Aesthetic Consistency

Anca Macavei in conversation with Boris Bidjan Saberi.

Success is rarely accidental, instead it comes from genuine passion and systematic research. Descend into the world of Boris Bidjan Saberi, the contemporary menswear designer obsessed with numerology but über secretive on this topic and on everything that regards his private realm.
He depicts and defines the reality thorough his designs, being determined to reinterpret the usual fashion codes in a transformative way. His complex ground reflects anatomically conscious clothes, patterned on his own body, out of fabrics carefully crafted in his own factory in the countryside of Barcelona.

Anca Macavei in conversation with Boris Bidjan Saberi.

I. Half German, half Iranian, currently living in Spain. How does this eclectic background influence you from an identitary standpoint?
How ? In every senses. Like it would for anyone I guess. Yet I’m not sure it brings much to define clearly in which ways. I am indeed deeply connected to my background, and my roots have always been influencing what I am doing. What I am doing is resulting from who I am. So yes some would say my thirst for perfection comes from my German side, and that stylistically talking one sees bridges with my Persian roots. Finally it’s just about being yourself, giving shape to your personal vision. I’ve chosen fashion design to express who I am and I feel really fulfilled. Through my life in Spain too. Because of the freedom and the authenticity this culture and its people give me day by day.

II. Central points in your formation as who you are today. Be it a book, a place, a writer, a designer, an artist, etc.
Being devoted to my passion, I might say my path had been punctuated by experiences rather than a specific artist or a reading. Thinking of it, obviously I would evoke my childhood and my first encounter with clothing when I started experimenting on old Levi’s. And later on during my teenage, the street culture I’ve discovered and dived into. It influenced me, and mainly musically talking. It still does. Studying fashion design strengthened my desire, I felt I was meant for it but needed to create by my own and express my vision of garments. People I meet, places I see, experiences I do; it constantly nourishes me through.

III. Main value that you would like to be associated with your brand.
Unique and hand crafted with care.

IV. Could you tell me more about the signature strings – how did you end up choosing them as distinctive element of the brand.
I’ve never been a big fan of branding etiquette. For my own label I wanted something essentially functional where you could find all needed information and that you could feel free to remove too.

V. Boris Bidjan Sabieri vs. “11”, your second line launched this year.
Eleven is the result of different creative needs and the expression of a lifestyle.
I don’t know if I wish to compare or to define its differences with Boris Bidjan Saberi.
I am beyond both and the one who know my signature can find my hand through Eleven’s designs, its specific patterns, its detailed finishes.

VI. Skate crews, military, mafia or the latest sailor/fisherman instilled designs: you have stated that you always need a group to inspire each collection. In which way do you relate to these social realities as influential and moreover what makes these specific groups appealing to you as a designer?
It is mostly the feeling of being part of something, maybe also a kind of non-spoken strength and power that you may feel when you are part of a community, be it a group of friends or a family. It is really important to me, I need it personally, I need my own family. To share and live.
Design wise, it’s appealing because those groups develop a common aesthetic that results from something really specific. The garment may be the result of a functional need for a type of worker for instance or signifies a certain position or hierarchy if we speak about the mafia circle. Garments become much more than simple clothing and offer a lot of potential to explore and dig.

VIII. Do you think that clothes have a crucial importance in the constitution of the individual? People try hard to express their own identity but paradoxically do it in a way that very often turns out as an expression of an abstract impersonality. How do you feel about someone wearing head-to-toe Boris Bidjan Saberi?
Yes and no. It depends from which point of view one places itself. Clothing talk about individuality but rather because it express one’s way of life –when the chance to choose is given to you of course.
When I’m talking about a way of living it’s not about getting lots of money and being able to pick up this or this onerous garment, it’s about lifestyle. Yes clothing can express individuality if we consider that it talks about what one’s is living in the present time, in this specific moment and specific space. It can talk about what you’re doing, what you love, what you live and how. And for me, that’s the way it should be for any individual.
When I see someone who wears my garments, I feel deeply touched and it makes me happy of course. Personally, I’m wearing my garments from head to toe. If I do, it’s because they suits my daily needs and that I feel myself and more complete wearing them.

IX. Name one thing for which you would never leave aside your work as a fashion designer and one thing for which you definitely would.
Leaving what I’m doing would mean leaving my life and what I feel being born for and my thirst for experimentation is far to be fed. Boredom could be a reason to consider quitting. Also If I start to feel I’m not supported any longer. That would mean I’ve lost a certain spirit for creation. I would obviously quit, if I start to have this feeling.
An other reason concerns more the way fashion business works, its implicit rules which are pretty far from my vision and approach of things. I don’t feel really comfortable with this lack of authenticity…So if this would destroy my visions and somehow the soul of my brand and mine, I’d rather start something different.

VII. How do you see yourself relating to a “dark aesthetic”, if there is one? What is the meaning and the function of black and non-colors vs. colors in your designs?
I’m oftenly requested to answer this question. But to be honest, I don’t know what people put behind “dark aesthetic”. If that only means cherishing black, I bet I’m part of this aesthetic but I would personally not use this word to define my work, I’m not “gothic” or “dark”. I do not see this “flow” as a design school. Different personalities express themselves and people see connections, bridges between them, I don’t know if that really creates a specific aesthetic; my influences are very personal and I believe it’s the same for designers that you may connect to this.

X. How would you describe the meaning of clothes in the consciousness of people these days?
Clothing in nowadays people consciousness appears to be more about the possibility to choose, to express. A certain kind of freedom. Many rules have been broken since one started designing clothing. Today – in the society I’m living in – it’s not much about revolutionizing silhouettes, even though what has been fascinating and is still now, is how clothing can reflect social or cultural changes. Clothing seam to be less a social tool than an individual one. That may also change the place of the garment, its status. Let’s see how garment will evolve through the coming decades.

XI. Is reality (in some ways) an aesthetic competition nowadays?
If it’s about being competitive with yourself, challenging your own creative expectations, yes I can say my reality is an aesthetic competition. I tend to surprise myself and to go beyond expectable garments vision.

XII. You were once asked to describe your universe in one word, and you replied “Impossible.” Why is that?
How can someone describe its universe through a unique word? And why should he ?
My universe is complex, complete and constantly evolving, I don’t want to describe it, to use words to frame it. Its entirety and complexity can’t be described from a lexical point of view and that would be senseless. Words aren’t my way of expression; garments are.

XIII. Numbers are not merely the expressions of quantities, but idea-forces, each with a character of its own. And you are one much preoccupied with the symbolism of numbers, I will not ask you how did this started to interest you as I know you tend to be quite secretive about it, but would be curious to understand which are the digits that seemingly act as “outer garments” but have a particular, more profound, meaning to you?
Which digit? Eleven.

XIV. Abstract or Concrete?
Concrete. Life is about experiencing, facing reality. Learning
I’m definitely from this side and I need my ideas to be realized.

For your daily dose of aesthetic consistency, gaze:

Photography: Eloi Colom – Boris Bidjan Saberi SS14

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