Sophia Kokosalaki knows how to work her market. She knows the Diesel Black Gold girl is on the tougher side of things, that they'll want to wear leather and if they live in New York they'll probably want to date skaters. After the blinding flash lights of Adrien Brody's press swarm died down, a new set of lights focused on a modernized half pipe installation at the head of the runway. Four boys in black leather and denim started to skate in synchronized rhythms, while models began emerging from doorways in leather ensembles of their own to the sounds of Minor Threat and 90's techno music. Maybe that they also stole their skater boyfriend's jacket to wear at a gallery opening, to go with their neon-paint printed jeans and peep toe cowboy boots. An art gallery look more Bowery than Chelsea, but she could go in between and look just as cool in either place.
Dazed Digital: How did you start concepting this collection?
Sophia Kokosalaki: Obviously it's a bit of skateboarding and the 90s. I was at Saint Martins '96-'97 so we were looking at Melanie Ward, Corrine Day and Joe McKenna, but we also brought new technology to this look. New fabrics, bonded materials, and sporty, because we're in New York.
DD: What about New York is so sporty?
Sophia Kokosalaki: That's the look, American sportswear is very famous. When you're in a certain place you let it guide you; when I show my line in Paris I'll show different clothing, when I used to show in London it was different. You're influenced by the surroundings.
DD: You mention the contemporary art scene in your liner notes…
Sophia Kokosalaki: Contemporary art is always there to guide and to inspire, but on this occasion it was more about street culture. Maybe the ramp is designed in a way that reminds you of sculpture, but for this show it's more street art. For the print I went to a skate park on the Thames and I photographed this graphic graffiti to work on.
DD: Do you skate?
Sophia Kokosalaki: Me? No, but I had a boyfriend that used to.