orlistat full strength By: Emy LaCroix
http://therapeuticindulgence.com/meditation-of-the-month-tenacity/ Boston is an eclectic city full of culture that can be seen in its murals, art installations, architecture and citizens. So, naturally, a well-traveled designer who has spent years soaking up culture in Athens, Beirut, and Montreal would fit in perfectly in such a diverse city. However, Samuel Vartan also sets himself apart with his dark, sophisticated aesthetic that is worlds away from traditionally stiff New England fashion. With an interesting background driven by culture and music, Vartan is now taking Boston by storm.
here TS: Where did you grow up, and how do you feel that your childhood may have influenced your career path or aspirations?
SV: I was born in Athens, Greece and then at the age of six our family would move to Beirut, Lebanon. By the time I would reach the age of eight, my family would finally settle to Montreal, Canada. I moved to Boston in 2003 after marrying my wife who was from there. I know that growing up in Montreal the city and its vibrant arts culture would be hugely influential to me growing up. My Spring/Summer collections have strong influences of my years living in Greece and Lebanon and my overall love of everything Mediterranean coastal living and cultures.
TS: Tell me about your educational background? Was there a standout moment that led you to where you are today?
SV: I finished my degrees in Film and Communications while at the same time being in a successful local rock group. My standout moments came later when I was asked to design for a friend’s leather apparel store, and designing stage clothes for our band’s final year of playing live.
TS: What fears did you have starting out, and how did you overcome them?
SV: Well, I really can’t say I had any real fears, as it became apparent I was good at what I was doing in terms of friends always ordering designs from me… But I had concerns how to make this and grow it towards a successful business and brand, since I had no business or finance background.
Vartan’s effortless taste can be attributed to a natural, innate talent for art. However, the sophistication and detail in each piece is thanks to deep thought and focus, as well as an intimate knowledge of textiles that he built through years of life in another frigid city, Montreal.
TS: What does your creative process look like?
SV: I come across an idea or character in my head and usually make a rough quick sketch. Then from sketch, I make patterns based on the shapes and contours of the garment. Next, I research the fabric and accessories/trims needed to complete the look. The idea or inspiration could come at any time – whether it’s from my travels, film or a piece of music… It’s like a spontaneous combustion.
TS: You use quite a mix of textiles. How do you find them and how do you mix them to look so effortless?
SV: Well, growing up in Montreal, you learn quickly about fabrics that keep you warm! But, of course we’re known for our fur and leather industry as well as good wools, cashmeres and other heavy fabrics. We also have a strong European influence to top it off with a healthy fashion industry with its own district. Montreal provided and still does some of the best luxurious textiles coming in from Europe particularly from Italy. I guess I’m able to work with all these fabrics because I used to buy expensive clothes at a young age and began to appreciate different types of fabrics.
Vartan’s aesthetic is dramatically different from the traditional, rigid fashions of Boston, but somehow fills a void that fits beautifully in the cities dark winter streets. Vartan says the transition from a European to a very American city was difficult for him in the beginning, but it seems he has found his place.
TS: How would you describe your aesthetic?
SV: I would describe my aesthetic as minimalist chic in classic silhouettes of European styles and tailoring, ‘modern chic’ with sophisticated shapes with a slightly eclectic twist to them.
TS: Your designs are dark and sexy, unlike any other designer in Boston. What inspires such an aesthetic?
SV: I think that the dark and sexy looks I’m known for are from my Autumn/Winter collections which reflect my love of the dark cities like Montreal, New York, London, Berlin, Prague and Paris to name a few; that have strong sub cultures and have striking architecture soaked in a very healthy nightlife. It’s also not a secret that this collection (autumn/winter) is heavily influenced and inspired by my life being in an alternative hard rock band in the 80’s and my love of gothic and industrial sounds and designs.
TS: What brought you to Boston, and how does your aesthetic fit into such a traditional city?
SV: That’s a good question… Like I said I only moved to Boston because of my wife (she was from here) and at the time it would’ve been rather difficult for her to relocate to Montreal without any knowledge of the French language. Believe me I had no intentions of coming to Boston and in fact the only other U.S. city I would’ve moved to would be New York, of course. So I think it was difficult to bring my aesthetic and design philosophies to such a conservative and rigid city like Boston. It was not fun, but that was the challenge… To bring my ideas and ways of seeing fashion in my fashion shows, magazine spreads and fashion events. In many ways coming here felt like a giant step backwards…
TS: Describe your ideal client; who do you want to see in your clothes?
SV: My ideal client would be a woman with an international sense of style, meaning she’s well traveled, is curious about the world around her, is highly professional and very set in her ways. She has a keen sense of style, but is not a fashion victim. She knows what she wants and knows the true value of a well-crafted item or luxury good. She’s very confident but not brash… She doesn’t demand attention but she gets all the silent attention at the end of the night… For her less is more… I’d love to see Monica Bellucci in my creations someday…
TS: Is there one piece that you feel really embodies who you are? Why?
SV: Oooooohhhhh….. That’s a hard one….. Probably my 3/4 length jackets….
Samuel Vartan has grown his brand and talent in the past year, and has big plans for his line in 2015. Though there have been some bumps in the road, and a period of adjustment, Vartan is happy with his journey and will continue to push forward.
TS: This time of the year is about growth. How have you grown in your designing over the past year?
SV: I have grown in working with more intricate designs and we plan on including a Haute Couture division in the near future…
TS: Is there anything you would change about your journey?
SV: No… It’s been one heck of a ride so far with all its ups and downs…
TS: Looking forward into 2015, what can we expect from you?
SV: Definitely the new website featuring our Limited Collections e-commerce store. And of course N.Y.C. Is looking closer and closer… But we’ll leave it at that for now!
Keep an eye out for Samuel Vartan’s dark elegance in 2015, and check out his new online shop that will soon be live at http://www.samuelvartan.com.