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People of All Nations POAN Sailor collection
Photography Yelena Mojarova

Meet the designer behind POAN and his new Lynch-inspired collection

Georg Weissacher is the creative mind channelling Wild At Heart into his latest offering

After almost a decade of working at Vivienne Westwood as vice head of menswear, Austrian-born designer Georg Weissacher left the luxury British label to embark on his own solo journey in the fashion industry. In 2016, he merged his adoration for the art of storytelling with his love of clothing and launched his own brand, POAN – an acronym for Peoples Of All Nations. 

Now, making its debut ahead of the summer, Weissacher presents his latest collection, which draws inspiration from David Lynch’s cult film Wild At Heart. Entitled ‘Sailor’ after Nicolas Cage’s lead protagonist, the offering plays with the power of nostalgia – with oversized tailoring and flashes of leopard print evoking the much-referenced aesthetic of the 90s. 

Alongside the collection comes a new campaign, which depicts a love story via a series of lo-fi polaroids, as well as an original film by Canadian artist James Kerr. Known for his unique reinterpretations of classic Renaissance art, in this instance Kerr created an animated adaptation of Wild At Heart which sees key pieces from POAN’s offering, including well-worn band-style tees and acid-washed deconstructed denim, transformed as part of the stop-motion video. 

Prior to the launch of the ‘Sailor’ collection, we caught up with Weissacher to discuss the essence of POAN, the new offering, and how he sees fashion progressing from here.

Why did you decide to establish POAN? 

Georg Weissacher: POAN – Peoples of All Nations was founded to celebrate humanity and its phenomenon and potential.

What makes the label unique, and what does it stand for?

Georg Weissacher: Spending nine years at Westwood gave me time to think about what I wanted to give back and present to the world whilst learning and evolving the creative process. In my mind, POAN is unique because it never delivers simple answers but tries to raise the right questions. We do not want followers, we want aesthetic thinkers.

How would you sum up POAN's aesthetic in a sentence?

Georg Weissacher: Imagine Matisse and Arendt taking selfies on a backdrop of a Rembrandt conversation piece, in a black marble room with floor to ceiling bronze-tinted windows. There’s a sense of this when you visit our store in Soho Square. 

Tell us about the ‘Sailor’ collection – what about Wild At Heart inspired you? 

Georg Weissacher: Like all POAN collections, it tells a love story. And even though it’s a turbulent kind of love, even David (Lynch) had one demand when it came to the script and making the film: it had to have a happy ending, even though that wild kind of love is always destined to fail. He put in this transcendental intervention so the characters could find their path to ‘happy ever after’. It’s a modern-day fairytale.

It's been a disruptive year for fashion - how do you see the industry moving forward? How will POAN move forward?

Georg Weissacher: Fashion disruption began even before the pandemic, now it is amplified - not a bad thing for a young brand as ours, it gives us the opportunity to be heard and seen. Love, humour, art. We strive to be positive amid what has been a huge reset for the industry.

What's next for you?

Georg Weissacher: We’re coming through this new period and implementation of a new world order, as is everyone else. We’re looking to do so with consideration, love, and thoughtfulness. Our collections are all produced in small, limited runs, all of which are handmade in Italy (mainly Florence) by small family-run businesses, with whom we have a tremendous relationship that manifests in the quality of our product. Then it’s onto the next collection, ‘Sinai’ in October. 

Follow POAN here and check out the full collection on Watch the new campaign film below.