New York Fashion Week marks the beginning of a month-long sartorial spectacle as designers showcase their latest creations to the world.
While Milan is renowned for its extravagance and London for its emerging talents, New York is known for its progressive social consciousness, often leading the way in terms of body positivity, diversity and powerful political statements. Here, we rounded up highlights from New York Fashion Week Spring 2020:
AVANT-GARDE TO POWER
VFILES exhibited its eleventh show, which featured young talents, musical performances and a front row full of celebrities. Among the creatives, CSM graduate Pierrre-Louis Auvray stood out. The designer earned a spot in the VFILES parade along with Londoner Wesley Harriott and amberinos Di Du and Nico Verhaegen.
This season's calendar was full of Brooklyn locations and non-traditional formats reigned supreme. Gauntlett Cheng and Maryam Nassir Zadeh set their shows outdoors. Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada also set up her show on the street, creating a farmer’s market and inviting guests to take the produce to emphasize her commitment to sustainability.
“This show is my continuing attempt at reconciling the desire we all have to create and consume with the responsibility we all share to be conscious and ethical. I’m doing my best to use my platform to communicate urgent messages with positivity and honesty.”
GREATER DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Luxury junior label Lulu et Gigi attracted extra attention for sending nine-year-old double amputee Daisy-May Demetre down the runway. The up-and-coming model, who had both her legs amputated as a baby, is due to appear at Paris Fashion Week later this month.
THE MOST POLITICAL MOMENT OF NYFW
Prabal Gurung’s runway and his collection featuring elements of Americana, the country’s floral emblem red roses and classic blue denim. It culminated in every model being sent down the runway wearing a pageant-style sash with the words, “Who gets to be American?”
GETTING CLOSER TO SUSTAINABILITY
Hairdryers and hot tools were banned by Gabriela Hearst’s as the designer attempted to stage NYFW’s first carbon-neutral show.
Maria Cornejom utilized upcycled textiles and leathers from car interiors in collaboration with Hyundai. The result was a very wearable set of casual dresses and trouser suits dubbed “ReStyle.”
FAVORED SHOW: MARC JACOBS
Fashion favorite Marc Jacobs closed the week with an eclectic show that celebrated life thorough vivid prints, florals and high-volume shapes. A brilliant show with airs of joy, equality, individuality, optimism, happiness, indulgence, dreams and a future unwritten.
The next stop on this year’s fashion week calendar? London from Friday, Sept. 13. Stay tuned!
Sustainability has become the main topic of conversation in the fashion world. Today, almost 10 years after Christopher Raeburn began producing his first garments from recycled materials when hardly anyone was going in that direction, Raeburn is considered a visionary and one of the industry's most promising designers.
His goal, first and foremost, is to raise awareness among consumers, make durable quality garments and try to save the planet through greater transparency in the textile industry. A complicated challenge that is undoubtedly worth fighting for.
Christopher Raeburn grew up in rural Kent on the outskirts of London. There, he played with his father and siblings to collect used items, deconstruct them and over the weekend, rebuild them. A game that years later would become a legacy for the fashion world.
From the age of eleven, Christopher Raeburn - together with his brothers - joined Air Cadet, the junior division of the Royal Air Force. Because of this experience, he developed a fascination for military garments and original functional fabrics.
Fascinated by military materials, utilitarian clothing and essential functionality, Christopher Raeburn decided to join the Royal College of Art in London. There he found something very exciting in going out to look for original objects and then turning them into something new - as he used to do in his childhood - which led him organically to the ethos of his brand: RÆMADE, RÆDUCED, RÆCYCLED and RÆBURN. A spirit and a philosophy to which he remains faithful by channeling his deconstructed garments into pioneering collections that have marked the designer as a true leader in the fashion scene.
Raeburn graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2006 with a reconstructed line of reversible military garments entitled "Inverted". After that, he set up his studio in some old Burberry installations in the heart of an old industrial district of East London. To this day, every RÆBURN piece is a limited edition, proudly cut and reconstructed in England.
Rather than contributing to this "endless waste" of materials he denounces, Christopher Raeburn prefers to "remake" and give new life to discarded objects. From protective immersion suits to create women's and men's coats to a rubber boat that ended up transforming into jackets and bags.
He finds his raw materials by tracking the Internet, in flea markets, abroad, making military surpluses or activating contacts he prefers to keep secret.
RÆBURN's business model presents obstacles, because it is difficult to maintain the high competitive pace in this sector by resorting to waste materials, but is not something that discourages him, in fact, quite the opposite.
"Every day is a challenge, but that's the exciting thing, who wants to lead a boring life?"
In 2013 Raeburn not only won the "Designer Business of the Year" at the UK Fashion and Textiles Awards - among many others throughout his career - but also initiated two important collaborations with Rapha and Fred Perry and ended the year being appointed Artistic Director of Victorinox Fashion, as a result of previous collaborations.
Five years later, after numerous excellent collections showcased all around the globe that featured collaborations with Moncler, Barbour, North Face and even Disney - among others - the US brand Timberland announced the appointment of Christopher Raeburn as their first Global Creative Director.
Christopher Raeburn is not only considered the single most radical designer working today, also a leader in the race for sustainability.
The recycling of materials and the use of green technologies is fundamental to the production process. RÆBURN takes into account the impact on the environment, whether recycling materials, minimizing the carbon footprint through local manufacturing or producing smaller batches to reduce waste.
RÆBURN has become a world-renowned and acclaimed firm whose design is characterized by being innovative, responsible, creative, collaborative and sustainable.
Making strong and sustainable decisions that provide us with a completely unique and desirable product - which we personally love - Christopher Raeburn's initiatives inspire young designers to consider their approach to design and serve as a guide and example to all those who want to do things better. Thanks to Christopher Raeburn's contribution, it's clear that even in difficult times, creativity shines through.
Have you ever been in a store to buy a thing and all you had was just that, things to buy? Go in, get it and leave? Well, that kind of transaction is not enough for some brands, especially the big ones, that want you to have a complete and unforgettable experience while you are in the store. Maybe have a beer and draw a picture, watch a DJ do a set, skate on a skating rink.
Is it a coincidence that experimental stores are developing and expanding at a time when traditional retail is dying and online shopping is easier and more popular than ever? We don't think so.
The creativity surrounding the creation of experimental stores is creating a community space where people congregate, where people will socialize, adding extra value to any possible purchase.
We will not mention one after another the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping and the traditional way of buying. We want to give a twist to a futuristic and at the same time current theme that, without a doubt, covers many of the dilemmas of our time. As if the abundant use of new technologies will bring us closer to a transcendent evolution or will keep us away from humanity.
The aspect of online shopping was an interesting pendulum swing, especially when in 2017 and 2018 commercial spaces were dying, people were closing stores, companies were going into bankruptcy. The continuing "apocalypse of retailing" forced all those in the retail business to question the value of their physical stores.
Nike and Adidas - among many others - are some of the great players of sneakers and sportswear producers leading the way in experience-focused retail. Late last year, Nike opened a new giant store in New York that features an indoor mini basketball court, a treadmill in front of monitors that simulate races in amazing places around the world and a small soccer field.
The social aspect of shopping has to be taken into account. People crave human interaction and, as the world becomes more digital, sometimes that need for advice, confidence in decision making and romanticism in the shopping experience are invaluable and not even the most complete online retailer will be able to overcome that.
The brand is no longer just reflected in the product, but the store where it can be found. The physical environment provides added value. Stores serve as showrooms that drive customers to buy online. They serve as fulfillment points for e-commerce operations. Stores are billboards for any fashion brand.
Some ideas follow the trend that physical stores will be logistics centers for online business, but the future is difficult to predict. Perhaps the most likely scenario is a combination of both worlds. The concept of shopping has changed and while technology will mark the evolution of shopping in commerce over the next few years, physical stores will also evolve by providing a closer, warmer type of service focused on the customer experience.
The race is to design the store of the future, with brands investing in innovation labs and launching bold and fantastic retail experiments in their quest for identity in the age of e-commerce.
Growing up in Neo-Tokyo as the land of the future - which exists in the consciousness of entire generations who saw Akira, Blade Runner and Mad Max - Tatsuro Horikawa is an artist shrouded in mystery.
Music, art, sound, atmosphere, travel and emotion are the basis of his main inspirations. For him, the greatest of them is music, especially techno and industrial music, a movement that plays an important and essential role in his creative process, notion of madness and sorrow.
His project, JULIUS - focused not only on fashion but also on audiovisual art - continues to evolve as an enveloping and hypnotic song. Its patterns change slowly while its atmosphere remains consistent and unique, being today, the most important gothic brand in Tokyo.
Born in Kyushu - an isolated island in southwestern Japan - in the early 1970s, Horikawa emigrated to Tokyo at an early age, where he quickly grew up to embrace "pop feeling," courtesy of clandestine movements.
In 1996, Horikawa launched his first label, NUKE, a project that would later develop into an impeccable and successful fashion brand. At this point in his life, Horikawa was dressed exclusively in black. In love with both the simplicity and the inherent complexity that color conveys, he began to develop his own style. An ode to mysticism with a palette of dark colors - where black predominates - masterful finishes, leather abundance and exaggerated lengths.
“Black symbolizes the Avant-Garde and has a deeply spiritual and noble meaning for me. I am obsessed with the image of “Black” in Japanese Religion, in Zen. It represents the crazy darkness hidden in the shadows away from the light. It is the total colour of complete and utter grief.”
NUKE was not only a clothing brand, but it was also an artistic movement. Over its six-year lifespan, NUKE has become an incredibly influential entity among the Japanese underground art community.
In 2001, satisfied with what NUKE had provided, Horikawa launched the first iteration of JULIUS, starting as a collaborative art project to present audio/video presentations for collections and art shows, with which Horikawa elevated his clothing to the forefront of Gothic fashion through luxurious materials and careful finishes.
JULIUS quickly attracted attention for its dark, post-apocalyptic designs. After establishing a presence in Japan, the brand expanded abroad and in 2008 showcased a catwalk as part of Paris Fashion Week.
JULIUS expanded beyond Neo-Tokyo to an international audience, and a cult quickly grew following the entire world. However, Horikawa did not let the new success change his design philosophy; instead, he ignored the outside influence, remaining true to his techno-neo-Tokio aesthetics.
Combining meticulous construction with destroyed aesthetics, Horikawa designs are a declaration of perfection. His garments - simply designed with a surprising level of structure and composition - are regularly composed of torn knees, exaggerated internal seams and hanging threads, giving an appearance of brilliantly executed imperfection.
At the same time, this decadence features a clean, minimalist look, inspired by the industrial, which has much to do with the aesthetics of the music scene the designer contemplated in Berlin, an infinite source of inspiration for him.
"Perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things that humans do, I want to see scars, failures, disorders, distortions.
To keep inspiration alive, Horikawa believes it is necessary to be permeated - not influenced - by new trends and artistic forms that keep his vision nurtured and alive. One way to achieve this is through collaborations, something to which the designer attaches great importance and which has led him to work with artists, musicians and record labels to create visceral catwalk experiences and presentations, encompassing numerous art streams that have broadened his creative sources.
Horikawa's distant travels have also been a driving force behind his work. Inherently nomadic, the designer embraces tribes and shamans from all over the world, embodying their emotion and dress in his collections, where he combines different elements that initially may seem extravagant, managing to find a chord between the chaotic and the beautiful.
With twenty years of experience in the fashion industry, Horikawa remains relatively hidden from public view. Rather, the designer emphasizes that his team is as important in the design of JULIUS clothing as he is.
Horikawa is committed to maintaining his vision, unwavering in the face of commercial influence and mainstream. His goal is not only to create "clothing", but rather to create and contribute to a person's entire lifestyle and existence.
As something sacred and profane, Horikawa's world of imagination is worn and broken, chaotic and corrupt and the purity and destruction of his designs result in an exceptional and singular beauty that has crossed - to the joy of fashion - the farthest horizons, becoming an inspiring and powerful soul capable of enveloping and transporting not only the gothic-post-punk fashionistas of black urban clothing styles, but also any lover of neo-conceptual art to unrepeatably magical and ancestral worlds.
Who says it's not possible to succeed by remaining true to yourself in an industry as competitive, changing and demanding as fashion?
Founded in the mid-1990s by designer Consuelo Castiglioni and her husband Gianni, Marni has achieved success by remaining true to its vision and identity, as concrete as recognizable. Conceptual and sophisticated. Austere and imaginative. Timeless and avant-garde, Marni - ignoring trends and despising red carpets - has established itself at the epicentre of the fashion landscape.
The Italian brand has become well known - and much appreciated - for its unconventional forms, its shocking prints, its ugly shoes and its fantasy jewellery. Gallerists, Architects and Fashion Creatives such as Mario Testino and Jamie Hawkesworth are among its dedicated fanbase.
With its particular European-inspired aesthetics, Marni has evolved over the years into today's aerodynamic style maintaining its peculiar balance of antagonistic concepts, impregnating modern classics with a peculiar bohemian inflection.
In 2013 Marni became part of OTB, an international group that brings together and promotes the development of alternative brands in the luxury sector such as Diesel and Maison Margiela. Shortly afterwards, the Castiglioni family handed over the creative direction of Marni to Francesco Risso - a former student of the Centre de Saint-Martins and Creative Director for more than ten years at Prada - who renewed and reinforced the brand codes with a spirit of irreverence and anti-conformism.
Inspired by sources as varied as the Dada art movement of the early 20th century, childhood memories and Japanese deconstructionists, Risso expanded the Italian brand's tailoring vocabulary by fusing Castiglioni's radiant colours and uncommon quality with elements of the art world and a total rejection of industry conventions.
Marni has recently stopped working with fur and on the subject of sustainability, Risso believes that as a company, they are taking steps to improve certain areas, particularly in regard to fabrics. They also have a charitable programme, Marni Market, that works with communities making artisanal products.
As one of the most copied brands in the market that seems to be off the radar, Marni has ambitiously expanded internationally by establishing stores in the best areas of cities such as Milan, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Marni is a mystery box. Is a vortex of extreme influences and playfulness, of contradiction and dynamism. It’s many things and it’s the immense number of possibilities that makes it so exciting.
Although many disliked Risso's entry into Marni, it is visible that the brand's halo of success continues to work well: new boutiques continue to open and all online stores - including us, LABOUTIK - fill with the brand each season, from the commercial pieces to the most eccentric outfits.
Innovative and multifaceted, Marni is recognized all over the world and it has become a symbol of elegance and sophistication. Marni is a beloved lifestyle with an avant-garde spirit that holds a creative ongoing dialogue with the world of art.
Culture is no longer a top-down process: the new paradigm of Internet content platforms has changed the way we establish trends and communities.
Giant platforms seek profits by commodifying our attention and emotions into information gains while isolating and alienating users into addictive and compulsive habits around "buzzing" content.
In recent years, things like the culture of influencers and new perspectives in advertising, have made the online sphere increasingly linked to monetization which, in turn, has fostered a level of dishonesty and inauthenticity.
The good news? It is finally changing.
Imagine a social network driven entirely by aesthetics - no ads, no sponsored messages, no data sold to faceless conglomerates, and no censorship (yes, we are looking at you, Instagram). Sounds too good to be true in this post-capitalist society, doesn't it?
French net-artist Vector Newman has created NEW LIFE AI, a decentralised application that strictly focuses on innovative content. A place for creators to share the same preferences and values as so many others. Vector has anticipated this inevitable mutation and created what the world - despite blindly play the game of followers and likes - really wants, what the world really needs. It's Newman's way to put to good use what the Internet has to offer.
Supported by a network of Internet pioneers such as Johwska, Inés Alpha, Allan Berger and Virgin Mary - NEW LIFE AI works with a virtual currency called New Coin, which represents the value of creativity, curatorship and the influence and rewards of members who contribute to the community by uploading, voting and promoting the platform.
The more interaction you make, the more Newcoins you will have and the more features you will be able to access within the application, which is structured as an eight-level video game so that it is also entertaining. The amount of New Coins also influences your weight in the cultural ecosystem, which will be greater the more you have.
"We want to create the kind of value that is not tangible, not recognized by the economy. There is no boss, no executives. As the founder, I'm federating people but eventually, I want this project to be owned and driven by the community"
The Internet has become a global aesthetics laboratory where everyone can democratically participate in the definition of beauty. Creative disciplines such as fashion, arts and music are constantly being modified and altered, evolving, which is wonderful, as long as it is forward.
Born out of frustration at a society that seems to be recreating Idiocracy, New Life AI - with an aesthetic inspired by Blade Runner and cyborg culture - finally gathers in one place all those creatives who reject the Instagram system and are attracted to the same canon of beauty.
With the birth of NEW LIFE AI, art connects between users to establish consensus without limitations or creative prohibitions. This new reality, which breaks with established parameters that measure social influence, unites decentralized collectives worldwide that now have the capacity to project their ideas and shape a new digital culture in which quality is finally valued over quantity.
As the digital revolution continues to transform everything from politics to music, SELFRIDGES - in an attempt to challenge the way we interact and consume fashion - has established its first palpable contact with the future through its AW19 The New Order campaign.
Composed of some of the world's most innovative digital creatives, such as Cattytay, Jon Emmony, Ines Alpha, Filip Custic and Jamie-Maree Shipton, the groundbreaking proposal will set a new framework for the future of fashion, possibly revitalizing the entire industry.
Jon Emmony - previously Digital Art Director of Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio - is a London-based Digital Artist and Creative Director known for his mind-blowing surrealist 3D-scanned compositions. His film for the 110 years old institution - along with photographer Chris Sutton - follows the models’ exploration of individuality and character; both in a physical world and in the digital realm, where reality is augmented into a world of pure imagination.
One-fifth of the ‘New Order,’ Cattytay, is a major part of this industry revolution. Self-made and self-taught, Cattytay is a visionary in her field, she founded “DigiGal:” an online platform to connect with other female digital designers and increase the number of females in the male-dominated industry of 3-D design.
The collective is pushing the experimental sampling of fabrics into new and unseen territories, influencing a new phase of sustainable development within the fashion industry, while also creating a new wave of digital fashion content.
With zero impact on the environment, it’s a really neat solution to the industry’s overconsumption as when using 3D design, clothing can be sold without having even been created. This could be a huge contribution to reducing waste, as the majority of customers purchase clothes online rather than from a physical shop.
In today's society - and more importantly in tomorrow's - people express an increasing desire to transform themselves through automated social media filters, advanced make-up techniques or, for the more privileged, plastic surgery.
The exaggeration of that, fantasizing about how the complete aesthetic freedom of appearance would be in the future, is what characterizes the work of Inés Alpha, who - born and raised in Paris - is leading the 3D make-up revolution.
Will we soon be able to buy 3D make-up collections for download?
Filip Custic is not just an artist. He is an illusionist, a juggler who enjoys art, gravity and the laws of attraction. His mind, generous and open to the world, explores and plays with pataphysics, the science that studies irregularities, rarities and exceptions. The Spanish-Croatian multidisciplinary artist's work explores the significance to be human in our present and immediate future, as with the impact of digital technology on our conscience and sense of identity.
“The freedom of creation that the virtual world has is generating new questions for the human mind and, with that, comes evolution.”
Jamie-Maree Shipton is a London-based Stylist and Creative Director who has bridged both fashion and technology, incorporating digital artists to expand the realm of editorial. Jamie is the Creative Director of Selfridges’ menswear-focused Instagram account, The Yellow Drop.
Together, ‘the New Order’ and Selfridges are giving design, advertisement, and the shopping experience a look into the future. Designs can be tested and formulated on-screen without wasting fabric or product. Advertising is no longer limited to the props in a studio and department stores can still grow and advance in the new age of shopping (Selfridges will also unveil a new window display for passers-by to purchase, for the first time, digitally rendered products directly from the windows by scanning a QR code).
The project is a fascinating approach to how the Internet and post-millenarian technologies have transformed our ways of seeing and giving birth to a new culture, to how digital media, rather than traditional art forms, allow us to describe the contemporary experience. Those of us who feel that the virtual world moves faster than the physical will finally be able to feel relief from falling into the obsolete. But what is the best way to bring such innovations into society? And how will it influence retail and fashion?
Is there something Henrick Vibskov can't do? To describe one of the most outstanding artists of our time simply as a fashion designer would be an understatement. As a passionate musician, an innovative scenographer, a dedicated writer and an exceptional designer who has not stopped venturing into the artistic field, Henrik Vibskov is definitely, at the forefront of the multi-faceted creatives generation.
The 46-year-old eponymous artist went from his quiet childhood in the Danish countryside of Jutland, to covering the pages of style and cultural magazines around the world right after he entered the fashion industry in 2001, when he graduated from the internationally renowned Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
For Henrik, inspiration comes from anywhere. Asia, an old picture, a wooden children’s game or simply a feeling or a certain vibe. He likes to pair contrasting universes, looking at strange combinations and transitions that are perhaps unlike.
His work is considered part of the "New Nordic Movement", a term to describe 21st-century design known for its practical and innovative shapes and minimalist aesthetic. Yet, this is not the case of Henrik Vibskov who over the past 16 years, stands out from other Scandinavian designers opting against minimalistic black and white pieces in favour of large geometrical shapes, bright colours, contemporary forms and outstanding fabrics.
To expand his creativity, his collections are always presented to the fashion world in a theatrical way through shows and installations that transform onto the catwalk, expressing his personal view towards the world and social issues.
Since the beginning of his career, he has produced over 30 men's - and later also women´s - collections, participated in numerous festivals, contest and talks such as London Design Week, Danish Pavilion at Salone del Mobile Milan and Art Basel Miami, and exhibit in many museums and galleries around the world, including the MoMA in Los Angels, Sotheby's gallery in New York, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the ICA in London.
"I never believe that something is impossible, I am always trying to find a way to make things possible. Even the most complicated things can happen in the end. I believe that you should always try to make a change every time you get a chance."
As if it wasn't enough, Henrik Vibskov - also an exemplary family father - impressively manages to explore the enriching world of cinema. His short film The Monk was selected to win the Beck's Future Prize 2000 in the UK.
He has published four books, including a monograph of his work to date ("Gestalten") and also keeps himself occupied being a drummer with his own project Mountain Yorokobu.
As an understander of hard work and what it means to climb steps in the fashion and art scene, Henrik Vibskov's - driven by a desire to give back and nurture creative talent - set up the Practical Intelligent Geniusis foundation, supported by donations given in exchange for his personal contribution to educational programs and cultural activities.
Henrik Vibskov's successful career is even overwhelming. He has efficiently developed an incredible ability to fuse concept and staging, space and object, art and life, becoming an endless source of inspiration for anyone in the creative field.
His deeply personal view of his intricate and suggestive worlds perfectly captures their instinctive importance and relevance to the present and future of art and fashion.
Fashion is notorious for ransacking the world’s closets in search of inspiration, but designers are no more culturally acquisitive than chefs who prepare fusion cuisine, musicians in search of the best sample, or any of us who pepper our conversations with foreign phrases in search of a certain je ne sais quoi.
The globe is a rich buffet of inspiration and all of us are blessed with choice.
Danni Harris Graduate CSM Collection
Every literary work, every masterpiece of painting, every innovation and design is the product of connecting concepts or ideas that already exist. Nevertheless, staying on the right side of the inspiration requires individual awareness and attention to the source and similarity. Something ignored by many that opt for “inspiration” (a.k.a, cheeky and unscrupulous copying) as an infallible design method.
Low-cost brands democratize catwalk trends by creating affordable versions and big designers are caught up in controversies accused of paying too much attention to the work of small brands or timeless geniuses (the list is so long that we could spend here all day).
Although start-ups such as Diet Prada - an Instagram account that has become an industry watchdog when the fine line between copy and inspiration is crossed - are helping small businesses that do not have the financial resources to litigate and artists to highlight the serious lack of respect for their works, it is stipulated that fashion designers can analyse and copy any existing idea, use it and develop it.
Thierry Mugler’s SS98 “La Sirène du Futur” - Ludovic de Satin Sernin's SS20 “Wet ‘n’ Wild”.
The law considers clothing and accessories as a basic good on which the possibility of patents cannot be limited. However, what does exist is the Trademark ie; we can copy a model or an article, but we can never copy the brand image, usually represented by the logo (the reason why we can find it literally covering favoured items).
As there are no copyrights in this industry, there is a very open and original ecology of creativity. Charlie Parker said that one of the reasons he invented bebop - a musical style of jazz - was because he was sure that white musicians would not be able to reproduce the sound. He wanted it to be too difficult to copy. And that’s what fashion designers do. They create their own version of their inspiration, an aesthetic that reflects who they are and distinguishes them from the rest, an identity that marks territory.
Some may say that originality has to do with individuality, hence an element becomes original when it does not refer to anything around it. Others will most likely argue that it is related to temporality: for something to be original it needs to break into reality, come out of nowhere. But nothing emerges from nothingness.
Each generation advances on what has been done by previous generations. Especially in the era of the all-seeing Internet, originality - or rather “transformative inspiration” - is a difficult game, a paradox, something marvellously contradictory: the works are “partly original”, creative, innovative, daring, seductive, provocative, novel... but the originality of ideas is a myth and knowing it, a relief.
The search for specifics in the unpredictable is the impetus for Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s foray into fashion. Emerging organically from life experience, the Iranian designer launched her ready-to-wear and footwear collection in spring 2013, evoking a feeling of endless beauty and delicacy, catering to like-minded individuals, transcending into an international perspective on women’s fashion.
Maryam Nadir Zadeh felt creative at a young age, developing a deep love for fashion and aesthetics. Highly influenced by her grandmother, Susan Cianciolo and her surroundings - a beautiful, natural and rural Los Angeles area near the beach - Maryam started right after graduated metalsmithing/jewellery and textiles from RISD, her namesake clothing line. A project that went from experimental designs with t-shirts to her first account with Barneys.
Years later, she moved to New York, where while expanding her knowledge at Parsons, she met her partner and husband, Uday. With the aim of inspiring people and bring together a community of artists and designers, they gave life to an impeccably curated New York’s Lower East Side multi-brand boutique. A mix between high and quality fashion, art, interiors, music, and events, that coexist in a die-hard space that strives for natural, modern, relaxed, and experimental aesthetics.
"Our intention was to have a family business and lifestyle/community location that was not only about fashion but a more personal space, serving as a window into one’s aesthetic sensibility in a variety of realms."
As a designer, Maryam Nassir Zadeh is all about finding unexpected ways to combine things. Although she has a preference for classic shapes and materials, Zadeh also experiments with psychedelic and wild fabrics that give a distinctive touch of colour to her pieces, notably influenced by her Persian roots.
Among its most outstanding resources is the aesthetic touch of vintage inspiration with a little more playfulness, references to the 80s and 90s that evoke an imperturbable mix of eras and a spontaneous elegance in which each piece requires a second look.
Mayam Nassis Zadeh - supported by equally driven and committed team members - finds inspiration navigating between the past and the present of the women around her, giving as a result functional and unusual vivid neo-minimalist designs that show off along the prestigious New York's catwalks.
As a mother, career woman, designer, entrepreneur and one of the most stylish women in New York, Maryam Nassir Zadeh offers each season her own poetic vision of what surrounds a person, developing a warm and cosy pace that is not only fashion but life itself. Choosing to totally ignore trends, in favour of timeless pieces that reflect her own and distinctive personal style, MNZ makes beauty a part of each day.
Soon at LaBoutik, Maryam Nassir Zadeh's AW19 Collection.