Nicolas Barbier Drapeau Noir

Naffwords: Nicolas Barbier – Drapeau Noir

When we first stumbled across this minimalistic menswear, we immediately fell in love. Drapeau Noir seems like a classical menswear collection, but if you take a closer look at the upcoming fall and winter collection you easily recognize this little twinkle of rebellion in every single piece. We are really flattered to have this little Q&A with founder Nicolas Barbier.

What is your source of inspiration for designing new collections for Drapeau Noir?

I’m principally inspired by the 70’s for it’s spirit of freedom and it’s energy.

To be honest, in my opinion every french label has this “nonchalant touch” which I really admire! How do you manage to always look so effortlessly chic?! Any tips ?

There is no need to be sophisticated to look elegant or chic. in my opinion, it’s even the opposite. Elegance is a way of being, the most important is to feel confident about yourself. It supposes to have nice cuts and beautiful fabrics, garments in which you feel comfortable and which highlight the body, but that’s all.

Yves Saint Laurent once said « Isn’t elegance forgetting what ones is wearing ? ». I totally agree and I try to always keep this in mind.

What is the meaning of “Drapeau Noir” and what does it express?

Drapeau Noir means black flag. It’s the symbol of anarchists. I’m not interested in politics at all but I find the idea behind anarchy very interesting. the brand is about freedom and being yourself, writing your own story. I was a business lawyer in paris for seven years, if i had followed the rules and listened to what everybody was saying, I wouldn’t have set up Drapeau Noir.In the end, nothing is exceptional. I’ve just started a clothing brand, but what I want to highlight is that everybody can achieve his dreams. No rules, write your own story!

More generally, this symbolism is also in the style: What interests me is the way how our customers feel wearing our garments. The man behind the shirt is more important than the logo on it. That may explain why I am looking for minimalism when I design clothes.

When it comes to music & fashion which band/ artist inspires your work ?

I’m a big fan of music. I love «Mos Def» & «David Bowie» for many reasons. They are two geniuses in their respective categories! I also admire some indie bands like «Allah Las» and «Growlers» for their independent spirit and their freedom.


What major lesson have you learned from making it in the fashion industry?

Patience is really important. Rome was not build in a day, you know… Creating a brand is really complicated, especially when you want to offer quality.

What would you wear on a first date with the women of your dreams?

I’ve already met the women of my dreams several years ago. I was wearing a classic denim shirt and and a wool trousers with a pair of white common projects. I wanted her to find me handsome and interesting, not to focus on my clothes!

If you could meet a celebrity death or alive, who would you share a glass of wine with?!

With Ernest Hemingway at l’Espadon, the bar from Hotel Ritz in Paris where he used to stay for hours. Maybe he would share some of his incredibly adventurous stories…


At last, where do you expect “Drapeau Noir” to be in the next 10 years? Any major goals?

Our major goal at the moment is to open a store in paris. We are working hard on it. It is very important for us to have our own shop for receiving our customers and share our passion with us.

In ten years I would be very happy if I am still running Drapeau Noir and if people are still interested in our clothes and the way we are working: making quality garments with passionate people.