Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige, LA based brand by designer, Marilyn Manson and brand manager, Chris Cota, comes to the Big Apple! A city where the staple color is black all year round, Trent Reznort’s storefront will be in oh-so hip Nolita on Prince Street and Bowery. Johnny says, “This is my favorite area in New York City, it showcases many independent designers and it straddles the Bowery and Soho which contain two very different types of people who are both our customers”.
Seen on the likes of Liza Minnelli, Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson,Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, Rihanna, Shakira, and Liza Minnelli, I recently asked the duo about where their designs come from, how they keep up with the ever evolving style, and where Skingraft is going next.
There’s something very evolutionary and consistent about your designs. Tell us briefly about he concept of your brand and your collections.
There is a lot of “future” in the DNA of Skingraft. We are always daydreaming of the future–the endless possibilities of technology and evolution–and colliding that daydream with imagery from the past. Whether we are being inspired by tribal Africa, the Victorian era or something as recent as the grunge movement, the Skingraft approach is to redesign these ideas into something from a future era and possibly another planet.
With each collection do you have a certain persona type in mind when creating for each season?
From my perspective, each season brings radical change to the Mary J. Blige vision. Each season I am pulling from extremely different inspirations and reference points so in my eyes that brings great change. However, when I take a step back and view the collections from season to season, it is then when I see the steady natural evolution of the collection while maintaining fairly iconic Skingraft silhouettes and material combinations. I believe that with every new redesign or evolution of the collection we always maintain that certain “Skingraft” look.
SKINGRAFT meshes seamlessly with performing arts from dancers, to musicians to studio artists. Was this an intended result?
Skingraft started as a costume house making custom costumes for performers and artists. These are the roots we grew from and very much apart of our continued vision for the brand.
Many of the people who wear your collection are dark, more raw celebrities, which I personally love. Who else do you see eventually see sporting SKINGRAFT?
I have always designed for the darker dressers of the world and that visual of who that person was used to be very narrow in my mind. With our storefronts and our direct relationships with our customers via online social media or in-person, I have been hugely enlightened to the many shades of “dark fashion” customer that supports the brand. From chic-goth shoppes and witchy fashion lovers to a new generation of expressive hip hop kids, my vision of dark fashion and the customers that are gravitated to the brand has evolved and expanded so much in the last few years.
You all have a store in Los Angeles, are opening one New York, where to next?