Introduction by Marlo Saalmink
Questions by Filep Motwary
After residing in Scandinavia for a while, one gets thrown by the functional and minimal approach to sartorial dialogues. The long dark wintry seasons invite for excessive layering and stern morose silhouettes. Hence, we felt pleasantly surprised discovering UBI SUNT, crafted by design-duo Ms. Moa Wikman and Mr. Aidin Sanati. Their eclectic background in graphic design and fashion, led them to develop a clean line, with a sincere sense of purpose and utility. Their AW14 collection is extremely well crafted, with fabrics exclusively sourced in Japan and Italy. After UBI SUNT presented their work during Paris Mens Fashion week, we caught up with the designers, for a quiet conversation on pensive reflection, aesthetics and refinement of the male wardrobe.
Moa and Aidin, thank you for your time, with your permission, we would like to jump straight into it by asking you which experiences helped you to form your own aesthetics?
For us, this is the experimental process of design. By this we mean, the initial construction phase is conduction without having overly strong reference points. We adhere to the values of classic tailoring, yet continuously research new shapes and textures. In the end, we aim to put these together to a coherent manner, thusly shaping a visual backdrop to each collection. It enables us to carefully define the direction and shape of our aesthetics.
What is your new collection for FW14 about?
We always start from our aesthetic values and our collections develop from one to another. It is important for us to embrace a sense of refinement for each season. The relevance of winter vs summer and how this affects our wardrobes is pivotal in this process. For FW14 we eliminated colour and focused more on texture, surface reflection and pure shapes, trying to craft unique pieces, whilst keeping them wearable and true to our dense set of sartorial values.
Why did you choose menswear?
There is so much to discover within menswear, therefore we felt it would be a good starting and reference point. We both felt, this was where we could contribute most and express our thoughts on garments best.
What makes a designer important in your opinion in order to last? How does really longevity mean in this business?
This would have to be a combination of consistency in what the brand communicates, a sense of curiosity and always striving to step out of your comfort zone to push the brands aesthetics forward. Finally, we feel it is important to communicate a clear message on what the brand stands for and what it has to offer to a prospective client.
How did you form the hero/the man you dress?
We define our man with each piece he wears, as he slowly takes shapes through the process of each collection. We don’t have a specific person or type of person in mind. For us it is important to mention that we try to offer something unique that is desired by men. It is about presenting them something they are not aware of themselves, that they might covet or need.
How do you think fashion responds to the financial crisis-if there is one? Is this the moment of great creativity?
This definitely depends which segment the brand is targeting, however there is always room for great creativity and during various crises it is all about doing a good consistent job prior to the crisis. Difficult times, could be seen as a figurative barometer on how relevant you are to your clientele.
How relevant is creativity to the way the fashion industry functions today?
There is a difference being a clothing producer and a designer. The cycle of fashion is very time restricted, which is challenging. Nonetheless, by having a clear message based on creativity, you can truly connect and communicate with your customer. In turn he will recognize what has been made with a lot of care and what pieces are just out there as moneymaker garments. For us, a return to traditional tailoring, respect for garments and production, will always prevail over fast-fashion cycles.
Is Fashion changing? Towards which direction?
Fashion is always evolving, reacting to trends in society. As a concept, it is taking shape in many different directions at the same time, some more correct than others, but as we mentioned, it is more about being relevant and sincere to your clientele.