Aloof aims to shine a light on the best brands and companies operating in the independent market right now, from all over the world. Those under the radar of the wider consciousness but with great stories to tell and a unique perspective on the nuts and bolts of building a brand.
We recently encountered the work of Maxime Ricard, creating under the name Heritage Comics. We were instantly struck with his take on Menswear Illustration, which balances vintage style and contemporary silhouettes. We caught up with Maxime over email to talk about his inspirations, his interest in the classics and why a Sports Jacket is a wardrobe essential.
Aloof Studio (AS): Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
Maxime Ricard (MR): My name is Maxime Ricard and I’m an architect, based in Paris. This practice is very important for me because I can imagine and draw things that will be concrete, which I will be able to touch. I am also an illustrator, which, compared to architecture, is a very free practice. There are no technical constraints- I have full control over the final outcome of the work.
AS: Who and what are your illustration influences?
MR: I think that the movement ligne claire is my main inspiration. My father read Tintin to me when I was young. I didn’t understand the text but the lines captured my attention. It has been a continuous influence on me all my life. Right now, I’m interested in cross-hatching and the Asiatic aesthetic.
When it comes to my drawings, I’m very inspired by clothes, particularly aspects of classical style - Militaria, Workwear and Ivy. I try to mix them together.
AS: Your work focuses on timeless pieces of menswear. What is it about those that you are drawn to?
MR: I like timeless pieces- if we compare them to architecture, it’s like patrimonial buildings, whose aesthetic is accepted by public and their legitimacy no longer questioned. Timeless pieces share this quality. By looking at timeless pieces, we discover aesthetic logics which allow us to better understand trends, to understand what is ephemeral and what is not.
AS: What are your tools of choice to make your work?
MR: I like to start in my sketchbook and then rework it on my laptop; the colours are all done on Photoshop. Recently I bought a tablet to redraw my work because I prefer the line of a feather pen. My next illustrations will probably be produced using this process.
AS: Can you tell us about The Melting Style?
MR: The Melting Style concept was born from my desire to prove that it is possible to wear classic pieces, even as a young person. I think the key to the success of the outfits is to mix the origin of pieces. It’s not a new idea, it shares the same concept as streetwear. I love when people tell me “I don’t like this item but on that silhouette it looks very cool”.
AS: How would you describe your personal style?
MR: I’m interested in the classics and that’s how I dress, understated and trying to modernise the clothes in the way that I wear them. I love sport jackets, although I don’t wear one every day. It’s the versatility I like, open or closed depending on the temperature, collar raised if there’s wind and a lot of pockets. If you met me in the street, you wouldn’t do a double take and that works for me.
AS: Are there any brands you’re very interested in?
MR: I love Drake’s because they present tailored items in a different way from what we see everywhere else. I’m also a big fan of Ralph Lauren because of their ability to always mix different universes.
AS: If you could work on designing an item of clothing, what would you choose and why?
MR: It would probably be shoes, because sometimes I think I will never find the perfect pair. It seems very close to architecture too, because the work takes into account the proportion and line.
AS: What are your plans for the future?
MR: I’d like to obtain another degree in architecture, which would allow me to start my own practice. I also want to continue my illustrative work, it’d be cool to work with clothing brands in the future.
Head over to the Heritage Comics Instagram to keep up with the latest from Maxime here.