Ask New York-based Belgian designer Tim Coppens about the inspiration behind his latest collection, and he quotes somewhat foreboding lyrics from The Stone Roses sneering frontman Ian Brown: "When your halo slips for good, you will have to wear your hood". "It's all about hooligans concealed in elegant design," says Coppens, who was recently in Hong Kong for the arrival of his menswear collection at Lane Crawford. "Disruptive behaviour, melancholy romantics, with a healthy dose of arrogance." There's a gritty, urban feel to his clothes, which come in light, sporty fabrics cut into sharp silhouettes. For spring-summer 2015, he delivers light bomber jackets, parkas, anoraks, track pants and shorts in a minimalist palette of monochrome, khaki and olive, occasionally punctuated with camouflage print in electric rainbow colours. There are slightly military, aggressive undertones; he also cites '70s skinhead culture, boxing and the film The Drop (Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam's crime drama about Chechen gangsters in Brooklyn) as recent sources of inspiration. Boxing is a sport Coppens has taken up, in addition to his longer term dedication to skating, long distance cycling and running. He has a background in performance and activewear too: since he graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, he has worked with Adidas, and Ralph Lauren's RLX. He launched his eponymous label in 2011, capturing the attention of retailers and awards panels alike. In 2012 he was named best new menswear designer at the Ecco Domani Awards, and the following year won Fashion Group International's rising star of the year. This year, he was a finalist for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize and the winner of the CFDA Swarovski award for menswear. "Everything is changing," says Coppens. "The way we dress is one thing, but also the way we live and buy things. Sportswear is so much more a part of everyday life and the integration of technical fabrics and certain constructions that were previously only used in athletic wear are applied in fashion everywhere." While he says his focus is more on aesthetics and wearability than high performance, it's this technical background that has helped him to successfully carve out a market niche for himself. "I think menswear at the moment is a combination of finding ways to innovate by using new materials, creating different volumes that are maybe less familiar," he says. "The way a certain detail is worked out and the dedication to consider the overall aesthetic is what adds value and sophistication to the garment. It's not difficult to use expensive materials but it's the way a garment is constructed and these details that can make it great. It can be both luxurious and functional." As he continues to establish his menswear brand, he's also started dabbling in womenswear, introducing a limited, but growing number of looks here and there in his recent shows. While nothing has been confirmed yet for Hong Kong, here's hoping that it won't be long before we get our share of the Tim Coppens aesthetic in our city, too.