The disparate backgrounds of Modernist designers Andrew Jones and Abdul Koroma make for a compelling team. Working together to make beautiful, modern and curious clothes, the duo have already treaded the boards of London Fashion Week and been honoured by Fashion Fringe. Here, they talk to us about inspiration, collaboration and watching films where nothing really happens…..
What is inspiring you at the moment?
Lightness, glass, intricate pattern, looking at things we normally wouldn’t.
You are currently working on a short film for ShowStudio, how important is it to you to collaborate and work in different media?
It’s something we don’t really have that much experience in, but we do enjoy the creative process and would definitely like to do more. It’s also quite refreshing to work outside of our usual field and not worry about the usual things like hemlines or what button’s better!
What is your vision for the future of Modernist?
The days of super-brands are over. It’s more about working out your niche and serving that customer well. The idea behind Modernist is a concept-led design house and we’d eventually like to explore different fields of design, not just fashion.
Who is the Modernist woman? Do you have a vision of her in your mind when you design?
It’s more of an attitude rather than a specific muse. She’s a woman who really understands clothes and has quite a specific taste. She likes luxurious things but also has a playful side to her. She can see the connection between silk dress and a jacket sculpted entirely out of elastic. Both things are luxurious in different ways. She hates being obvious and following the pack.
What were you like as children, were you interested in clothes from a young age?
Andrew: I was [and still am] very shy. More than clothes, I was interested in drawing.
What did you want to be when you grew up? When you decide you wanted to be fashion designers?
Andrew: I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was about ten years old. After that I had a period where I was obsessed with animation, and wanted to work for Disney or be a graphic designer, but my interest in fashion was stronger and that’s what I decided to pursue. I never really wanted to do anything else.
Abdul: It changed so much. First, I wanted to be a surgeon but soon got over that as I’m too squeamish. Then it was a pilot, then an architect… I sort of just fell into fashion. It felt right.
What is the best thing about working together?
We laugh a lot. People think we’re insane sometimes! We know each other very well – our tastes, likes and dislikes. We’re also not afraid of each other and are quite open and honest. We just try to enjoy what we do as much as we can.
What roles do you each play in the design process?
Andrew: We design together, but I’m more about detail and technique.
Abdul: Whereas I’m more about the overall picture.
Describe each other in 3 words.
Andrew is patient, witty and clever.
Abdul is generous, intelligent, kind
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?
Andrew: Sleep. Boring, but necessary. I’m also attempting to become less useless in the kitchen.
Abdul: Watch bourgeois art house films were nothing really happens. All strange camera angles, long silences and a melodramatic expressions! And music.
What is your favourite animal?
Andrew: My Cat
Abdul: Not a big fan of animals. Probably dogs.