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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 sound very disciplined. Is your typical work day as structured?

I'm usually here early, at 7 or 8 a.m. I work a lot on the weekends and evenings, even at home. There's just a lot to do.

The reality is that everything has to be very well-controlled, since we're designing luxury menswear. It's important that I oversee a lot of things. There's a lot of work, but I like doing it. The feeling of when a collection is finished and looks really great—that's it. That's what does it for me.

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