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Fashion Profile: Sebastiaan Pieter

Fashion Profile: Sebastiaan Pieter

Gay Star News checks out the PIETER show at AW16 London Collections: Men

Sebastiaan Pieter is a fashion designer living and working in London.

Pieter founded his own label in 2013, after graduating from the London College of Fashion with a specialisation in tailoring. Pieter has exhibited six seasons as part of London Collections: Men, and has recently opened an online store.

We spoke with Sebastiaan Pieter for a behind-the-scenes look at what he’s currently working on:

Sebastiaan Pieter
Sebastiaan Pieter Image published via Twitter

Your starting point for the AW16 collection was a photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe, for SS17 it was an installation by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. What are some of the current inspirations that are fuelling your imagination?

Contemporary art always fuels my thinking, the guys you just mentioned tackled subjects that gay men at their time struggled with and visualised this through photographs and installations. I looked at the tools they used and compare them with my own, and this guides my process. Recently I’ve been traveling a lot and being exposed to new environments, the current club scene abroad is something I’m quite fascinated by and will definitely be worked through.

From the sexual tension of cruising at a gay club for AW16, to the sex-filled beaches of Hustler White in SS17, you’re designing for men who are aware of their bodies, and confident in their sexuality. How would you describe the men that you’re designing clothes for?

Exactly what you just mentioned, I think a modern young guy in a metropolitan city dresses with a certain awareness of his body, what he can do with it, and what he represents in society. He definitely doesn’t take this too seriously either, there is room for cheeky jokes.

Growing up in the Netherlands, what initially attracted you to the world of fashion and led you to pursuing fashion design as your career?

It was actually finding a British magazine called The Face, I got obsessed with it when I found it at 13 or 14 years old. I looked up all the people inside and stumbled upon John Galliano. I visited his website and was stunned by what he was doing, I didn’t know at that point that you could make a career in clothing. During my high school years I spent most my time looking for other foreign fashion magazines – Holland never has been a frontrunner in fashion – and researching designers online.

Who are some of your fashion heroes or role models?

As I just mentioned John Galliano was one of the first designers I discovered and that I still go back to when I need a boost of energy, his work is a living fairytale.

My personal aesthetic developed over time and people I always refer back to are Jil Sander and Helmut Lang for their clean yet beautifully crafted work.

Your clothes are stocked in stores around the world – are there any cities where your clothes are particularly popular? 

I think the fact that they are metropolises is very important, this is where you want to stand out from the vast mass of people you are surrounded by. I’m about to visit Hong Kong next week for the first time and this city has always had an interest in the brand so I’m very excited. London has of course been very important as this is the city where I show.

You’ve recently launched an online store for some of your accessories, are you seeking more of a direct relationship with the men who are buying your collections?

Yes – although we have a good relationship with our stores, I thought it was important to make this direct contact with our customer. We want to know who they are and what they like. Also doing a web-shop allows us to offer products worldwide that might not be found in a store near to the customer that seeks it, and gives me the opportunity to produce items that maybe you don’t even find in stores but we make exclusively for online.

What do you want men to feel when they’re wearing your clothes?

I’d like men to be able to feel like they are expressing themselves in a fun but never forceful way. I’d also like men to feel sexy, which is not something a lot of brands strive for.