A 1920s' telephone box, a stack of newspapers at a mock office, a 60s' TV set, the picture perfect park bench and an Edwardian classroom strewn around a downtown loft. A medley of famous soundtracks strung together in the background, the most twee of all being the score by Yann Tiersen from the film Amelie. This is how Scott Sternberg, the brains behind Boy/Band of Outsiders (Boy is the womenswear, Band is the menswear) chose to present his latest collection of clothes, that he admits aren't meant to be groundbreaking. Fair enough, but when they're embued with the sort of associations that Boy/Band of Outsiders has built up over the years, somehow the clothes are seen in a different light and as you watch the models sitting in and around these elaborate sets and styled in an almost exaggerated preppy fashion along with Manolo Blahnik peep toe lace-ups or Sperry Top Siders, you end up coveting the whole package that Sternberg brings to the table.
Dazed Digital: What was the inspiration behind the presentation?
Scott Sternberg: I just wanted to create my own little world, my own community. I'm sort of getting to this place where I'm comfortable with my own skin and what I do and building this language of what Band of Outsiders is.
DD: It seems like you're creating a prototype for your own store.
SS: It's funny everybody says that about my shows! I don't think of a jacket or dress as just a jacket or a dress. You put that on, thinking about that brand, and how that changes how you feel. It's really important to me that there is that narrative and that all the other shit going on in my head is in the presentation!
DD: What were you referencing in your Boy/Band of Outsiders collections?
SS: We saw La Chinoise (by Jean Luc Goddard) - that's where a lot of the initial inspiration for the collection came from. Jared (Lawton), who designs the sets with me, and I started wanting to take essential elements of these little ideas from the film - the vignettes, rooms - and not build the whole literal set but the idea of the set.
DD: You talked about strength of the brand. What future plans do you have for the brand.
SS: The most important thing is making great clothes that have value, that always feel new but always feel classic.
Beyond that, how do I have a dialogue with my consumer? So my website is in a blog format that I self-publish. In Japan over the next year, we will have guerilla retail stuff going on. We're always letting our guy or girl think about how they wear clothes differently and how they buy clothes perfectly. The clothes are quite classic and they're really not about changing the face of menswear or womenswear but just about creating great pieces that you want to covet.
I think that I should do what I do best best and I think it's about honing in on what you love.
DD: Do you think that you're in a better position than other designers because of the current times and given that you do provide timeless trendless pieces?
SS: In menswear I have a good position because it's been about five years now and the stores know what to expect and what sells well. The guys will come back and buy the same tie or shirt and every season they'll go and buy it in every colour. I don't think people aren't shopping anymore, I just think they're editing more. Like I said everybody does their own thing. Thakoon does a rad dress and I do a rad peacoat and hopefully the girl will buy the best of both of those things.
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