In the last several years, with his dazzling cuts and evocative urban romance, menswear designer Siki Im has proven himself as one of New York City’s most provocative burgeoning talents. Born in Germany to Korean parents he studied architecture at Oxford before segueing into a career in fashion. Siki’s explicitly modern aesthetic, nurtured by his mentor, menswear guru and mega-stylist David Vandewal, is both cerebral and intimate. Inspired by everything from experimental writer Thomas Pynchon to American painter Georgia O’Keefe, from the work of Foucault to that of Deleuze, his wayward concepts manifest as stunningly beautiful designs that are poetic in their intricate simplicity.
‘Architecture is really a science applied from notions of the psychology of space. It deals with everything from gender to politics to economics. And it’s the same with fashion. It’s not just about clothes and fabric. There’s an intangible aspect to it. On one hand you want to make people feel something; sexy, cool, powerful, masculine, feminine, whatever. And then on the other hand you’re designing culture, it’s a story. And I think what interests me in the process is how to make certain things, what kind of constructions I use, what kind of seams do I use. I’m always thinking about how I can deconstruct or interpret different patterns.’
Siki has collected model robots since childhood and has a great love for jets and planes and the aesthetic of technology. he used these influences to reimagine a future in which humanity prevails over machine reflected in his designs in the SS’15 collection Human/Machine. ‘I was in Costa Rica surfing and I couldn’t use my phone. And that fear is actually really messed up, your phone is a like a modern robot and we’re dependent on it. I wanted the clothes to be free from that, it doesn’t have to be The Jetsons. So we took these natural fabrics and cut them in these geometric shapes and just let them fall. That’s the thing, we’re not machines, we’re not perfect.’ His work is cerebral, edgy, structural and deeply important for understanding a new society in which technology is king, and gender is a concept on the edge of extinction as we know it.