Hands Up: Pierre Maheo (Officine Générale)

January 21, 2022

L’oeil sur la main

In 2023, he will celebrate the tenth anniversary of his brand, Officine Générale. The entrepreneur, who this year is opening a boutique in Los Angeles, another in Aix en Provence, and a second in New York, likes to repeat over and over again: “Luxury is the hand of man, the imprint of time. If the material is beautiful, if a garment has a “beautiful” hand, it will last. Touch is at the heart of his story. That of a tailor’s grandson, who had two dressing rooms, “everything was classified by quality and by color, linens, poplins, cotton batistes, and even unlined ties for the summer, and for the winter, medium flannels, velvets, whipcords, wool ties for the winter. I kept his range of colors, ecru, beige, medium gray, navy blue, black… He had fabric stores, and I was not ten years old, when he taught me what was a Joshua Ellis, a camel hair… ” Pierre Mahéo, who runs a company of 57 people, recognizes that to understand a fabric, you have to “close your eyes, disconnect from the visual side.” He has even gone so far as to develop exclusive qualities for pocket bags… “I select all the fabrics, I know why I choose them. I always find a depth of pocket to adjust to slip his IPhone … You have to wear the product to understand its defects.  I am a consumer above all. I admire those who make importable pieces, but a winter coat with a huge sleeve that will be a draughty hole, I don’t understand. I’m my first customer, everything we develop is really about comfort. What I absolutely love is to take utilitarian garments and renew them through materials that ennoble them, give them a new functionality.” The hand guides him: “I don’t like unnecessary details. A placket must be accessible, a collar must be able to rise to the right height, without eating the chin.  Hence this particular requirement: “to manage to arbitrate between fall and softness, to push the cursor to the extreme, to keep both flexibility and hold. If the emery allows to give a fluffy side, it must be mastered. Pierre Mahéo promises for the summer of 2023, “pants so light that they give the feeling of wearing almost nothing, 160 grams in linear weight, a shirt weight. An angel is passing by. 

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