When you share a sense of style, chances are you'll also share an outlook on life, no matter where you're from. For Emeric Tchatchoua and Raymond Cheung, bonding over Japanese streetwear while studying fashion at Montreal's LaSalle College led to the formation of their men's-wear label 3.PARADIS. "Ray was the only guy in the city that was coming back and forth from Japan and could buy me the stuff I needed," says Tchatchoua, who grew up in Paris; his partner Cheung hails from Hong Kong.
It was while travelling together through Europe in 2013 that the pair realized they had more to contribute to the fashion world. When they returned to Montreal, where they still design and produce all of their pieces, they began creating a cotton fleece sweater layered with silk and leather. Next came a second sweater, then a T-shirt and a jacket, making up their first capsule collection. Today, the line is stocked at stores in China, Nigeria, Italy, South Korea and the U.K., as well as in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
It's fitting that 3.Paradis was conceived abroad, as Tchatchoua and Cheung have imbued their label with an international flair, mixing up references and inspirations such as Claude Monet, Takashi Murakami and graffiti artist Jim Joe. It's also fitting that 3.Paradis calls Montreal home, a city that Tchatchoua says impresses the duo with its diversity. "You can always find your comfort zone in Montreal. There are a lot of different people. That's why Canada inspires me in general."
This appreciation of difference is evident in 3.Paradis's Fall 2016 collection, called Rusted Mirrors. "It's basically a metaphor about the passage from a young age to an adult age. That mirror keeps on rusting and rusting, and every day when you look at it, it's a bit more rusty," explains Tchatchoua. Inspired by martial arts and Samurai culture as seen through a punk rock lens, it includes contemporary interpretations of the kimono, poncho and biker jacket. For Spring 2017, the pair orchestrated a presentation in Paris's Marais district with artist Andrew Westermann. Titled The Big Picture, it explored the graphic T-shirts of Tchatchoua's youth while referencing the brand's panoramic vision of the contemporary world.
It's no surprise that 3.Paradis has already developed an influential fan base that includes American DJ Diplo, Canadian R&B duo Majid Jordan, English soccer player Daniel Sturridge and Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin. "They're people we feel like we can vibe with and chill with, even if it wasn't a business relationship," says Tchatchoua. And although he won't name names, Tchatchoua says they've turned down more than one celebrity endorsement that didn't feel right.
As for their name, the three stands for the equilibrium between the body, mind and soul. "We're trying to give people the best clothes, the best of ourselves, the best version of who we are," says Tchatchoua. "That's 'paradis' – the utopic world we're trying to bring people."
For more information, visit www.3paradis.com.