Carne Bollente is the Parisian independent brand that was born in 2015 to inject the art of provocation into the normcore scene. Hijiri Endo, Théodore Famery, and Agoston Palinko were the creative personalities who created this fashion project that orbits around sex positivism.
To profess their religion is to embrace your own sexuality and corporeality, as well as to dilute all taboos around sex and gender. That freedom expression is projected through embroidery, illustrations or sexual graphics that engrave nudity, love, and all kinds of pleasure.
Having merged their erotic universe with different artists from all over the world through artistic orgies, @carnebollente aims to deconstruct the system through its eco-futuristic and ethical culture of production based on proximity. Of course, both its aesthetics and ethics have become a (lucid) dream for everyone.
VT: How was Carne Bollente born and who were its creators?
CB: In 2015, the norm-core trend was at its peak and at the time, we found what fashion was offering very boring. Coming from creative and artistic professions, we started to embroider t-shirts for ourselves and think of patterns that could brighten up our clothes. Quite quickly, our jokes attracted our friends, then friends of our friends, etc …
The creation of the brand has been done in a fairly organic way since then. Agoston and I (Theodore) have been friends for a long time and Agoston met Hijiri when he was on exchange in Tokyo and then introduced him to me when they returned to Paris, the three of us became friends very quickly and decided to continue this project together. We’re still friends today while managing the brand together :)
VT: Could you tell us more about the “sex-positive” philosophy that you preach?
CB: There are many definitions of the sex-positive philosophy, but for us, the most important would be for sex not to be taboo anymore. We believe that it should be a subject we discuss more freely than it is now. We want everyone to feel happy, confident, safe, and free about their sexual identity including gender expression, orientation, relationship with their bodies, and also reproductive rights. Through our creations, we seek to positively change cultural attitudes and norms around sexuality and are hoping to promote the recognition of different sexual identities. If at least, our products can help to start an interesting conversation, then it’s already amazing.
VT: Through your pieces, we can see a series of references to color therapy, Greco-Roman culture or the horoscope. What pleasures and stimuli do your erotic brand drink from?
CB: We are constantly trying to feed our creativity and guide our creations with very strong aesthetic themes. We love to think of our collections as conceptual projects with storytelling, nods to universal subjects, and very strong aesthetic references. Having artistic personalities; working in this way helps us to explore more and more.
VT: The power of creative orgy/union becomes a key pillar for Carne Bollente. Something that we can appreciate as a result of infinite collaborations with artists and/or brands such as ace&tate. What attracts you from a creative, designer, or brand when it comes to connecting imaginaries and identities?
CB: We always try to work with brands or artists that we value in a human way, I think that is the most important point for us. We need this exchange and a good creative mood to be able to be productive and inventive. And, at the same time, creativity is one of Carne Bollente’s main drivers, our collaborations are generally created when we feel a real potential and a shared vision.
We try to deeply adapt our vision of the brand with the brands or artists with whom we collaborate so that the collaboration takes us to territories that we had not planned to explore. Collaborations often allow us to come up with new ideas that we wouldn’t have achieved if we were just working internally.
VT: Over the years we have experienced this paradigm shift between consuming explicit material in fashion, culture and media, up to the censorship of algorithms. Why do you think this involution is due to when hyper-sexualization is more present than ever? Do you think we are now less free than before?
CB: We’re at the moment where people want to explore more their freedom in many ways but at the same time, the structures and institutions which are used as platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram etc…) to express this same freedom have the responsibility to monitor this movement.
These reasons for monitoring are sometimes good, like protecting the young audience from graphic content, and sometimes too conservative or extreme (like not being able to post nipples or women’s breasts). We believe that every big change in society needs some time to be accepted in order to find a balance between extremes.
VT: Beyond burning up the scene with your explicit messages and illustrations of scenic sex, you focus on sustainable ethics. In what way do you experiment with ecology through the brand?
CB: Since the beginning of the project, we have always had this awareness that producing clothes in our time was a real responsibility and that we could not do it without thinking about the consequences of our actions.
All our products are made in Portugal except woven blankets, which are made by a small family-owned weaver in the USA. We chose to work with Portuguese factories because of the geographical proximity, quality, and most importantly the people. Sustainability is first and foremost about creating timeless designs and quality products that can be used for a long time. Furthermore, we aim to use low-impact materials such as organic cotton, organic denim, and recycled polyester.
For example, over 80% of our SS22 ready-to-wear products (65% of all products) are made of low-impact materials such as GOTS 100% organic cotton, organic denim and recycled polyester. In addition, today, almost all of our fabrics are sourced from local Portuguese suppliers. Since 2019, we moved our wholesale logistic operation to the same region, which allows us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
However, we are still far from being a sustainable brand, but we will continue to improve our approach.
VT: Carne Bollente transfers sex freedom to different canvases ranging from textiles to carpets, glasses or towels. At this point, do you plan to explore other artistic formats or embark on other works in adjacent fields?
CB: So far, we have taken every opportunity we had to explore different backgrounds through the subject of sexuality. We are gradually discovering that the name Carne Bollente can adapt to a lot of different things without limits. In the near future, we will be offering our shoe line as well as collaboration around ceramics and an exciting upcycling project. And in the longer term, we would very much like to work with a sex toy brand, and why not one day creates a love hotel somewhere…
VT: Not being able to think clearly about the future, what are your desires/motivations in a short term?
CB: In the short term, we would like to continue building a strong community around the project and find different ways of exchanging with it. Improving as much as we can our relation to sustainability is also one of our first priorities for the moment… and getting rid of covid :)