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Studio Visit: Tim Coppens

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-nominated menswear designer takes us behind his designs and shares when it's worth spending $5,000 on a track suit, why he doesn't consider walking exercise, and what he works early mornings, late nights, and weekends to achieve.

Athletic is not a term often associated with luxury menswear, but Belgian designer Tim Coppens is determined to prove otherwise. Since launching his eponymous line in New York in 2011—and collecting a few coveted accolades along the way, including a nomination for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund this year—it's apparent that the sleek, streamlined silhouettes turned out by the master technician are resonating with retailers and editors alike.

"It starts with materials," says Coppens of his design process. "I go to Italian wool mills for classics and fabric shows for the newest things, like nylon with reflective yarn." The juxtaposition of contrasting fabrics and materials, combined with original takes on sporty staples like bomber jackets and sweatshirts has become Coppens' trademark.

Click enlarge to view the slideshow of our studio tour and interview with Coppens.

—Katie Chang is a writer (katieshewrote.com) and shopkeeper (shopmiomia.com) based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

You've worked with quite a few sportswear lines. Is this something you actively pursued or fell into?

I've always been interested in the active side of life, but I wasn't necessarily into performance wear. Actually, in the beginning, I wasn't feeling it all because I studied at Antwerp where everyone was very high fashion [fellow designers Martin Margiela and Haider Ackerman are alums].

But at Adidas it was about bringing more excitement into the world of performance clothes and bringing it closer to fashion. You can see [that] in my brand, a lot of menswear brands, and even womenswear brands.

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