GQ MAGAZINE AUSTRALIA — PRESENTING LUKAS VINCENTS' EX INFINITAS
Presenting Lukas Vincents' Ex Infinitas, and seven more local labels to know about.
Ugly-chic. Bogan-luxe. Our answer to Vetements.
In a very short amount of time, Lukas Vincent’s modern punk/surf-skate play, Ex Infinitas, has been slugged a few things. But such curt descriptions and amiable comparisons fail to tell the full story – that this talented 34-year-old from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has created the most exciting slice of contemporary Australian menswear to land in years.
“It’s all been flattering, it’s been nice,” says the softly-spoken Vincent of the international plaudits – that also arrived in the form of last year’s $50,000 regional Woolmark Prize.
The time is right. Ex Infintas’ unique aesthetic is very much of the now – nestled into a sartorial zeitgeist led by Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, Demna Gvasalia and his Vetements’ collective, and the rising number of historical labels riding in their wake with ‘accessible’ collaborations.
While previous lookbooks may present local familiarity – stoned skater kids blowing joints and lounging; a modern editorial as lifted from The Face, for a generation unfamiliar with The Face – Ex Infintas remains better known internationally.
“I’d lived in New York for five years [after nearly eight spent in various roles with Bettina Liano], and then came back to Australia and was at a bit of a crossroads. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel at home, but I felt my career couldn’t happen here as I couldn’t find satisfying work and wasn’t happy with the level of creativity. So I started going back and forth to Paris and when it came to starting a brand, it was all quite organic.”
Cut to this January and a standalone Parisian showroom – the label’s first unshared experience – and a queue of international buyers happy to wait for an appointment.
“I was anticipating some buzz, but what we got was unbelievable. We picked up 30 stores worldwide, up from six last year, and that’s a massive jump.”
Massive, indeed. Not bad for a beach kid with a taste for the ugly.
“I like the idea of taking the ugly and turning it into something aesthetically pleasing. And people are responding, which is great.”