Parachute: Subversive Design and Street Fashion

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A book that explores the iconic brand’s cutting-edge designs and cultural impact.

Founded in Montreal in 1977 by British clothing designer Nicola Pelly and American architect Harry Parnass, Parachute soon became the go-to fashion brand for 1980s music and movie stars. Inspired by Montreal’s New Wave scene, Parachute produced visionary, avant-garde apparel with an androgynous, urban style. Famous fans of the brand propelled it to international stardom; among them, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Duran Duran, Andy Warhol, and many others. To celebrate Parachute’s legacy, Los Angeles-based design studio Perron—Roettinger launched Parachute: Subversive Design and Street Fashion. Written by Alexis Walker, the book is the studio’s first designed and in-house published title.

The book explores Parachute’s cultural impact as well as the way it successfully married underground and mainstream worlds as it brought urban street style onto the global fashion stage. Sophisticated and provocative, the brand’s collections featured cutting-edge designs that influenced the aesthetics of 1980s fashion. Parachute’s innovative concept store on Wooster Street in SoHo, NYC, also transformed into a counter-cultural hotspot that attracted artistic and cosmopolitan city dwellers.

In the early 1990s, the two founders closed the company, leading the brand to slowly fade from public consciousness. With the book, Perron—Roettinger offers a comprehensive look into the meteoric rise of the brand and its lasting impact. Inside, readers can find an array of archival documents, interviews, and photographs of Parachute garments. You can find Parachute: Subversive Design and Street Fashion online through Perron—Roettinger’s website as well as select retailers. The launch coincides with the “Parachute: Subversive Fashion of the 80s” exhibition at the McCord MUSEUM in Montreal, which remains open until April, 2022. Images courtesy of Perron—Roettinger.

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