Posted: August 13th, 2012
This month we feature brilliantly talented designer Omer Asim. Originally from Sudan but now London based, Omer’s riveting design ethos has earned him a place (and bragging rights) in Italy’s renowned Boutique Louisa Via Roma. We catch up with him as he prepares for his SS13 collection.
How and when did you start designing?
I launched my label about 2 years ago, but I started designing a while before that. I studied architecture so designing has always been there, but the context has evolved over the years. I moved into fashion following a series of career trials, I wouldn’t say they were errors but I always felt like I want to do something more closely connected to the human condition! The idea of working behind a computer screen is too artificial for me, similar to the concept of ‘fashion’. I make clothes, emphasis on MAKE.
What’s been crucial – on your journey to being a designer? What would you say is something you did that was essential… Tradeshows? Internships? Education?
Finding my true aesthetic, not the aesthetic I thought I should have.
Your clothes seem to have a very strong identity/voice, there’s a strong story to them – What’s your brand ethos?
I lose a lot of sleep thinking about what should go and shouldn’t go into my collections. When you are developing a collection it is very hard to discard ideas/elements/things. I think this is the hardest thing for a designer – choosing what should NOT go into the collection. Un-design is my mantra, but somehow the collection has to put itself together!
What designers currently inspire you/your work … or have inspired you in the past?
From the past I love Erte, Poiret, Vionnet, Gres, Balenciaga and others. I wouldn’t say that their work inspires me directly today, when you see their work in its context you have to respect them. Unfortunately, today our context lacks substance so designers don’t have much to work with! Yves Saint Laurent has to be one of the most I respect from the late generation of designers, his visual work aside, he played a great humane role in re-defining the boundaries of beauty beyond the Caucasian model of beauty.
How did interning at Savile Row train you as a designer?
It didn’t. I learnt to appreciate the repertoire of skills that go into making a beautifully tailored suit.
How does being African, or growing up in Sudan – define your work, if at all?
I don’t know! I try not to think about it so it doesn’t influence my work in a stereotypical manner. Something must be in operation at a subconscious level, I’d rather it stays this way. The viewer shall decide.
What’s the reception to your brand in Luisa Via Roma…how’s it been so far? What does being in a prestigious store like LVR mean for a brand like yours?
It is going very well, couldn’t hope for any better. Luisa Via Roma is an oracle store, they launched many heavy weights in the past, it is very humbling to be recognised by a store of that calibre. I have to keep my head down on my work and carry on fine tuning it.
What can you tell us about your SS13 collection? Please give us an SHF exclusive?
It is very hard to say, I always start somewhere and end up somewhere else! However, I have always been fascinated by knit so I’m developing some knitwear samples at the moment. I have no idea where it is going!
Name three women you’d love to see in your pieces?
I’d be happy with any three decent women who know what suits them and go for it. I’d also love to dress Sade, so that’s four women.
To shop Omer’s collection, visit www.luisaviaroma.com