Words Stefania Tejada
Where does the idea of using mazes as inspiration for your latest collection come from?
As geometric shapes intrigue us, mazes inspire us due to their interconnected pathways and delusive turns. The AW15/16 “Maze” collection was about overcoming the form of bewilderment and to find a state of orientation.
Why did you decide to work together? What do each one of you bring into the brand?
Ciro has a background in fashion design and I, Sara, in photography. We have always been intrigued by creativity in all its form so we started an interaction between fashion, art and photography. As we discovered our shared fondness to minimalism the aspiration of creating our own label became a natural progression.
What do you think was missing in the fashion industry in order to make the decision of creating Orphan Bird?
We don’t view our designs as a comparison with other labels or designers in the fashion industry; we simply follow our own notion.
How does architecture speak to you?
What significantly fascinates us with architecture is its resemblance between itself and fashion; how both a building and a garment are created to keep the body safe and protected while presenting an artistic expression.
What is so meaningful to you about minimalist architecture?
It embraces us to create. The greatest vitality of minimalism is its clarity of shapes. The clean lines, neutral colours and industrial materials all come together flawlessly; nothing more needs to be added in order to communicate its concept.
Which architect has influenced your work the most?
Nicholas Alan Cope. He is in fact a photographer and his architectural photography project based on Los Angeles modernist cityscapes really captivated us. Our SS15 collection “Delineation” is inspired by this project and how Nicholas emphasizes the high contrast between black and white lines.
What is the definition of black?
Black is the colour of nobility and timeless elegance. There is nothing garish about black and it allows you to be bold and modest at the same time.
Why the lack of colour in your collections?
A monochrome palette never bore us out. Our focus remains in the details and techniques rather than in colour or print.
Do you think you share the same belif when it comes to clothes as designer Yohji Yamamoto?
We do believe we share the same vision when it comes to gender blurring. The gulf between womenswear and menswear is rather evident. As Yamamoto once said “my clothing protects you from unwelcome eyes” and that is a philosophy we eminently can identify with.
Where does the name Orphan Bird come from?
Orphan Bird signifies independence, to live in mobility, discover new places and feel free wherever you go. It encourages people to go against the grain and instead make their own interpretations.
What’s your perception towards experimenting? What do you intend to communicate through your work?
We reinterpret a traditional way of tailoring and strive to constantly experiment with the essence of individuality. Our philosophy is not to follow fleeting trends, rather creating unconventional designs that follow their own forms.
What are the most important values of your brand?
When we started the label we wanted to create something that we could stand for; a design that signifies innovation combined with quality. The fabrics, leathers and supplies are bought in Italy. Our bags are handcrafted in Italy and our garments are produced in Bulgaria. We want everything to be connected within EU to ensure it maintains the highest environmental standards. Every small element in our business plays an essential role and it’s crucial for us to work with a team that empathizes our values.
Do you think collaborations are important?
By collaborating with people, which share the same aesthetics, offer you a different perspective and allow you to evolve.
What are some of the risks you have had to take in order to build this brand?
To put in time and money in something that is not and might never be secure. It is not just about making an interesting design – you need to focus on keeping your business running. Budget is the main restraint for emerging designers that are trying to make it in the fashion industry.
What does it takes to make it into the fashion industry?
That is a question yet to be answered, but the essential elements are persistence and patience. Don’t let yourself be swayed by the opinions of others. Create a concept, stay true to it and keep on going.