Otto Dix becomes inspiration for a racy fashion brand – 8DIX
8DIX is an upcoming street wear brand that everyone in the fashion industry should look out for. Luca Marchetto and Jordan Bowen are the soul and mastermind behind the brand. The brand was founded in September 2012.
8DIX’s fabulous hats that are adorned with the Egyptian eye symbol can be seen in Katy Perry’s music video, ‘Dark Horse.’ The brand is influenced by Otto Dix’s artwork and has a slight punk feel to it. Luca has been Vivienne Westwood’s assistant for five years and Jordan has worked with Stephen Jones for many years.
When did you both realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
LUCA: Well, I was studying to become a vet and I was really into science. I think two facts happened in my life to make me change my mind. One was discovering Vivienne Westwood and the second one was loosing weight because I was a very super fat guy and I couldn’t be bothered to dress with “pieces”… I was just wearing XXXL comfortable Adidas trousers. When I lost weight I thought, ”Hey! Wait a minute! Now I can look pretty too!” So the first thing I bought was a Viv’s t-shirt, but I was always interested in art and paintings, so even as a vet I would have always been a bit ‘strange’!
What interests you in fashion?
What really interest us is that we see fashion as the highest commercial art ever. Fashion is ART but affordable, practical and wearable. The most interesting moment is the beginning of the collection when you make lots of research, exhibitions, travels and everything looks like a mess of colours on the mood board and you know that at the end, in 6 months, it’s going to be so perfect and simple because creativity found his way through millions of decisions and steps.
What don’t you guys like about fashion? Is there anything that needs to be improved or changed in the industry?
People and their attitude, fakeness and disrespect …oh and stupid fashion black hangy bits!
What are you most likely to be doing when you’re not working?
LUCA: I am mostly designing my new tattoo!
JORDAN: In between cooking and culture there is always a hat to finish!
What motivates you to design clothes?
The creativity behind and the idea that you can capture art, politics, quotes and culture on a piece of fabric and wear it on the tube.
How did you come up with the name 8DIX?
It’s the name of one of the most important artist during the 2 world wars. Otto Dix was representing the society at the time and we thought that was perfect because that is what we want to do too. And of course, his name… isn’t it great!
There’s a grotesque kind of beauty to Otto Dix’s paintings. A politician or prostitute, it didn’t matter, the characters are always strong and tenacious. His recurring themes of money, war, chaos and human degeneration mirror what’s going on today. He captured catastrophe perfectly. He’s perfect for us, as we always wanted to have a fashion label with an art story behind it and nobody tells it better than Dix. It’s (he’s) always relevant. Even the logo we use comes from a painting of his where’s he’s clawed his name in big red letters on a huge black canvas.
What advice would you give for aspiring fashion designers?
The idea that you start studying fashion design and you will become the new Karl Lagerfeld is totally wrong. It’s not going to happen. Working in fashion means working for the garment industry. It’s all about making clothes and not being a designer at parties.
What was it like designing for Katy Perry’s music video?
It was wild, Katy was great and very professional . She knows who she is. Everything was pea-green, the set, the throne, the pyramid, the people and to see the video finished was a great moment after weeks and weeks of really hard graft.
What is your favourite piece from your AW14 collection?
The checked GANG BANG knitted jumper and the celery t-shirt. Oh and the SYCOPHANT too! Before shooting the lookbook we didn’t have a name for the collection, but the message of the first t-shirt we shot with ‘sycophant’ on the front and ‘help yourself’ at the back was too powerful to ignore. What we loved about Mateus, the model we used, was that between every shot he was reading Ulysses and he came on set ready for his picture still holding his book, which he kept for the shot because that’s exactly what we’re about.
The collection is really a comment on corporation, money-grabbing starfuckers and making a quick dollar.
You have previously worked with Vivienne Westwood and she has been your role model, so do you have any plans to collaborate with her for any future collections?
LUCA: Well…let’s see! Vivienne is not very easy to collaborate with, especially if you are not trying to save something!
For Luca. How was working for Vivienne Westwood and how was your relationship with Andreas Kronthaler?
It was great and I worked with them every single day for more than 4 years. It was a great experience. They are demanding people, but they have lots of responsibilities and decisions to take and don’t forget the pressure they have, as they need to make 8 collections a year with each collection bursting with new and exciting ideas. Having worked at the source for five years as Vivienne’s assistant one of the most valuable things I learned is the true meaning of what punk is today. Punk is culture or a book. Punk is about getting as much knowledge about the world you live in and actively taking care of it. Vivienne taught me to always refer to something artistic otherwise it’s just another frock in the world.
For Jordan. How is working for Stephen Jones?
There’s a lyricism to Stephen’s work that you don’t get anywhere else. The irony that recurs in SJ’s work is crucial for us because we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Nothing ever looks forced or butchered into shape. I always admired his sense of spontaneity, even from a young age where I’d gaze at his work not knowing what it was that drew me to hats.
Your brand specializes in street wear. Do you guys have any plans to do couture as well in the future?
No, we don’t think so. We’ll never be interested to make expensive clothes for a few people in the world. It is too much effort and hard work. We want as many people as possible to be able to access what we are trying to convey as a brand.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time in the Fashion world?
Well, hopefully as an established brand with a big company and enough money to be able to pay all the interns!!!
What can we expect from your future collections?
Lots of fun and a bit of culture.
And below… a snapshot of 8DIX’s SS15 collection
A lot of fun and a bit of culture can be expected in Jordan and Luca’s future designs. The brand will continue to reflect today’s society and produce clothes that are accessible and sexy. 8DIX’s AW14 collection is available to buy online on www.8dix.com