AZ Factory X Lutz Huelle
Freedom & Possibility
Named “F is for Friendship”, Lutz Huelle’s product story is a riff on AZ Factory’s alphabet, and an ode to the brand’s protagonists, our very own Amigos. This theme of friendship is the core of Alber’s vision for smart fashion that cares, and has permeated Lutz’s work over the last 3 decades. This is especially anchored in a 1992 shoot, commissioned by Edward Enninful for ID Magazine: the project, which began as a traditional fashion editorial, took on emotional significance for Lutz, who worked alongside dear friends and fellow creatives Wolfgang Tillmans and Alexandra Bircken, turning the story into an expression of friendship and closeness which found resounding success because of the authentic nature it conveyed.
Designing for friends
This vision is precisely what Alber held so dear, and is the root of our family of Amigos today. This view also informs how Lutz works, still today. “No one knew it would resonate with people so much” he says. “It touched people because it was about freedom, about possibility.” It is this sentiment, this feeling, that Lutz harnessed at the inception of this newest project.
At the root of his work has always been one central question: “What is it that my friends want to wear?” The answer is a simple one: practical, functional clothes that also spark joy. Lutz doesn’t like labels or categories, and his is a unique blend of influences he describes as a multi-cultural fashion language, in which he likes to remove things from their original context to suggest new use for them.
F is for Friendship
The collection comprises shirting, dresses, outerwear, denim, sequins, cotton poplin and jerseys, with pairings of neutrals with pops of bold, happy colors. Though there is usually a dichotomy between style and practicality, Lutz worked to combine both. Here, denim and tailoring, formalwear and leisurewear are seamlessly integrated.
- A bright floral print taffetas trench coat
- A seemingly classic white cotton t-shirt features an oversized, couture-worthy ruffle
- Crepe cargo pants sit on the waist like tailored suiting
- A seemingly simple oversized men’s shirt has a parachute back that billows with every movement
- A simple tank dress is elevated with an exaggerated ruffle
- A couture-inspired tulip skirt is reinterpreted in denim
The soft color palette features a floral print so abstract it stands out as one rainbow-colored hue, rather than individual shades, acting like a neutral that works seamlessly with everything. The collaboration is full of surprises and unexpected details, yet approachable, with every piece easily paired together in an elevated and fun mix & match.
AZ Factory with Lutz Huelle, behind the seams
The collection was imagined like an alphabet, encompassing everything… from A to Z; and the result is a wardrobe of pieces that work with each other, and for everyone. Though he had met Alber only once and wishes he’d gotten to know him better, Lutz recognizes in their shared DNA a common wish to make people feel comfortable, at ease. As such, the clothes are versatile, at once tailored and laidback, masculine and feminine, intended to be styled in lots of different ways by lots of different people… and shared with friends, of course.
Speaking of the design process itself, he describes a sort of collective amplification. “The only way positive things can happen is when people feel good working together”, he says. “This notion that you should suffer at work is so outdated. I myself do my best work when I feel good and am surrounded with people I enjoy being around. Collaborating with AZ Factory didn’t feel like work at all.” The feeling was mutual. “Working with Lutz in the studio was fun”, says Norman René Devera, AZ Factory’s design director. “We all riffed off each other, and laughed all day. I didn’t know Lutz when we began. Now we get to walk away as friends.”
The collection is set to be presented at the Fondation Cartier on October 3rd as part of the Paris Fashion Week schedule. With Lutz’s life-long interest in fashion as a broader artform, it felt especially meaningful to present our product story in a venue which carries such sentimental significance, as our brand’s own home. The intimate presentation will be unprecedented, the Fondation having not hosted an event of this kind in the last 2 decades.