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

Helmut Lang NYC Taxi Cab Campaign & Capsule Collection

This year has been a transformative period for Helmut Lang, a brand so inextricably tied with its enigmatic founder who left his label in 2005 and whose influence still manifests in...

December 06, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

Chanel BoyFriend Watch Celebration at the #CocoClub

Chanel's latest Instagram-geared affair celebrated their BoyFriend watch collection, a line of angular, masculine watches for women.

November 13, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
The Cover of "Dresses to Dream About" Photo: Brad Walsh

Christian Siriano's "Dresses to Dream About" Celebrates a Decade of Work

Christian Siriano's decade of empowering women through his epononymous label launched in 2008 is now being celebrated in the designer's first coffee table book entitled Dresses to Dream About...

November 10, 2017 5:00 PM  |  Fashion
Video still from "STEFFI"

Roberto Cavalli X TWELV Fashion Video "Steffi"

TWELV Roberto Cavalli Video Story "STEFFI"

November 08, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Halloween 2017 Party @Better Days

TWELV Magazine's annual Halloween party was on the cutting edge of horror haute couture with costumed guests attending as their alter egos for the night.

October 30, 2017 6:00 PM  |  Fashion
Tetra Neomatik 39

Nomos Glashütte Debuts "At Work" Collection

Luxury German watchmaker Nomos Glashütte has been in the market for 25 years now, but it didn’t take...

October 30, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
Video Still from "The Gate"

Björk Wears a Custom Gucci Masterpiece in "The Gate"

The genius of Björk, if we can condense it, is her ability to enable the human voice to express in sound what cannot be put into words.

October 12, 2017 9:00 AM  |  Fashion

Enisa Exclusive Interview/Fashion Story "Freedom"

ENISA Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Freedom" is now available!

October 06, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

MIU MIU S/S18 PFW READY-TO-WEAR

While there were no show stopping, jaw dropping surprises among the 44 looks presented by Miuccia Prada for Miu Miu's Spring/Summer 2018 collection, it was a solid representation of the brand's...
October 06, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Stella McCartney S/S18 PFW Ready-to-Wear

Stella McCartney's longstanding commitment to maintain a business model with environmental impact in mind was employed...

October 03, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Roberto Cavalli MFW S/S18 Ready-to-Wear

With the Spring/Summer 2018 shows of Milan Fashion Week now in the rearview mirror of fashion month, we can reflect on some of the visions thatpresent the most radical new creative...

October 02, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

All:One, the Skate Brand Promoting Inclusivity

The hyper-connected, instantly gratifying world of social media has given people a platform to express their viewpoints and make their voices heard.

September 28, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

MARC JACOBS NYFW S/S18 READY-TO-WEAR

"The future is uncertain and the end is always near" sang Jim Morrison in the song "Roadhouse Blues," and if there is any truth to the rumors that have been swirling all summer, this...

September 15, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Bruce Weber Photographs Frame Denim

The latest collection from Frame Denim comes like a soft ripple, wending and spreading itself through the fashion world in an organic wave.

September 15, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
Spencer Ludwig, Nina Agdal, Tyson Ritter

Thursday Boot Company NYFW S/S18 Launch Party

Comfort, performance and style are seldom co-habitants when it comes to footwear.

September 14, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

KIMIKO EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / Fashion story

KIMIKO Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Kimiko" is now available!

September 14, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion

Namilia NYFW S/S18 Ready-to-Wear

Berlin-based design duo Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl have stuck to their guns and carved out a niche for their relatively young label ...

September 14, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
Video Still from TWELV's "Freedom" by Enisa

"Freedom" Enisa x TWELV VIDEO

“FREEDOM" ENISA x TWELV video is now available!

 

September 08, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine NYFW SS18 Party @Better Days

To celebrate the anxiously awaited September moment– New York Fashion Week SS18– TWELV Magazine held it's biannual NYFW party at "Better Days," the newly reopened Lower East Side location...

September 08, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Elodie Yung EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / FASHION STORY "Elodie Yung"

Elodie Yung Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Elodie Yung" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

September 07, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion
Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent © DR

The Legacy of Yves Saint Laurent to be Honored at New Marrakech Museum

Yves Saint Laurent is not the first to call Morocco muse, but the legacy of his interweaving the North African nation’s vibrant aesthetic into European fashion continues to this day,...

September 02, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" Behind the Scenes Video

"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD KIND"  behind the scene video is now available! 

View the video on the right and check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

August 31, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

FASHION STORY “CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD KIND" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

August 25, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Celebrates Hissa/CHAMA's Birthday @Public Hotel

TWELV had the pleasure of celebrating the birthday of Editor-in-Chief Hissa/CHAMA Igarashi at the Public Arts space...

August 24, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Ane Amour"

FASHION STORY “Ane Amour" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

August 21, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
TM & © 2017 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks are properties owned by CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Gucci F/W2017 Collection Explores Strange New Worlds

Boldly going where no fashion house has gone before, Gucci launches its latest Fall/Winter 2017 collection with a full-on...

August 14, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

Giuseppe Zanotti X Jennifer Lopez Second Collaboration

After a successful first collaboration, Italian luxury footwear designer Giuseppe Zanotti and ...

August 04, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Party "Summer Soirée" @Kola House

As the Men's New York Fashion Week came to a close, TWELV hosted a party for everyone in need of an unwind during this blistering summer.

August 01, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Dior F/W2017 Haute Couture Collection

It's impossible to overestimate the impact of Christian Dior's first collection when it was shown in Paris in 1947.

July 31, 2017 8:00 AM  |  Fashion

Louis Vuitton Recruits Jaden Smith & Sophie Turner for Series 7

Unveiled earlier this month, Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2017-2018 campaign continues to impress as the brand remains...

July 27, 2017 8:00 AM  |  Fashion

Miu Miu F/W2017 Campaign Starring Kate Moss and the Aboah Sisters

The Miu Miu Girl has always been bolder and sexier than her patrician elder sister, the Prada Girl.

July 25, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion

Just Cavalli F/W2017 Collection

In releasing its latest campaign, Just Cavalli has teamed up with...

July 24, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion

René Caovilla F/W2017 COLLECTION

Italian designer René Caovilla has tapped into a new kind of sensual feminine energy with the launch of...

July 18, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

Rihanna x Manolo Blahnik Final Collaboration, #SoStoned

For their third and final collaboration, Manolo Blahnik and Rihanna have released the...

July 18, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

Beau Souci Fashion Story "Beautiful Worries"

BEAU SOUCI FASHION STORY “Beautiful Worries" is now available! 

Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.

July 17, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion
Veronika Brusa, Berenik Creative Director

Berenik Opens Soho Boutique & Talenthouse with Dance

Last week, genderless Swiss fashion label Berenik celebrated the opening of its New York City boutique and Talenthouse at 419 Broome...

July 17, 2017 9:00 AM  |  Fashion

Pages

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