Boris Bidjan Saberi A/W 10-11

Persian-German menswear designer is fighting back against the "fashion potato dumplings" of the world

Text by Nabil Azadi Photography by Giovanni di Nunzio

Persian-German designer
Boris Bidjan Saberi is something of a rarity among his fellow creators – growing up in Bavaria around hip-hop, skateboarding, streetwear and the creative influences of his parents, who designed and produced a label together, his love for clothing was removed from notions of what he once described as the big fashion potato dumpling: facile editors, pompous after-parties at Le Baron, and an undeserved sense of entitlement. And perhaps it was this isolation that allowed him to develop into what is now: a craftsman who creates something serviceable and handsome that is not merely to be worn, but to be lived in.

In January, for his recent collection, he showed eleven stages of evolution in human sculpture from beige leather armour to full-length black felt coats; there was a different point of view perhaps, but the same central tenants in tailoring and form. Amidst friendly murmurs in German and in Spanish, Saberi sat down backstage after the show with us to explain – in the steadiest of voices – his creative process and providence.

When you developed this collection, did you have any pictorial references or was there something more instinctual occurring? I ask this because your clothing is an extension of the human body, something built around our bodies - I think of you as a carpenter.
Boris Bidjan Saberi: Maybe I am more a carpenter than a designer. My aesthetic and feeling about clothing is a reflection of myself – of what I have lived and live. It’s an aesthetic that is in my veins, and in my case it’s something I have from my mother – from the touch to the fabrics to the look of the details. And the German view is also in me: I only like things that are perfectly constructed and I only want to do something that is perfectly constructed. My work is the search for the perfect fit in an intelligent, impossible one-piece pattern. My vision comes from what I learned in my life and the social contact I had; and, for sure, a big part is my friends and the lifestyle I had: skateboarding, snowboarding, graffiti, hip-hop. I come from the pre-culture of the Jack Ass family: the idea of having strength and no limits. I use a lot of black because it suits my skin and it fits me. All the rest and changes in collection to collection you see is an evolution in creativity and living life happily and truly. Every six month I have to change my point of view a little bit and I start every collection from zero, going with a concept and mixing it finally with my aesthetic and my style.

Your mother – who was also a designer – must have taught you so much.
Boris Bidjan Saberi: She did. She was the heart of my parents’ brand. She wasn’t drawing, she was draping like me. I make technical drawings because I have to and because it’s like a 3-D shape for my brain, but I don’t draw a silhouette.

Do you have a design team or is it just you?
Boris Bidjan Saberi: Just me. Everything is in my brain and then I collect it all together – I have helpers, of course, and interns.

And with the leather for the shoes, for example – when you’re distressing it, do they help with that?
Boris Bidjan Saberi: No, that’s me. It’s a thing that I can’t explain. With the process and the production – yes, they help – but not with the first piece. I can’t wait to see the first pieces so I can’t wait [long enough] to explain it to someone else. I always make them on my own, and the finish and the distressing I do on my own too. I work very close with our ateliers and manufacturers who give me the chance to use their machines and there I can play like a small child in a garden. They have huge washing machines and I can stain leather with oil, sand, wax or nails there – I can do anything. That is what I love.

How was studying fashion design in Barcelona? Did you find the course inspiring?
Boris Bidjan Saberi: Wait, I’ll start at the start. I started to make clothing when I was thirteen or fourteen. As I was a child my parents had a small brand, my mother was the designer and my father was the producer.

And you’d use his sewing machine!
Boris Bidjan Saberi: Yes – he’d sew at home, my father. And I was always really curious about it, and I’d always change my clothing. I’d always customise my Levi’s. I had no idea about fashion – I knew what Levi’s were and I knew about Maruti but I come from streetwear.

Isn’t that amazing? You grew up in this place where you were isolated from all of that.
Boris Bidjan Saberi: For me it’s the only way to create something really unique and something real that comes from heart.

© by DazedDigital

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