Ernest Sabine shares his Inspirations and Brand Beginnings with ISS
You presented your FW 2014 collection at Industria. Your men looked so dapper—refined but slightly rugged! What inspired the collection?
The collection was inspired by the early board track racers of the 1920s and 30s. Board track racing was this incredibly dangerous sport where competitors would ride motorcycles on make-shift wooden tracks at high speed. Besides the sheer competition and pageantry, what was inspiring about this time and sport was the way the racers carried themselves and dressed—both during races and in their daily lives. They always seemed to have this slightly dressed up look to them despite taking part in such a gritty competition. They always used a great mix of leather and heavy wools to complete an outfit.
How do you find inspiration as a designer? Do you look at other fashion, or art, music and travel?
I get asked this question a lot and it always amazes me when I tell someone the interesting places I find inspiration from. Generally, though, my inspiration comes from everywhere. It can come from travel, my past, something I see on the street, or even my children. For this particular collection the inspiration came from a newspaper article from many years ago that I came across. Obviously, it was about board track racing, but after reading I was compelled to learn more. I researched it and the whole process just ended up coming out organically in a real snowball effect.
How did the Ernest Alexander brand begin?
I began the brand with the singular idea of creating the perfect men’s messenger bag. At the time I started, I didn’t feel like there was a bag out there that was casual, yet dressy enough to be carried by a wide range of men. Over time, I was able to slowly start expanding my bag collection and, now, into a wide-range of categories including ready-to-wear and small leather goods.
Can you describe the Ernest Alexander man? If he were a movie character, who would he be?
I really like Jude Law and his entire body of work. I think you could pick out almost any character he plays and I feel like I could see that being our a guy who would carry our bag or wear our clothes. I always like to say that I picture our guy being this Jude Law-type; living in Tribeca, riding a Vespa on his way to his Graphic Design or Advertising job.
What’s your favorite non-Ernest Alexander piece in your closet?
I have a pair of A.P.C. Rescue jeans that I’ve owned for years now. They are perfectly worn-in and now feel like they were custom made for my body. They are creased and faded in all the right places. They’re usually the first piece out of my closet.
Illustration by CM
Sylvie Millstein from HELLESSY Talks Fashion !
We loved having you at Industria for your FW 2014 presentation. Your collection looked beautiful and Studio 10 offered the perfect backdrop—-we think! What inspired that collection?
A modern Catherine Deneuve, a modern 2014 version of Belle de Jour.
How do find inspiration as a designer? Do look at other fashion, art, music, or travel?
Inspiration comes from anywhere (street, travel, archives, pop culture, etc), anything that inspires beauty and style.
How did the Hellessy brand begin?
In 2012, when I realized that as a mature married professional there was a void for a luxe daywear brand that can integrate wearability, functionality with a sleek aesthetic and a modern twist.
Can you describe the Hellessy woman? If she were a movie character, who would she be?
She is sophisticated, knowledgeable about art, architecture and fashion, and her busy social life requires adequate dressing. She would be Catherine Deneuve in a 2014 Belle de Jour version.
What’s your favorite non-Hellessy piece in your closet? Why?
A vintage Nina Ricci fake fur coat that I customized - new proportions for a modern lifestyle (who wants 3/4 sleeves in Winter).
Can you name two fashion accessories/ type of clothing that a woman should avoid at all costs?
Too “fashion-y” (mini skirts, over-embellished clothing, clunky custom jewelry) - Less is more Beautiful most of the time…
Illustration by CM