Interview: SAGITTAIRE A Debuts in Paris with Fashion Film "Samphrenia"

March 09, 2018 12:00 PM

Sagittaire A is a place deep within the Milky Way that emits radio waves, possibly the location of a black hole, and its perplexing, almost esoteric nature makes it a befitting name for the logo-less brand that debuted Paris Fashion Week this year with a short fashion film– the designers to remain unnamed. The brand’s team is “based in China, rooted in France,” and hail from non-fashion backgrounds, according to Sagittaire A’s Paris spokesperson Rafael Jimenez. The brand’s website is soon to launch, and on Instagram, their logo appears to simply be in Times New Roman all-caps, as if undecided. Instead of the garments bearing any brand emblem, familiar logos like that of Marlboro and Mastercard were adapted for the clothes. These decisions are rooted in the attitude that consumers won’t remember a brand’s logo at such an early stage in its lifecycle. “So why have a logo?” remarked Jimenez. The brand proffers unfamiliar standards such as this after a long-term observance and meditation on the fashion industry from the outside. 

“Samphrenia,” the brand’s fashion short was released in lieu of a traditional fashion show, and was based off of the Oscar-winning Milos Forman film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson. The film plays almost like a cinematic recording of a fashion show with the seats placed in the set, a mental institute, left completely vacant. Models were fitted with thick, creased leather boots with exposed zippers climbing the heel. They walked through the film with an unconcerned demeanor, slightly disheveled but at ease, sometimes smoking a cigarette or eating an apple. The collection’s boxy blazers and coats feature contrast stitching, asymmetric and distressed details, and deconstructed elements– vestigial third-sleeves fall down the coat backs of some looks– most reminiscent of Margiela, as are the white-gowned “patients” displayed going about their day in the institute. 

Only second to the product, the artistry behind each step in the design and production process is the essence of Sagittaire A. They hope to establish the brand without allowing marketing efforts or branding to distract from the fashion nor the artistry behind it. TWELV spoke with Jimenez to discuss the mystique; the independent, artisanal nature; and the curious story behind Sagittaire A’s carefully considered inception.

Watch "Samphrenia" and read the excerpts below:

The brand is described as being the result of a “long-term reflection on the fashion industry.” Can you tell me more?

The founders have been observing with a lot of curiosity how the fashion industry works, and how the system works– notions about quality, seasons, distribution, gender, status. They know from an insider, from the fashion circles of production, of high-end luxury labels. The founders are young people between ages 30-33 and self-trained in fashion. One studied business, one studied law, but they had been watching how collections were shown, and discounted immediately, and how the value of the artwork and the intellectual property were thought about.

They are obviously very influenced Margiela and by the Japanese movement, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons. They are in the school of philosophy of the people who like to put the spotlight on the product, on the creative side, and on the artistic side, as opposed to the more marketing-driven side.

The team seems to have a sense of secrecy.

For the moment, they would like to be considered as a collective that is based in China, rooted in France, who exchange information with different like-minded people in the world. They don’t like to put the focus on who is behind it, just that the artistry that is behind all the processes of creation is real, and is made for the brand, by the brand. 

 Is there a story behind the name?

Some of the members believe in a sort of mysticism and were really attracted by the idea of Sagittaire A, which is a place in the cosmos where certain radio waves are born, and it is believed that there are theories with the origin of the universe. 

 What was the starting point for the first collection?

The team does have a head of design. He’s a self-trained person. He’s a real library rat. He reads all the books. He only works at night. He hardly sees anyone. He has been investigating what would be the right collection for this. And to put it in a brief way– in the process of deciding what was right for this collection, he became crazy– and so he decided he would call the collection “Sample Schizophrenia.” Samphrenia is an abbreviation of both.

 And how did the film come about?

Well, when he was thinking about how to show the collection, he was watching a movie from the 70’s, called One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which talks about a mental institution. The founder thought that would be the best way to illustrate his current state of mind. 

In China, he actually made a whole movie set. He directed the movie, and is self-trained in this as well— this was his first time. He made the models fly to China and woke them up at 2 in the morning to make them look tired. Everything is very thought through. All the drawings in the collection, he paints himself. He does the artwork, then takes pictures of it and does prints. Everything he makes, he wants to reflect a real state of artistry from A to Z.

 How has the response been since showing in Paris this fashion week?

We have great feedback from many opinion formers, stores, PR. The brand has an independent spirit. They really know what they’re doing in the long-term. It’s a life project, and they really want to do things right. I think time will tell what will happen, but the brand has time.

What has been the biggest challenge?

They’d been thinking about it for so long, and everything came together very last minute. They were looking for a signal to get it all rolling, and the biggest challenge was to move everything so fast, so we could reach the deadline. 

So, what was that signal?

It was the realization that we had reached the point where we had enough material and enough things to say, the right media to say it and the right structure. 

 

INTERVIEW BY HOLLIS DE LANEY

 

PHOTO/VIDEO CREDIT: SAGITTAIRE A

 

related posts

MICKEY WEARING BALENCIAGA BY NICHOLAS GHESQUIERE

BARNEY'S ELECTRIC HOLIDAY SPREADS PIXIE DUST, FASHION DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

Fashion can be one of the most intrinsic forms of living out our fantasies: the simplicity of throwing on a leather studded perfecto can make us feel like we’re mosh-pitting at CBGB’s, or perhaps...

November 29, 2012 10:54 AM  |  Fashion

PROENZA SCHOULER A/W2012 AVATARS ENCHANT DOLPHINS

Nostalgia in fashion is often associated with a wafting miasma, but there’s no denying that designers of late have been longing for a reoccurrence of 90’s era simplicity, nonchalance, and even 16-...

November 21, 2012 12:34 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV ISSUE #2 LAUNCH PARTY

This past Wednesday, TWELV and over 1,700 of our closest friends celebrated the launch of our Second Issue, “Transformation,” at Public Assembly in Brooklyn.

November 16, 2012 5:49 PM  |  Fashion

Viktor & Rolf Innovate The Baby Carriage

Designer collaborations are a dime a dozen these days, but this recent collaboration between Viktor & Rolf and Bugaboo (a luxury baby carriage brand) is particularly noteworthy as it allowed...

November 16, 2012 2:34 PM  |  Fashion

DIGITAL ARTIST GEOFFREY LILLEMON EMOTES BERNHARD WILLHELM S/S2013

BernHard Willhelm has always been on the cutting edge of quirky high-fashion.  From endless post-modern references in his work, his collections are cheeky, playful, fun, and definitely not for the...

November 06, 2012 4:52 PM  |  Fashion

DIOR HOMME'S SALUTE TO "PRE-SPRING" STYLING

Pre-spring, or as they’re often called, resort collections, allow designers to present small focused collections with classic pieces to keep the retail shelves stocked, while providing fresh...

November 01, 2012 12:09 PM  |  Fashion
SOMARTA SS'13

"SHEER FANTASIES" TOKYO FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS (PART 3)

The final two days of Tokyo Fashion Week were jam-packed with collections filled with sheer femininity and surrealism, reminding us that fashion is a realm for us to envision and realize our own...

October 22, 2012 6:53 PM  |  Fashion
BATMAN

SUPERHEROS: SUBLIME SARTORIAL SELECTIONS

Superheroes appeared all over the catwalks for the AW’12 season.  Perhaps the incessant banter of the impending doomsday this December (according to the Ancient Mayans) motivated designers to...

October 19, 2012 1:14 PM  |  Fashion
ANREALAGE SS'13

"NEON GEOMETRY" TOKYO FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS (PART 2)

Anrealage designer Kunihiko Morinaga presented an exceptionally focused and dramatic collection drawing inspiration from structural art deco forms.

October 18, 2012 4:41 PM  |  Fashion
Alexander McQueen

PINK PINK PINK

It’s safe to say that we are now well into the fall season.

October 18, 2012 3:28 PM  |  Fashion

Comme des Garçons Revives "SIX" Magazine for iPad

Back in 1988, Rei Kawakubo and the Comme des Garçons brand printed a biannual, SIX, to reference the sixth sense.

October 17, 2012 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
FACETASM SS'13

"Peasant Grunge" - Tokyo Fashion Week Highlights (Part 1)

Tokyo has secured its place as the fifth stop on Fashion Week’s global tour.

October 16, 2012 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Inevitable: Chanel No. 5 & Brad Pitt

Since its creation back in 1921, a long line of femme fatales such as Catherine Deneuve, Lauren Hutton, and Nicole Kidman have leant their visage to Chanel’s iconic perfume, No. 5.

October 16, 2012 12:53 PM  |  Fashion

The Skinny on Slimane's New Menswear

It seems that Hedi Slimane just couldn’t resist a foray back into menswear.  The SS’13 lookbook for a new men’s collection, Saint Laurent Skinny, recently emerged on the revamped YSL website.  The...

October 16, 2012 10:30 AM  |  Fashion

Carine's Big Deal

With the fashion world rapidly embracing fashion as a truly global enterprise, it seems no surprise that Harper’s Bazaar (owned by Hearst media) would create a new position: Global Fashion...

October 12, 2012 6:51 PM  |  Fashion

Saint Laurent Paris S/S2013

"No Smoking,” Karl Lagerfeld recently joked in one of his spontaneous sketches.

October 08, 2012 12:52 PM  |  Fashion

Watch Prada's "Real Fantasy" AW'12

Melding antiquity with the intergalactic, this season the Prada man and woman live in a “world” all of their own.

October 05, 2012 7:34 PM  |  Fashion
Julianna Moore wearing Christian Dior Couture by Raf Simons

Fashion Favorites from the Emmys

No, nothing exciting happened at the Emmy's. So don't ask. But there were a handful of standout performances in the fashion department.

September 26, 2012 12:13 AM  |  Fashion

Dior Homme re-launches it’s Flagship in Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Shopping District

With immaculately tailored pieces, androgynous style, and a rebellious sophistication, Dior Homme has continuously been an inspiration to Twelv Magazine.  Dior Homme’s ability to mix influences...

September 20, 2012 5:07 PM  |  Fashion

The Sign Language of Chanel Lacquer

You can thank Ruth Hogben for your current addiction to fashion video.  The artist has shot for Lady Gaga, Gareth Pugh, and Louis Vuitton.

September 20, 2012 4:28 PM  |  Fashion

Gerlan + Minnie Mouse S/S2013

Gerlan and Minnie Mouse introduce the GERL POWER movement this Thursday during New York Fashion Week.

September 08, 2012 12:40 AM  |  Fashion

Farewell Anna

The ever-eclectic, fashion icon and editor of Vogue Italia Anna Piaggi died on August 7th in her Milan home. 

August 13, 2012 5:07 PM  |  Fashion
RAD HOURANI

RAD UNISEX COUTURE

Rad Hourani, the new Couturier on the scene from Montreal, Canada, now based in Paris, France since his debut in 2007, recently presented Couture's first "...

August 07, 2012 12:15 PM  |  Fashion

Vintage BUM-CAKE

BUM-CAKE, launched one year ago by Christiana Greene, is a vintage collection of hand-selected pieces from around the world.

August 03, 2012 1:30 PM  |  Fashion
Photography Chek Wu.  Shirts, glove Waldrip

NOUVEAU PR × IMG it Girl MARINE HEINE

Exclusive Fashion Story "NOUVEAU PR × IMG it Girl MARINE HEINE" is now available!

Check inside for the Special Editorial

  

July 20, 2012 3:38 PM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "We Own the Universe"

Julia Lang is the 25 year old blogger behind www.geeksndfashion.com.

July 20, 2012 3:01 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV digital issue

TWELV is now sold digitally for $0.99, 12% goes to charity!

July 07, 2012 4:12 PM  |  Fashion

The Prada Men - Fall/Winter menswear 2012

The much-hyped Prada Fall/Winter 2012 menswear collection gives us so many reasons to get excited.

July 06, 2012 10:10 PM  |  Fashion

Dsquared's stylish classroom rebellion

Classroom rebellion never looked so good as it does it Dsquared’s new F/W 2012 campaign.

July 06, 2012 9:51 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV on sale in JAPAN 6/27

TWELV on Sale in JAPAN on 6/27!

日本語翻訳付で6/27水 トゥウェルブマガジン日本上陸!

July 06, 2012 5:18 PM  |  Fashion

Meisel's F/W Prada Campaign is "A Virtual Labyrinth of Fantasy and Reality"

Prada’s Fall/Winter campaign is set to the backdrop of a geometric, futuristic, and somewhat freaky fantasy photographed in New York by the one-and-only, Steven Meisel.

June 30, 2012 1:10 PM  |  Fashion

Rogan Gregory Tells Wilbert What to Wear

I’m not afraid to admit that I was one of those people who just didn’t get kids.

June 30, 2012 12:05 PM  |  Fashion

Prada Parallel

The collaborative design effort with graphic designer and artist, Vahram Muratyan, highlights Prada 2012 spring/summer men’s and women’s accessories on unisex t-shirts.

June 30, 2012 10:54 AM  |  Fashion

Giorgio Armani Designs Uniforms for Olympic Team

Italian fashion empire, Giorgio Armani, will design the uniforms for the Italian Olympic Team for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

June 30, 2012 10:52 AM  |  Fashion
twelv magazine

MIU MIU METALLIC DELUXE

On July 27 2012 Miu Miu present a special accessory collection made exclusively for selected stores in London.

June 30, 2012 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲