• The Substance Issue
    The Substance Issue



    GODDESS Discloses S/S 2015 Collection ANGYLS

    Created by David Siferd in 2013, GODDESS is a streetwear label set out to break boundaries of self-expression and identification through clothing. We featured GODDESS earlier this year in our article about the pop-up shop Phresh Produce. GODDESS recently revealed the Spring/Summer 2015 collection ANGYLS — a collection that seems to play with queer and femme self-expression at the school yearbook photo shoot. We contacted designer David Siferd to ask him about the inspiration behind this collection, the story of the brand, and designing for strong personalities.

    What’s the story behind GODDESS? How did it all start?

    GODDESS launched in spring 2013 while I was finishing my final year of design school. I like streetwear labels a lot because they can stand for so much while being quite minimal, design-wise. I thought something that was missing from traditional streetwear labels was a sense of femininity – or really anything outside of explicit hetero masculinity – and I wanted to expand the scope of streetwear to be more inclusive. I love the idea of people gaining power through femininity, and to me a “goddess” is the most powerful feminine force. So it was evident to me that GODDESS was the perfect name for my label that embraces so much more than other streetwear brands you see today.

    What is the idea behind this collection?

    The concept behind the spring/summer 2015 collection is a beautiful, genderless anime angel who inhabits a Sarah McLachlan music video. I wanted to show my own vision of what the future could look like, where everyone is free to adopt any style and appearance they like regardless of societal stigmas attached to gender.

    What is your workflow? How do you come up with your designs? How do you decide which things make the cut?

    I usually start by coming up with a concept that appeals to me and seems fresh. It can be vague or very specific. Sometimes I meet a model who I like and want to shoot in the lookbook, so I begin by designing a collection around that person. I like to try and evolve pieces from past seasons in new prints and fabrications, so it feels cohesive with past collections, while bringing a new concept to the label. Each season, I work closely with my incredible stylist Mitch McGuire to decide which pieces to shoot to create the new story we want to tell.

    Mainstream fashion brands purport to design for anybody, but really they design for a certain body type and tend to reproduce heteronormative takes on gender. You seem to create clothes for specific characters and/or identities, your latest collection being for trans* or gender queer party people and tumblr kids? Your models aren’t blank canvasses that anyone could project themselves onto. They’re individuals with their own histories and interests. What kind of thinking about identity and embodiment goes into the planning and design of your collections?

    I love people with strong, individual personalities, and I feel so lucky to be able to dress people like that. It’s important for me that I don’t hide people in designs but instead can help people express themselves through fashion. Most of the models I work with I know personally on some level, so it’s easy for my stylist and me to create looks that help highlight their personalities instead of hiding them in pieces that strip them of identity. Also, when I design, it’s important for me to consider more than just what a man or woman would wear, and in fact I love to design for people who are neither male nor female. I can only hope that the future will bring more people living comfortably outside the gender binary. If my designs can inspire others to be more free with their identities, then I will feel I’ve succeeded.

    Who or what are your main influences?

    There are too many! My favorite contemporary designers are Mikio Sakabe and Maite Albéniz, and I’m definitely influenced by labels like Starstyling as well as streetwear labels like BAPE and Supreme. Outside of fashion, my influences range from artists like Julien Ceccaldi and Macoto to unique people I see on Instagram with a strong sense of self and style.

    See the rest of the collection here. The ANGYLS collection will be available on the GODDESS website and select retailers early next spring, with prices ranging from $60 to $700. For more on GODDESS, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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