Agi & Sam are the one blonde one brown menswear design duo who met at McQueen and like being mean to each other.
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Agape Mdumulla and Sam 100% Cotton are part of the new breed of designers making menswear hot. Just nominated for the ‘Emerging Talent’ prize at the British Fashion Awards, the pair are four seasons deep into their label and for the last few have shown in London, as part of the star-making Fashion East MAN show line-up. Quickly gaining credit where credit was due, and a favourite among the kind of people you want to be favourited by, the boys are laughing their way to the top. Creating box fresh Bel-Air prints on a kick-back, lay-back, don’t let life bother you much silhouette, the Agi & Sam man is the most modern among men. From outta London, Sam grew up on a farm near Shakespeare’s digs and Agi in Yorkshire, and the pair met whilst interning at Alexander McQueen a few years back. After SS13′s pull your socks up collection – scored for its graphic prints and real man tailoring – it felt like a good time to catch up with the two and chat about their new lookbook (oh-so-exclusive to i-D online), studio scenarios and who wears the trousers/ buys the fruit.
What have you been up to since your show in June?
Agi: I thought after the show we’d have loads of free time as it seemed ages until the next show, but it actually feels like it’s been busier than ever; sorting production on AW12, sales of SS13, research on AW13 and designing a couple of other collaboration type things that are TOP SECRET. I’ve been constantly dreaming of taking a holiday since about April. So far I’ve managed to get to Yorkshire for three days to hang out with my mum. That was great, but not ideal.
Sam: I spent the last month or so watching the Olympics. Now it’s over I’m worried I developed a love for the Olympics more than anything else in my life. Nothing will be the same again and I’m worried I don’t care about anything other than gold medals anymore.
Who’s the model in the lookbook? Did you pick him for his moustache?
Agi: Dan Turner. You do know that moustache is fake right?
Sam: I don’t think we would have ever become friends with Dan if that was his real moustache.
Do you enjoy doing lookbooks?
In unison: We love doing lookbooks. It’s how we started out; brainstorming stupid ideas with our photographer friend Luke. I think that’s what helped define us in the beginning because they don’t really look like typical lookbooks. Working with someone who isn’t a fashion photographer, and doesn’t really have much interest in fashion whatsoever makes it really exciting. It’s also really the only time we can be completely free. There’s so many restrictions in this field, from the garments themselves, to the type of prints we do, to the production of the catwalk show itself. So it’s nice to be able to just do whatever we feel like, although during the shooting of this lookbook there were a few pictures that would not be fit for anybody to see, ever.
Do you build things with the extra print copies?
Agi: Not really but they do make excellent coasters and food mats.
Sam: He’s lying. I’m currently wearing one as a hat and Agi has fashioned one onto a piece of elastic that he is wearing as a beak.
What does your studio look like?
Agi: Simon Chilvers from The Guardian compared our studio to the bedroom of a frustrated teenager.
Sam: It’s actually quite tidy at the moment. I hate it normally, Agi has a knack of destructing space with clothes. You should have seen his bedroom in his last house.
What music do you listen to while you’re working?
Agi: Sam has this really annoying habit of ‘forgetting’ to put music on when he’s concentrating as we use his computer because he’s got big jazzy speakers. I can’t work without music so I’m constantly getting annoyed because Sam gets annoyed when I ask him to put music on.
Sam: That’s because he does it literally seconds after an album finishes in a Mum kind of way. “Erm Sam please could we possibly have some music on.” Agi stopped me working yesterday and showed me a couple of Justin Bieber videos which was a bit weird. Then we watched some other videos by Jaden Smith. It’s a bloody riot here.
Agi, what’s the best thing about working with Sam?
Agi: Sometimes he buys me fruit.
Sam: I’ve never bought him fruit, he asks for my fruit.
Sam, what’s the best thing about working with Agi?
Sam: Nothing, there is absolutely nothing good about working with Agi. He doesn’t even buy me fruit.
Agi, how would you define Sam’s personal style?
Agi: The other day he came into the studio dressed like a gay blind-man from the 80′s, which, was interesting…
Sam: You said I was dressed like a gay James Dean. I wasn’t too keen on it at the time but I prefer it to that.
Sam, how would you define Agi’s personal style?
Sam: Agi’s style is based around going to charity shops every week buying coats for ‘research’. Of which he subsequently wears until he buys another. If I was to define it, I’d say ‘Black Columbo.’
Agi: That’s cool.
Sam: *In a not cool way.
What’s in your pocket? (please answer separately)
Agi: My wallet, keys, a lighter, some gum. I wish I could say something more interesting.
Sam: Phone, keys, wallet, Agi & Sam Wash Care Label. Pair of boring pockets.
Text: Sarah Raphael
Photography: Luke Stephenson
Styling: Jenny Kennedy
Socks: Agi & Sam x Tabio