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THE DESIGNER CHAT: NAIM JOSEFI

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What is your new collection about?
“GANGS is a tribute to Yves Saint Laurent’s The Mondrian collection from 1965, where simple shapes with art-inspired patterns mark a new area in fashion: ready-to wear. To keep GANGS simple and accessible, I use denim as the key fabric. I also had the movie Gangs of New York in mind and I want my design to make one feel strong during tough times.”

Are any personal memories being reflected in the collection?
“I remember that I always wanted to contribute to gender equality and I chose to stand on the woman’s side. With my collection, I intend to highlight women’s incredible strength, which is according to me, amazingly refined. Furthermore, I became a dad to a little daughter recently and I would like to dedicate this collection to her.”

What do you want your clothes to say about the wearer?
“Since I transfer tailoring techniques, with sharp, elegant fits to denim in a fresh and innovative way, the person wearing my design is clearly modern, curious about the future and has a sense of aesthetics. In terms of spiritual approach, my collection is including, not excluding. It’s like music and art, it gives you freedom. You can be whom you want with my collection, it fits many different styles, whether you are chic and elegant, minimalist or maximalist, rebel or discreet. I think fashion should play a role, and one of these functions, according to me, is to make everyday life easier by providing garments that are aesthetically correct and that give you a subconscious boost.”

Did you have a muse when creating GANGS?
“This might sound unusual for a fashion designer, but my muse is Mother Earth. I find my inspiration in nature and science.”

If you were to anchor your fashion in one defining moment, which would it be and why?
“It would be the meeting between reality and subconscious. Every human being’s subconscious is attracted by equal aesthetics, but in reality, we believe there are thousands of different ways to define aesthetics. I intend to reveal the subconscious with my design language.”

You specialize in couture fashion. What drew you towards couture?
“My passion for quality and tailoring.”

Since you won Swedish Project Runway, you have gotten a lot attention for your modern pieces. You’ve amongst other things created an outfit for Lady Gaga. What has it been like to get to work with such big names?
“I was contacted by Lady Gaga’s team regarding my 3D-printed steel shoe. It’s a privilege to be able to work with a person like Lady Gaga. She’s innovating, breaking new grounds and never stopping. Simply fantastic!”

Has it changed your view on fashion in any way?
“My purpose is to always be open towards others and myself.”

You’ve said that you’re inspired by science and technology. How is that conveyed in your aesthetics?
“All my collections are build on scientific research. I am fascinated by the fractal system. A fractal is a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern displayed at every scale. This is the base of my design language. Technology helps me realising complex ideas and thoughts. With the help of modern technology I could for instance produce the 3D-printed steel shoe.”

You create your clothes in a very innovative and technological way. What’s that like?                                                         “It is an extreme challenge. I am a constant innovator and to succeed with innovation within fashion is a fantastic satisfaction – it’s like an accelerating feeling in my whole body.”

What is the weirdest material or tool that you’ve worked with so far?                                                                                  “For this collection, I have coloured steel by using an electronic treatment in a factory in Munkfors, Sweden. This was so exciting to colour steel sequins with the help of electrons and it is so far my most ambitious and weirdest project.”