The LVMH Prize is one of the most prestigious fashion design competitions. It propels young designers in front of the eyes of the industry’s most powerful names, offering creative mentorship, financial support, and limelight. As we count down to the final ceremony on June 6, CR spotlights the nine finalists on this year’s roster.
When Samuel Ross launched A-Cold-Wall in 2015, his intention was to explore the working class—hence its name. “A-Cold-Wall is an esoteric artist expression that explores the nuances and disparities of the British class system,” the 26-year-old British designer explains to CR. “The name synthesizes the brutalist and geographic nuances.”
The literal interpretation of a wall denotes division, but, Ross insists, “a cold wall” plays with the idea of how architectural structures from both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum (like an Edwardian marble colonnade on one end and public housing scaffolding on the other) can “evoke the same sensation for two different social groups.” In other words, Ross’ concept of “a cold wall” breaks down barriers, and his designs, too—crafted from utilitarian materials, like PVC, latex, nylon, and canvas—transcend sartorial ones. (Ross’ line of concrete objects for the home is a riff on the same notion.)
A graduate of graphic design at De Montfort University, Ross’ talent soon caught the eye of Virgil Abloh, and it landed him a position at Off-White. He’s also previously contributed to Hood by Air and A.P.C. And now, in the three years since A-Cold-Wall’s creation, Ross’ designs have been sold at Barneys New York and Harvey Nichols, he shows during London Fashion Week Men’s, and he’s up for the prestigious 2018 LVMH Award. Here, CR chats with Ross about the streetwear scene, how his designs reflect his surroundings, and his Nike collab.
What attracted you to design, despite not having graduated from fashion school?
My decision to design feels innate. Early childhood memories and photos show a heavy interest in the arts. Design has felt like a natural progression that I have refined throughout my years of studying, reading and experimenting within the arts. Clothing is important, it speaks as though form and structure—a tangible dialogue. This is why I choose to operate within the realm of fashion primarily.
How do you think fashion’s current fascination with streetwear will evolve? What’s A-Cold-Wall’s role in the streetwear scene?
I think the evolution has occurred. We’re seeing brands and narratives that have birthed from the cultivation of streetwear and the influence of luxury fashion.
How do your designs reflect your surroundings?
Geographical influences mean a lot. Looking at intercity maps, roads, buildings, alley ways, parks and district is as impactful to me. I apply that lens of finding tension from the real world and transmitting this mood into garments. These surroundings, narratives, and pockets of information are the heartbeat of A-Cold-Wall.
What has been the most rewarding thing that has happened to you? And the most challenging?
LVMH means a lot, honestly. I’m often short of words to describe the feeling evoked from A-Cold-Wall’s inclusion. Starting the brand and concept as one person and growing it into a efficient business with a team and trusted confidants—this transition was a challenge, something that I believe has to be lived through.
Tell us about your Nike collab—how did you put your own spin on the shoe?
The A-Cold-Wall Air Force 1 high was the first Air Force 1 model to reverse luxury leathers, reduce the number of eyelets down to four, remove the woven tongue label, and radically reposition the logo placement off to the main body of the shoe. The shoe was first shown in January 2017 for our second runway show, and that’s only the beginning of a close, long-term partnership.
PHOTOGRAPHS DAMIEN KRISL
FASHION JOANA DACHEVILLE
MAKEUP MAYIA ALLEAUME
HAIR CYRIL LALOYE
MODEL KASSIM TRAORE AT ELITE
CASTING DANTE FRONGILLO
SET DESIGN ELEONORA SUCCI
PRODUCTION HANNAH HUFFMAN
DIGITAL TECHNICIAN YOHAN BUREL
PHOTO ASSISTANT THOMAS CLODINE-FLORENT
FASHION ASSISTANT GLEN MBAN
MAKEUP ASSISTANT ELSA OLSON
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a20953169/lvmh-prize-2018-a-cold-wall-samuel-ross/
createdAt:Tue, 29 May 2018 16:30:43 +0000
displayType:Long Form Article