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Shaun Samson (London, UK)

The Jeremy Scott collaborator is doing an MA in Menswear after four degrees in his Californian home

Recently graduated from Central St Martins with a BA in Menswear following four previous degrees from fashion schools in Los Angeles, Shaun Samson is ready to start his Menswear MA. He is a cool kid that loves Mexican food and was voted as Best Dressed in his High School Yearbook! No wonder why this Californian who has collaborated with Jeremy Scott is all about making fashion and having fun. Dazed talks to Samson, a purebred from St Martin’s.

Where do you live?
I live in London for most of the year, but I also spend a lot of time in California where I’m originally from.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in San Diego, but moved out of the house to Los Angeles when I was 18.

How old are you?
28, but I don’t look it… I know.

Why you became interested in fashion?
Ever since I started dressing myself, I was always aware of fashion. Some of my earliest memories of childhood were of me fighting with my mum about what I wanted to wear. I must have been only 6 years old. When other kids were asking their parents to buy them the latest video games, I wanted to buy the coolest shoes. I remember in primary school once, my classmate looked at what I was wearing and asked me if I was going on a primary school!  I was wearing my favorite outfit that day. I can picture it exactly: a white button up shirt, black trousers, blue knitted cardigan and gold bolero tie. From then on, I knew I could get people to compliment me by what I wore. That’s probably why I became interested in fashion, to be cool.

Tell us about your collection?
I entitled it ‘Son of Vladimir’, Vladimir being the actual person that vampire stories originated from. My collection is Dracula meets the Olsen Twins. I wanted to use a treatment that was used in the time when the Dracula stories were first told.  I researched smocking, and it makes up a large portion of my collection. I then took this historical treatment and added an oversized, chunky knit that drapes off the body.  It’s an homage to how everything just hangs off the Olsen’s because they are so petite. I like to think that I designed the wardrobe of Vladimir’s Son. I imagined him being this spoiled heir that hung out with Mary Kate and Ashley at his Dads castle while Daddy Dracula was away on some massacre somewhere.   

Why men’s?
There’s a coolness to Menswear that I’m intrigued by. At the same time, there is also fickleness. You’re always questioning if a real man will wear something, or if it’s going too far. It’s all very disciplined really, but rules are meant to be broken.

You work at Jeremy Scott, tell us about it?
I will forever be grateful for the years that I worked with Jeremy. I had a blast, and still have a great time whenever I see him. Jeremy made the atmosphere of the studio very welcoming. He was always very gracious to everyone, and we all wanted to be around him. That’s what makes him such a great person. He made fashion fun.

Where do you seek for inspiration?
Everywhere. It’s draining to look at everything, but eventually you find something that sparks your interest.

What are the difficulties faced being a designer today?
That everyone now is a designer.  I myself don’t even like calling myself one. I don’t really like labels.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m starting my MA at Central St Martins, so I’ll be there for the next year and a half. I’ve heard lot of crazy stories about it. I’m most looking forward to working with Professor Louise Wilson. After that, I want to work for a design house here in London, or in Europe for a few years. Eventually I want to start my own line under my name.

Who is your favorite designer and why?
I like how Riccardo Tisci has been referencing male urban street culture in his high fashion collections recently. High fashion usually turns its nose up to anything related to urban street, but he does it so elegantly for Givenchy. I really appreciate him for that.

What makes you happy?
Realizing there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

With whom you would like to collaborate?
I think it would be amazing if I could collaborate with some indigenous tribe in a jungle forest somewhere. I’d love to learn their handicraft, and be able to share it with the world.

Where can we see your work?
At a store near you one day, but for now, posts my full collection.

When/why did you decide to move to London?
I moved to London in 2004 to do my Foundation at Central St Martins. Since then, I’ve completed my BA, and will start the MA in November. I’m a St Martin’s purebred.

When and why did you start designing?
I had an opening in my schedule in high school. It was my senior year, so I decided to take something rather easy. I signed up for sewing class, and learned to sew. Funny enough, I started sewing pillows for my room because I was really into interiors at the time, but found that making clothes was more satisfying because I received a better response from people. No one really is that impressed with a pillow you’ve sewn.

Photography Pelle Crepin

Art Direction Rob Meyers for RBPMstudio
Luke Worrall image:

Photography Rob Meyers for RBPMstudio