10 things to know about lukas vincent, designer of international woolmark prize winning label ex infinitas

From DMT inspiration to shooting with actors from Larry Clark's film, there's a lot to learn about this fast-rising luxury surf label.

by Briony Wright
12 December 2016, 11:05pm

Photography Fabien Montique

Lukas Vincent is the convivial designer behind fast-rising luxury surf, street wear label Ex Infinitas. His story is rare. A few short months after launching Ex Infinitas, and with just a single collection completed, the label won the 2016 Australian final of the International Woolmark Prize. Consequently Lukas has spent every waking hour of the five months since preparing his next range, which will be presented alongside the other Woolmark finalists, including young visionaries like Faustine Steinmetz and Cottweiler, this January in Paris.

With sought after stockists like Browns in London currently placing orders for his oversized menswear and with plans to continue producing interesting campaigns to promote his 'surfer dandy' universe, we anticipate that Ex Infinitas is a label you'll be seeing a lot more of in the future. We caught up with Lukas to understand a little more about his world and the interesting stories that have led him to this point.

1. Ex Infinitas is a menswear label with a difference…
"I'd like to think that it's a label that caters to the surf dandy in all of us, but probably the kind of dandy who was kicked out of home for wearing his mother's clothes."

2. Lukas didn't travel a traditional path to get to this point, but he did have an interesting mentor…
"I was studying a fashion course at RMIT and not entirely keeping up with the work. I was straight out of high school, had just moved out of home and was partying a lot. It wasn't a great time for concentrating on a discipline. Once when I was out at a club I met Bettina Liano. We were a bit drunk and got talking and she handed me her business card and told me to come and see her the following week. We had a really easy meeting and that's where it all began. Bettina made me their visual merchandiser a few days a week, even though I'd never done it before, and within six months I was in the office assisting her on design, accessory buying, PR and marketing. It was an incredible opportunity and I'd go everywhere with her. It was such an exciting time in Australian fashion, I was going to fashion weeks, sitting in hair and make up trials with models like Gemma Ward before she was discovered. Labels like Tsubi were doing crazy parades and there were always wild parties. I used to get in trouble all the time but I learnt so much."

3. For his first campaign, he cast Lukas Ionesco, the beautiful lead actor from Larry Clark's The Smell of Us, to appear alongside a handful of other French models.
"I literally watched The Smell of Us a few weeks before leaving for Paris to cast for my campaign, and I was mesmerised by the actor Lukas. On the day of casting I saw so many great people that I didn't register who he was when I first saw him. After I got home it occurred to me who I'd just met and realised he really embodied the spirit of the brand. Everything was very big on him because he's not too tall but he just looked great in the clothes."

4. He's really excited to be showing in Paris as the Australian finalist of the International Woolmark Prize…
"Given that I really only launched Ex Infinitas this time last year, even being nominated was a great surprise. Manuscript wrote an article on my first capsule collection and recommended me, then I was officially nominated by the Fashion Chamber. It's been a lot of work but I'm so grateful."

5. It's a great year to be involved in the International Woolmark show…
"The Woolmark men's parade was traditionally held in London but this year they've moved it to Paris, combining it with the women's runway with the intention of bringing it up to a higher standard. The production is going to be incredible and to be able to show my clothes to so many influential people is just phenomenal."

6. Working on his label doesn't leave much time or money for anything else…
"The sad reality is that right now I literally invest so much time and energy into making my fashion that I don't have any time to really wear or enjoy the clothes. I drag the same jeans and Vans off the floor to wear every day. I'm just pouring all of my energy into my work. Also all of my money goes on fabric and stuff for the label. Right now I'm all about the Italian shower, just lots of Serge Lutens fragrance.

7. Lukas told us something about the inspiration for the brand that not many people know…
"People often ask me about the meaning of the name. Ex Infinitas means 'Of Infinity' in Latin, which I chose because I wanted something that sounded ancient but also futuristic. Interestingly my dad introduced me to DMT a few years ago and as result I started having crazy, mystical experiences. It was around the same time I was conceptualising the brand and I was flooded with all these ideas and how I wanted it to be. Those experiences really helped define the brand. That might tell you something about it. My dad's an astrologer and a shaman and has helped open my mind to so many crazy things."

8. If he wasn't running the label, Lukas's life would be very different…
"I think plan B would involve the simple life, probably on some northern beach smoking too much weed. My dad used to own the most amazing Bird of Paradise farm in Byron Bay and I'd sell them at the market with him. He's essentially a hippie who doesn't like wearing shoes. I always think that if this doesn't work out I can follow in his bare footsteps."

9. Lukas works with a talented French photographer, designer on the brand's visuals...
"Fabien Montique takes care of the imagery and art direction for Ex Infinitas. He's a regular collaborator in terms of the photography and brand image direction. He's like my eternal sounding board, ensuring everything is strong and capturing the overall brand ethos."

10. Getting to Paris is going to be something of a mission…
"I have 100kg of luggage to take. It's going to be interesting."


Text Briony Wright
Photography Fabien Montique

Lukas Ionesco
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10 things to know
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