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Enfants Riches Deprimes translates from French to “Depressed Rich Kids” — so how could celebrity spawn not eat it up?
With vintage-inspired tees, leather jackets and tattered, oversize sweaters — all priced in what would comfortably be classified as an uber luxury tier — the DTLA-based label has quickly become a favorite with tabloid teens (Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Zayn Malik) and trend-setting A-listers (Beyonce, Jared Leto, Kim Kardashian) alike.
Sofia Richie, 19, is the latest in a string of literal enfants riches to be spotted in one of the brand’s creations. Bieber’s new flame picked a silk black bomber emblazoned with a blown-up Mercedes-Benz logo surrounded by the Enfants Riches Deprimes name in a sarcastically sweet, cursive script.
The decision to borrow imagery from a luxury car maker is the true distinction between the L.A. brand and its Parisian counterpart, Vetements — the couture street wear label of the moment. Whereas Vetements co-opts less glamorous brands like DHL and Champion to make a high-low fashion statement, Enfants Riches Deprimes chose imagery that would, to most, already be considered luxury — that is, except to depressed rich kids, for whom a Mercedes might as well be a Toyota Camry.
Founded by Henri Alexander (real name Henry Levy) in 2012, the brand has all the makings of a modern sartorial success story: a ridiculously high-price point (a tee retails for $380; a sweater for $2,730), a unisex apparel offering, plenty of cheeky sayings (“Stop having fun and start praying”) and — the creme de la creme of depressed rich kid paraphernalia of questionable taste — a $7,000 cashmere noose.
But the appeal of the label lies not just in its dark decadence, but also in its exclusivity. Pieces are rarely available in quantities over 100, and jackets are often one of a kind; usually a vintage piece is customized by a member of Alexander’s design team. Currently, Enfants Riches Deprimes is stocked at a handful of retailers, including Selfridges, Yoox and Farfetch in addition to the brand’s website.
In a 2013 interview with The Fashion Spot, Alexander spoke of coming up with the idea for Enfants Riches Deprimes: “I was walking around Montmartre at 3 a.m. and came up with this concept of some sort of French punk art gang, which eventually led to the start of Enfants … I was being specific here and am speaking directly to the stylish weird kid who went to prep school and has been given everything his/her whole life, but is still miserable. Chic outcasts, misfits and addicts.” According to an interview with Complex, Alexander himself spent time in rehab, an experience he credits as inspiration for the label thanks to the clinic’s abundance of depressed rich kids.
The punk influence comes through in the obscene language (see: “Teen C*nt” on a sweater worn by Rita Ora) as well as references to icons like Lou Reed and a more unconventional choice: Vladimir Putin.
As you may have inferred, Alexander himself is of a privileged background, having grown up as the child of parents who found financial success in the water filtration business. In his youth, he attended Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, known as the world’s most expensive boarding school, before later enrolling in UCLA’s art program and then dropping out.
“The best way for me to explain the brand is ‘elitist, nihilist couture,’” he revealed to Complex. “The price point eliminates the masses, and the ideas eliminate the people who I don’t want, generally, in it, due to the dark nature.”
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