Among the variety of collections featured at Vancouver Fashion Week this April, there were a select few that really caught the attendee’s attention and interest. One of these is Mack Sam, a men’s clothing designer from New York whose pieces represent an avant-garde approach to a rustic vagabond style. Mackenzie is a local designer, currently completing his studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. From the first piece to the last, Mack Sam’s collection caught the eye with his use of heavy layering in pants, thick tweed fabric in lightly colored pea coats, combinations of tight/loose fits and more. As he career sets off (now with Vancouver Fashion Week and two other shows under his belt), theFUTURISTS made sure to have a word with Mack himself to give us a better insight into his designs.
Read the interview below!
Mackenzie: I have always taken a strong interest in art and design. I first became interested in fashion when I would shop in stores or online and see clothes from my favorite designers that I loved but could never afford. I took up sewing in high school to attempt to recreate these garments. From then on, it became a love of mine. I was very fortunate in high school to have a teacher that gave me the freedom to design and create whatever I wanted. She really allowed me to learn things for myself and explore different “techniques” regardless if they were correct or not sewing became an escape.
P: What did your first designs look like and how did they evolve?
M: From my first designs to now, I feel my aesthetic generally hasn’t changed very much. It does change depending on what I seek and what I am interested in at the time. However I feel that, no matter what I design, it is going to come across as my own. My style and aesthetic has evolved a lot since my first designs. I am constantly learning each day and I try to reflect these new discoveries through the clothes.
M: He is a man that seeks something different in his clothing, and he searches for this, purely for himself and his own interest. He doesn’t want to be noticed in a crowd, nor does he want to be the most fashionable individual. He understands his own style and my clothing works for him. He is well aware of the cultures around him, but he remains comfortable being in his own world. He is this character I think of in all of my collections. No matter what journey or emotions he goes through, my designs come from his lifestyle.
P: What are your thoughts on Vancouver Fashion Week?
M: Vancouver Fashion Week was a great experience. I felt very fortunate and I am very appreciative for everything the VFW team has done for me.
P: Tell us about your last collection, “Age and End of Lilies”
M: Age and End of Lilies was the first small collection I had done. At the time I wanted to explore various fabric dying and treatments. I love the way a lily or flower looks when dried up and shriveled and I really love how the color looks when a flower runs or bleeds. It was a look that I wanted to achieve with my fabric dying.
Mackenzie Sam’s pieces are currently unavailable for sale as he is remains focused on developping his creative growth as a designer. At this point in his career, he is dedicated to building exposure for his collection by doing shows such as Vancouver Fashion Week giving his audience an understanding of his personal aesthetic and who this man who wears the garments is. To see the rest of Mackenzie Sam’s collection, visit his website and stay tuned this summer for when he shows off his Spring/Summer collection during fashion week that season.
Photos by Dale Rollings and Eugenio Flores