Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton began the brand Agi & Sam with the fundamental thought of designing for men. After years of countless menswear collections, displaying either a fear to create something different or collections which push too far and never seeing the light of day, they aim to sit firmly in the middle. With a strong emphasis on entirely bespoke print and humor they believe fashion should never be taken too seriously.
Over the last two years they have worked in London for designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, J.W. Anderson and Carolyn Massey.
For the upcoming season (SS12) Agi&Sam have embarked on a journey through Central America, divulging into the many different aspects of life and social structures.
Starting with the festival, The Day of the Dead (El Dios del Muertos) we began to explore the rich culture of this celebration, looking at the ceremonies, reasoning’s, the costumes, historical references and modern day interpretations. The vibrancy of such a festival was the initial spark for which the collection grew.
Having a natural intrigue and empathy with the working classes of our societies, we began looking at the laborers and farmers of Central America, in particular their sartorial requirements and the functionality of their work wear.
Immigration became a key point of our research, in particular the Bisbee deportation where 1300 Mexican American mine workers were illegally deported by vigilantes on July 12 1917. The workers were kidnapped at a local baseball park and transported 200 miles for 16 hours through desert without food or water before being unloaded in New Mexico without money or transportation.
Delving deeper we headed into the underworld, happening upon those living below that acceptable line; those that create their own rules and live under their own guidelines, the gangsters, ‘gangbangers’, drug barons and prisoners. The underbelly of society being the catalyst that propels ‘normal’ life is what really pushed this collection into its reality, and in tow, the idea that one cannot live without the other!
Luis Barragan was another of our biggest influences. His work makes him arguably the most important Mexican architect of the 20th century. His structural design was a direct influence on this collection but it was the way in which he used such unique methods of colour blocking which then exposed us to the colour model CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black).
Along with our natural intrigue in society, it is a given that our lives revolve around art, fashion, and general creativity. With this in mind it is natural too, that we looked to the artists, photographers, and architects that are all associated and inspire, as well as be inspired themselves by such movements. This includes those such as Margarita Fick, Arnold Belkin, Cy Twombly, Gunther Gerzso, Calavera, Enrique Mentinides, and Frida Kahlo.
This season for the first time we collaborated with two exciting brands for accessories. Firstly producing shoes with New York based company Osborn. Using our prints we combined the cut of their classic oxfords and slip- ons to produce fair trade hand made shoes by cobblers in Guatemala. Secondly working alongside London based RCA Alumni Justin Smith Esquire we produced a series of printed Fedoras and straw hats.