SOHUMAN’S SS23 COLLECTION EXPLORES THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE BRIGHT AND THE DARK.
Feather dresses and feminine glamour: Interview with SOHUMAN designer Javier Aparici
Fräulein: What are the foundations of your brand? What does it stand for?
Javier Aparici: SOHUMAN is represented by three fundamental values: Radical Transparency, Ethical Factories and Exceptional Quality. These values are the reason for our customers to wear SOHUMAN and this is why they relate to our designs. SOHUMAN represents the independent and cosmopolitan woman who sees herself in our designs and shares a certain familiarity with our values. We create fashion by and for women so that they feel free and empowered.
In what way is SOHUMAN sustainable and why is this important to you?
For SOHUMAN sustainability is very important and a big part of the company – it begins at the factories with the type of fabrics we choose to create a collection with, it continues with environmentally conscious shipment methods, going all the way to minor details like the recycled paper we use. Most of the fabrics that we used during the last year are either recycled or come from sustainable sources – this is true sustainability for us. My mission is to leave a healthier world for new generations.
Your last collection for Fall/Winter 2022 was very feminine and romantic as well, did you draw a lot of inspiration from your previous works?
Between the collection we presented in February and our SS23 collecton I see similarities in the romanticism and nostalgia, the melancholy and the desire for moments that we perhaps have not experienced yet but hope to experience in the future.
Have there been any particular challenges in the making of the upcoming show?
For this presentation we were looking for a location with much more capacity than the previous one. The show is hosted by London College of Contemporary Arts which is why we have a capacity for 250 people now. However, we never thought that we would receive more than 5000 requests to attend our show which means we had to say no to more than 95% of requests.
Do you have a favourite item? Which pieces would you describe as the highlights of your collection?
The two Chinese bell flower dresses. They are represting a flower that grows in the high Asian mountains and was an inspiration for the print designs and the dresses. When we did the first fitting with the models, it was very emotional for the whole team. The collection is made of dresses for women who want to live their life as if it was their last day wearing all kinds of sexy, romantic and contemporary dresses.
What does your collection stand for? Is there a message you want to spread with your designs or a statement you want to make?
Yes, the message is that women have taken control of the world, that they dress for themselves according to their life goals. Our dresses are patterned and designed in a way that women can both, put on and take off, clothes comfortably, quickly and elegantly.
Describe your creative process in three words.
Passion, dedication and persistence.
How do you work? Where do you start?
Inspiration comes into your life without a warning – sometimes it just knocks on your door. Once it happens, I begin developing the fundamental themes of inspiration at that moment in my life; once I have created the moodboard, I create a book in which I develop all of my inspirations as a thesis; once I have this first step done, I draw the sketches on paper. Then, I find the fabrics, create the patterns and start constructing the first dresses. It’s like building a house from scratch, the work of an architect.
Why did you choose the cuts and materials you chose?
Quite frankly, it was exactly what I needed to visually achieve what I strived to express with this collection. I wanted to show clean and refined cuts that suit the diverse woman as she needs elegant fabrics that are also comfortable and light. I design for women that I am surrounded by myself and I like that they tell me what the requirements are, which garments they need. It is essential to choose the cuts and fabrics very well if you want to design something light and elegant and not to design using zips for example.
What inspires you? In general, and for this collection in particular ?
Generally, I am inspired by everyday life. For example the other day I met a person who came to England from a modest background, but thanks to his effort and wisdom he had managed to get his son into one of the best universities in the world. These stories inspire me and give me energy to continue designing. For this particular collection I was inspired by travelling around Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous country in the depths of Asia that borders five other countries. It offered a great social, cultural and religious diversity.
Where do you see your designs going next?
I want to dress the majority of women on the planet in a sophisticated, elegant and comfortable way.
Interview by Elisa Juesten
Images courtesy of SOHUMAN