Boris Bidjan Saberi
Interview for Nasty Magazine.
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. Instead, 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 factory in the countryside of Barcelona. For your daily dose of aesthetic consistency, gaze: borisbidjansaberi.tumblr.com
Half German, half Iranian, currently living in Spain. How does this eclectic background influence you from an identitary standpoint?
In every sense, as it would for anyone, I guess; yet I’m not sure how to define it clearly. I am indeed deeply connected to my background and my roots have always been influencing what I am doing as that is resulting from who I am. So yes, some would say that my thirst for perfection comes from my German side and stylistically talking, one would see bridges with my Persian roots. But finally it’s just about being yourself and 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 are giving me each day.
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 that my path had been punctuated by experiences rather than by a specific artist or a reading. Thinking of it, I would obviously evoke my childhood and my first encounter with clothing when I started experimenting on old Levi’s. And later on, during my teenage, I’ve discovered and dived into the street culture and that has influenced me, mainly musically talking. And it still does to these days. Studying fashion design strengthened my desire, I felt I was meant for it but I also needed to create and express by my own vision of garments. People I meet, places I see, experiences I do; all this things it constantly nourish me through.
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 it can signify 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.
How do you see yourself relating to a “dark aesthetic”, if there is one?
To be honest, I don’t know what people put behind the “dark aesthetic”. If that only means cherishing black, I bet I’m part of it 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 make connections, build bridges between them, but I don’t know if that really creates a specific aesthetic. My influences are very personal and I believe it is the same for other designers.
Main value that you would like to be associated with your brand.
Unique and hand crafted with care.
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 etiquettes. For my own label I wanted something essentially functional where you could find all needed information but that you could feel free to remove also.
Boris Bidjan Sabieri vs. “11”, your second line launched this year (“vs.” intended as a comparison, common points & differences)
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 those who know my signature can see my hand through Eleven’s designs, its specific patterns, its detailed finishes.
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?
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 suit my daily needs and that I feel myself more complete wearing them.
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 still 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. Another reason is more concerned with the way in which the fashion business is working and its implicit rules, which are pretty far from my approach. I don’t feel really confortable 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.
How would you describe the meaning of clothes in the consciousness of people these days?
It depends from which point of view one positions itself. Clothing talk about individuality but rather because it expresses 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 I do not mean lots of money that grant you the opportunity to pick up this or this garment, I am talking about lifestyle. So yes, clothing can express individuality if we consider that it talks about what one 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. Clothing in nowadays 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 seems to be less a social tool than an individual one. That may also change the place of the garment, its status. Let’s see though how will this evolve through the coming decades.
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.
You were once asked in an interview 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 then 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.
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.
Published in Nasty Magazine, The Sacred Issue.