Our affair with David Saunders started with a chair, which sat proudly in the i-D NOW pop-up space for two weeks. Embarking on a pop-up of his own in Covent Garden, we stopped by for a chat about fashion, furniture and the future.
Following his graduation from Chelsea College of Art, designer David Saunders assisted various young British artists, including a certain Miss Tracey Emin, before following his heart to fashion. An impressive Autumn/Winter 08 show at Fashion East earned Saunders the title ‘poster boy for the London crossover between art and fashion’ by Sarah Mower. Then an installation at the MAN show during London Fashion Week saw the further establishment of the vivid geometric prints that have since become synonymous with the brand and featured in collaborations with the likes of Fred Perry.
David David’s very first pop-up shop opened last week at 37 Monmouth Street in Covent Garden. With a custom-made interior created by Glass Hill, visitors to the sexy shop will find a collection of typically David David T-shirts, T-shirt dresses, bean bags, umbrellas, prints, badges and so much more! Customers are invited to bring things along for David to customise, and there will be weekly question and answer sessions with David and a selection of his heroes and friends. The pop-up is sticking around for six weeks so pop to it!
i-D online caught up with David ahead of the opening to talk dream collaborations, fashion and art.
Describe your design ethic in three words… Honest, energetic and considered,
Do you have a favourite piece or print… or at least one that you are most proud of? I have a hand painted t-shirt that took me four days solid to paint. I guess I’m proud of that. It’s been exhibited in a number of galleries that I really respect and when my work is celebrated in a gallery environment it gives it longevity which is what I strive to achieve as an artist.
What inspires you? Mostly books that I have picked up, when you work with geometrics you can be inspired by almost anything because there is structure and pattern in all we see, you just have to look a little closer to see it.
Tell us a little about your recently opened pop-up shop… A shop is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a platform in which you can show your work, it’s a tool which you can use to articulate your interests to others. It’s not just a shop for me it’s a gallery space it’s a place where I can hold debates and invite my peers to come and talk. We also collaborated with a design team called Glass Hill who developed the interior for us. I love what they’ve done, what’s great about having a space is that it’s your own so you can create a mood, a vision which your customer can buy into, more so than the more current trend in trade, the Internet!
What do you listen to whilst designing? Well I listen to a lot of soundtracks so I’m listed to Morricone right now; I love Clint Mansell, then everything else from Neil Young to Santogold.
Where would you most like to see one of your prints appear? Any dream collaborations? I really enjoy collaborations because it gives me a view into other creative industries; it is a learning curve that helps me to understand other fields of creativity and that is what gives me a buzz. My dream collaboration would be, let me see, Comme des Garçons I guess. Rei Kawakubo is the one that made me see clothes as a form of art rather than something that stops you from being naked. I’d really like to re-awaken the Memphis movement (furniture) and work with those guys too; I really love the pop/fun image they held.
Apart from ensuring the success of your new shop, what else do you have planned for the foreseeable future? I have some work in the V&A’s summer show in March, which celebrates 60 years of design, which I feel honoured to be a part of. I’d like to continue having a gallery space, plus I’m hoping to work with a gallery to show my work out of my own context. I get satisfaction from working on projects in fields I’ve never worked in before so I am always on the look out for interesting collaborations outside of fashion.