milestone – 40 years spent shaping the fashion industry with its luxurious, timeless designs. To commemorate this achievement, JOSEPH has embarked on an inspiring journey of discovery through a series of short vignettes delving into its past, present, and future. Sharing the rich and vibrant origin story that now mostly goes untold through to the core pillars that are honoured at the house to this day, this artistic series aims to unpack the story and values that has ultimately led to JOSEPH’s unwavering appeal.
PART 1: HISTORY + VISION
JOSEPH’s story begins with the vision of the late Joseph Ettedgui, a brilliant entrepreneur and true fashion pioneer. While the JOSEPH label was ultimately founded in 1983, the brand’s concept dates back to the epicentre of swinging 60s London when the Casablanca-born hairdresser opened his namesake salon on the iconic King’s Road. Settling in the UK due to his “love of the rain and baked beans”, Ettedgui once declared British women the most stylish in the world and developed an innate intuition for what his customers needed and wanted beyond the salon chair. Though he had no formal background in fashion, he had a keen eye and an appetite for style that soon outweighed his desire to cut hair. A meeting with Japanese designer Kenzo Takada at Paris Fashion Week soon followed and led to Joseph selling the brand’s knitwear from the window of the salon in the early 1970s.
It was an instant success and the salon quickly transformed into a boutique, hosting a curation of radical designers including Azzedine Alaïa and Yohji Yamamoto alongside young designers such as Margaret Howell, and later Katharine Hamnett and John Galliano. In doing so, Ettedgui become a trailblazer of retail.
‘Joseph was an ideal mentor, not just to me but to the many emerging designers he encouraged on their way. Without him, the world of retail might be a much duller place.’
MARGARET HOWELL, DESIGNER
The brand’s expansion of lifestyle stores - an idea ahead of its time - redefined the shopping experience by offering a curated selection of not only clothing but also home furnishings and accessories. This immersive approach created an unforgettable atmosphere that attracted discerning women seeking more than just clothing, cultivating a spirit of loyalty among customers and staff in the process. This holistic approach and unique blend of emerging and established designers set the tone for JOSEPH’s own label, which was launched in 1983. To this day, JOSEPH continues to curate a thoughtfully selected collection of today’s most exciting iconic and emerging designers in the DESIGNERS AT JOSEPH store, situated on London’s Fulham Road.
‘I worked with Joseph many years ago, in ‘91, ‘92, ‘93, and JOSEPH Sloane Street was one of my first jobs. He was an absolute genius. And just working with him, knowing that I was working with one of the most influential fashion geniuses, bringing new designers to London changed my life and my career. I was there when he first discovered Prada!’
LISA, JOSEPH SENIOR STYLIST
Joseph Ettedgui’s brilliance lay in his ability to design luxury essentials that seamlessly integrate with high-end designer brands and provide women with a complete modern wardrobe. With a focus on craftsmanship and quality materials, JOSEPH pieces have remained timeless and relevant throughout the years. This ethos remains true to this day, and JOSEPH’s ability to adapt to evolving trends while maintaining its signature style has been one of its most significant strengths.
‘JOSEPH has a fantastic history that is really inspiring, there’s so much to go back to in the archive. Our job is easy because Joseph himself already made his mark on the brand and it’s something that is timeless. Keeping the JOSEPH vision alive is more about evolving rather than revolutionising.’
ANNA LUNDBÄCK DYHR, CO-CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Throughout its history, JOSEPH has witnessed many impactful moments that have shaped its legacy. Early catwalk shows left an indelible mark on the industry with the 1986 JOSEPH TRICOT show– a creative collaboration with Michael Roberts and DJ Fat Tony paying homage to Dusty Springfield – providing a raucous and unforgettable pop culture moment that is still talked about now. Memorable campaigns, such as those featuring supermodel Amber Valletta, captured by iconic photographer Peter Lindbergh against a city backdrop, have remained timeless and continue to inform the house’s visual identity.
Fast forward to now and the brand continues to realign with Joseph Ettedgui’s original vision under the helm of Co-Creative Directors, Anna Lundbäck Dyhr and Frederik Dyhr; creating a balance between fashion and a timeless wardrobe of luxury essentials.
‘Joseph was obsessed with perfecting a garment. A lot of times we look at a collection how Joseph himself would, asking how we perfect, for example, the trousers to make every season the best version of the trousers that we can. But also, we mustn’t forget to have a bit of fun too.’
FREDERIK DYHR, CO-CREATIVE DIRECTOR
With a heritage that spans forty years, the brand now looks confidently toward the future, continuing to define the style of the coming decades just as it did so powerfully in the past.
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