Modern Menswear has recently undergone a quiet revolution. JOYCE explores these shifts in the design approach of three generations of Menswear specialists.
In this first instalment of this Trilogy, we caught up with Agape Mdumulla (Agi), one half of the design duo behind the London based label Agi & Sam, on how they design clothes that reflect their own lifestyle.
AM: I met Sam (Cotton) at university while I was studying fashion design and he was studying graphics/ illustrations. We both felt that menswear back then was so dull and we wanted to do something different. We graduated after 2008 when the recession hit, so instead of interning for free for any longer, we decided to start our own business.
AM: People used to think about men's fashion as either Savile Row tailoring or street wear. I think Raf Simons and Kim Jones were the first designers to redefine modern menswear. Sam and I want to create clothes that reflect us and are relevant to our everyday lives. We go to work and meetings so we want to look presentable without being too formal. We will then go for a drink after work so the outfits need to be relaxed and casual enough but without looking messy.
AM: I’m from Yorkshire and Sam from Birmingham. When I was young I used to put on 3 pairs of trousers and wear 17 colours all at the same time. I wanted to find an outlet to express myself and people in Yorkshire used to think, ‘Who’s that and what is he wearing?’ I went through a skater phase, even a ‘chavvy’ phase! But I never had a muse, for me it’s always about mixing things up.
AM: At the beginning we focused on colours and prints. This season, we would like to introduce the idea of building the “Agi & Sam” wardrobe; the focus is in the fabrics, trimmings and finishing. We also started our accessories collection of shoes and bags. Our studio is situated in Soho, which is ideal because it’s a neighbourhood full of creativity with refinery. Our clientele includes painters, designers, actors and creatives, and as such we all hang out here. They are just like us, who don't’ want to wear anything too crazy but enjoy expressing themselves through clothes that are interesting but relevant to the modern lifestyle.”
Interview by Lucienne Leung-Davies
Photos by Filep Motwary