Emerging label Sies Marjan confirms promising debut
The name is still unknown to the general public, but it has been talked about by fashion insiders for a couple of seasons. The Sies Marjan label, from the first names of designer Sander Lak's parents, was launched on the market less than a year ago and is now one of the most directional labels around.
The New York-based, women's ready-to-wear label has ba uzz around it for working with Vetements collaborator Lotta Volkova and is known for its fine, fresh materials.
"I simply conceive clothes, I don't claim to be reinventing fashion! I have stopped designing, it's too abstract. From the outset, I prefer to play with volumes myself, building up a dress directly on the mannequin. It's instinctive," Sander Lak told FashionNetwork.
Sies Marjan's style is fluid, perpetually in motion, with dresses gliding naturally on the skin. The silhouettes look deceptively simple, but are actually the result of sophisticated cutting. One example is the pin-striped skirt which buttons up like a shirt. And there are dresses whose edges roll up and intertwine, creating an unusual draped effect. Fabrics are often reversible, playing trompe-l’oeil tricks.
Colours are one of Sies Marjan hallmarks: they capture the light, like the slightly acidic hues of its long dresses, or the bright orange of a nylon velvet, or the sky blue of a hand-painted silk dress.
Sander Lak, 33, was born in the Netherlands, and studied at the Dutch ArtEZ school in Arnhem, before graduating in 2008 from London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He then hopped from one fashion label to another (Philip Lim, Marc Jacobs, Balmain) before joining Dries Van Noten, where he worked as Creative Director for five years.
In 2015, he launched his solo career, benefitting from the patronage of powerful millionaire investor Nancy Marks, who set up the Oaktree Capital Management private equity firm with her husband Howard. Marks supported Sies Marjan's launch, promoting it together with Joey Laurenti, founder of New York showroom Goods & Services.
From its first season, Sies Marjan featured on the official Fashion Week schedule in New York, where the label showed last September, and where 60% of its clothes are produced. Meanwhile 35% of its output comes from Italy and 5% from China. Its fabrics come mostly from Italian, Japanese and French textile manufacturers.
Sies Marjan was a hit in the Autumn/Winter 2016-17 season, and gave a repeat performance with the Spring/Summer 2017 collection, which is available at 39 multi-brand clients worldwide, including Colette in Paris.
"I did not expect so much success. It is all a matter of the fabrics we use, and of the way the clothes are assembled. And after all, people love a good story," said the designer.
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