Designer Lee Sedman talks his love of design, the internet & the importance of the retail experience
A conversation with Lee Sedman, Creative Director of UK-based Sons of Heroes
Why I love him: Edge. Beyond the fact that his designs are on Common’s character Tattoo Man in Suicide Squad, his clothes make you feel like you can conquer anything in your path.
When was the first time you noticed that fashion was something someone created rather than just something you bought and put on?
I guess I’ve always been aware that fashion was created rather than just a purchase. As a very young boy, I had an extremely inquisitive 3-dimensional mind and a habit of dismantling objects in order to understand how they worked – anything from televisions to garments. As a boy coming from a working class background, a lot of my clothes were handmade by my mother, who used to make and sell her clothes at a weekend market.
What made you want to pursue design vocationally as opposed to it just being a hobby?
As a vertically challenged young boy at the age of maybe 13-14, I started buying fabrics from the local market, jumped on my Mum’s sewing machine and attempted to re-create current fashions for a much smaller frame. This gave me a true love for design. After leaving school, I worked and trained in an accounts office for a number of years which only confirmed that I could only be truly happy within a creative field.
You mentioned you taught yourself to sew and create as a kid but did you have any formal design training?
The greatest training I received was all self-taught; experimenting with fabrics and patterns in order to create my own little personal wardrobe. This helped greatly whilst studying for a fashion design degree at London’s Kingston University.
When you begin designing new garments, what is the starting point for you?
I’m pretty old school and like working with garments. Some people spend way too long either drawing or mocking-up precise CADS for the factories to follow rather than spending time with the 3-dimensional form. I usually quickly mock up garments and start playing with seam details, prints, panels…on an actual garment.
There’s a lot of competition out there. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I simply do what comes natural and feels right.
The internet has changed the fashion industry in numerous ways. How have you utilized it and social media to get your work and your brand to a larger audience?
The internet is an absolute game changer for the fashion industry and has really shaken the whole industry up, offering huge potential for people who get it right. Honestly, I’m still working at getting it right, but getting there.
Fashion blogs and style bloggers are front row at Fashion Week, something that didn’t happen ten years ago. Ten years from now, what do you hope the fashion industry looks like/is headed?
Everything always works in cycles and the reason something is hot one season, is the reason it is not the following. For all the opportunities the internet brings, it also delivers difficulties. I would personally hope that the industry finds a way to embrace the internet culture without destroying the retail experience. The internet has brought great exposure, diversity and opportunities, but it has also brought a culture of throw-away, cheap quality, copycat fashion that lacks any honesty or integrity. I would therefor like to think the industry utilizes the benefits the internet offers but finds its way back to being a tactile, 3-dimensional experience.
What was it like the first time you saw someone wearing your designs in real life?
It’s always strange, at times embarrassing and somewhat emotional to see people wearing your clothes. As a creative, you somewhat get a personal attachment to your designs and its always extremely rewarding to see individuals bringing their own personalities and life to the clothes.
For more, head to http://www.sonsofheroes.com
FAST FASHION FACTS ABOUT SONS OF HEROES
My aesthetic in five words: Bold, playful, subversive & non-conforming.
My client is… really someone who is confident within their own skin with an open heart and subversive soul.
My dream client is… Sons of Heroes became a big favourite with musicians and has been worn by diverse artists from Justin Bieber to 2 Chainz to Florida Georgia Line, I however get a far greater buzz from seeing guys on the streets rocking the garments as this always feels far more real and therefore rewarding.
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