Austere, Minimal, Moments - Semaj Bryant
How did you get into fashion?
I grew up a very observant child with a mother that was both an aspirational woman as much as she was a born shopper... she taught me, in a lot of ways how to curate my life... she taught me taste. And having that at a young age, I quickly began to question everything and wondered what my world would look like had I been able to “curate” everything, little did I know, I was questioning and redesigning my vision of the world. Fashion, in particular, was a happy accident because I definitely had plans to become an architect, but didn’t feel like I could sustain the lifestyle!
Describe your aesthetic in three words
Austere. Minimal. Moments.
As a designer, what are your main influences?
Movies (mostly sci-fi and female heroines), production/ set design, drag, Cubism, Suprematism, brutalism, furniture design, internet trash, video games, anime, techy weirdness and innovations, everyday essential clothing, medical clothing, space, and questioning the universe/hypotheticals.
Tell us about your Series 1: Light & Space collection
Speaking of hypotheticals! I wanted to propose this idea of being able to wear light and space while experiencing that sensation... like what does that feel like? What does that look like? I thought about this while sitting in a James Turrel installation at his retrospective at the Guggenheim. Just the thought of people being in there almost ethereal yet minimal yet very engrossing environments being folded in light was a very stimulating idea at the time. This thought led to my exploration of how To create a language and a tactile nature around that... resulting in a collection that I feel in the cutting really utilizes the idea of creating and continuing space through the garments and in materiality really looks to either give you the appearance of light or give you a very specific tactile experience/weight/feeling.
Do you have a favourite piece in this collection?
It would have to either be the clear silicone sweater or the white draped jumpsuit! The sweater because that was almost not walking the runway... it took several people to hand knit and melt it... it was sort of a miracle!
What can we expect from Semaj Bryant over the next few seasons?
I am actually considering doing a couple of collective projects! I feel that the independent designer space is a bit crowded (let’s be honest fashion is crowded), and I feel more interested in working and building something creative with other artisans that are not industry specific, but serves as a platform for product and design.