Brainchild of Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton, British menswear label Agi & Sam has caused a stir in recent seasons, offering a sense of playfulness and fun to menswear by ignoring the rules of convention and bringing a whole new meaning to the word ‘print’. As they prepare to unveil their AW12 collection at the MAN show in February, we chat to the boys to find out what’s next on the agenda…
Tell me about your individual backgrounds, how did you meet and form the brand?
We met whilst interning at Alexander McQueen after graduating in 2008. After working with various other designers over a period of two years we decided to form our own label after feeling frustrated at the current work climate.
What is it like being part of Fashion East and how has it helped the label develop?
It was the first real step on the ladder for us. When we first began, we set ourselves goals and aspirations and this was at the forefront of these entirely. Being associated with Fashion East has opened many doors for us – not just creatively, but leading onto other schemes such as the CFE, London Show Rooms and even putting ourselves in a better position to work with collaborations and sponsorships.
Your collections play with print and colour and you like to push boundaries, what is it that draws you to this?
The desire to push boundaries is something that we feel is vital in art and fashion. What is the point in churning out the same stuff you see year in and year out? We find that print, colour and humour are things often lacking in menswear so we use this as a tool to explore this unknown realm. Though while we are trying to push boundaries, we are learning along the way exactly what boundaries can be pushed without going too far; this we feel is equally as important as everything we do needs to be relevant. If we do something “normal” it becomes endangered of getting lost amongst countless collections. Similarly, if we push too far it becomes inaccessible.
Tell us the thought process behind the AW12 collection…
This season we have been looking at the evolution of man. This stems from man himself, to the discoveries and technological advancements of life. The starting point was taken from watching Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey and ended up with a story about a man named Eloi Cole, who was found in a bin outside the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, claiming he was from the future. The police later described the man as “wearing too much tweed for this period in time”…
What is it like working as a pair? Describe the design process…
It helps a lot, we honestly have no idea how people can do this alone, even down to making the smallest of decisions. In terms of designing, we discuss a concept that interests us both and then begin researching independently. Over time we merge our research and talk through each others ideas which can usually result in an interesting amalgamation of thoughts and creations.
What type of man would wear your pieces?
A ladies man, who drinks too much and has more money than sense.
What’s new for 2012? What are you working on at the moment?
Currently we are in Paris with London Show Rooms, working on sales, but after we get back we will go straight back into design mode, working towards the MAN show at the end of February.
Agi & Sam
Words: Emily Cater