ON THE MARK, IN THE LOOP, QUICK FIRE, SHARP TEETH…
A FEW WORDS FROM A MAN IN A MOMENT, SAM MC.
Describe your process of work creatively, from idea to outcome. The idea is almost spontaneous… never forced. It comes instinctively and I just go with it. The first season I knew I wanted to do the crazy dog because it was mental and graphic and aggressive, so I built the collection around that idea. And the second season was about the wolf, which came from an amazing Japanese scarf that I found. But the garments are always cool and easy because, although the print is strong, I know how I want to wear it. Its got to be real to me.
I work with a close-knit team of family and friends to pull together garments, which I design and cut in London, and work with a fantastic factory to produce the final product, I love to visit the factories I’m really hands-on with the entire process.
Then once the clothes are designed and styled, I focus on the look-book to really build a story, and thats when I get really excited. I thrive on casting the models and finding the location to deliver images that sell an ethos for the label and the story of the season. I have a 360 degree vision and rely on my instinct for everything.
Is this working process one that changes and evolves with each collection or do you have a design routine? The routine is becoming more and more fast-paced for me as I split my time between building the collection and building a career for myself as a graphic artist, as well as working on various collaborations. And as I learn more, there is more I push to achieve in the time I have… so it is definitely an evolution. But one thing remains constant is that I am always patient and wait for that moment of definitive inspiration to come.
Describe the SAM MC customer. I am still figuring this out, because you can never put a stereotype on a customer. Originally we were “all English”, and then I started to have fun and started taking more risks with garments… especially since we have great support in Japan, and those guys know how to dress. If I can make garments for everyone to style up how they want, without alienating anyone, then I have done my job as a designer.
How easy was it to translate your skills from Graphics to Fashion design? Graphic design, especially when it comes to product, is about 3-D realisation of a visual, and an interest in fashion definitely made that transition easier. Its always a learning process when it comes to physically making the garments, but thats why I have a team around me that know what they are doing! And as long as I know clothes, and how I want to dress, then its a very uncomplicated process.
How would you describe the brands aesthetic? Anglo-Asian-inspired print-infused street-wear.
How does Sam Mc fit and identify with the current menswear landscape? SAM MC appeals to the t-shirt-wearing guy who needs a statement piece to style with jeans. I create very visual pieces that you want in your wardrobe, and will hopefully transcend current trends and always be fun and cool. I don’t aim to create a hyped fad, more a label with longevity, like Givenchy, Supreme or Obey.
Describe the relationship between designer/ audience and how this interaction affects the way you design? I think it is far to easy for a designer to separate themselves from their audience and design in their own fantasy. Fantasy is definitely what drives the creative process, but I try to stay as grounded as possible and design what I believe people actually aspire to own. I speak a lot with my mates about how far they would be prepared to push their style and do my best not to exceed that. These are real boys and girls and thats who I want to dress.
Who or what are your influences, heroes, idols, muses, irritants? Darth Vader and Darth Maul are the original MC Icons. Sitting alongside them are influences such as the Brothers Grimm novels, photographer Tim Walker, Comme de Garcons, Riccardo Tisci, GOOD MUSIC, Jay-z, Chase + Status (Blind Faith video is genius), anime and Japanese toys, and Jack Borkett styling. My muses are mainly the guys that I will use time and time again in my campaigns Josh Quinn, Tom Newton, Louis Barber-Cruz, as well as Jamie T, Coco Sumner, Pro Green pre 2010, and Simon Cook of Stone and Spear … and my Sister, Courtney MC, too.
A dream brief, project and collaboration. A dream brief would be to work with Colin Tilley on a music video, styled by Grace Coddington, and choreographed by Chris Brown. Collaborating with musicians is an amazing experience, and we have something exciting coming up for later in 2013.
Check out SAMMC LONDON
Interview and design by Slashstroke