Interview by Lucas Pantoja
Evocative, radical, and strikingly emotional — these were some of the characteristics that came to mind after first being introduced to up and coming Italian designer brand Simon Cracker. Established in 2006 by designer Simone Botte, the brand brings a progressive eye to fashion, mixing underground aesthetics with technical cuts and unique garment construction: all accompanied by seemingly lableless qualities.
For their latest Spring/Summer 19 collection, Botte let loose a wave of emotions calling upon childish and youth references: then twisting them with a psychotic reinterpretation influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror spectacle Psycho. Within the collection we find a common Ninja Turtles theme accompanied by a genderless aesthetic.
Some standout qualities being the inhaler accessories, graffiti artwork, and flower embellishments.
A personal favorite piece being the brown blazer which surprises viewers with a comical ‘Fuck’ written on the back in pink flowers.
Since the show was held within the approach of Halloween, the eeriness and joyously terrifying qualities felt all the more appropriate. Clothes fit for a comic book super villain like the Joker, or an underground raver.
If one-of-one stand-out pieces are your forte, then this collection is definitely worth a look. Keep an eye on Simon Cracker, with a style as bold as this one — we’re sure to see more from the Italian brand in the upcoming seasons.
Also, enjoy this short interview we at TFP had the pleasure of doing with designer Simone Botte right after the show:
Lucas: You’re originally from Cesena, a city located near the East coast of Northern Italy. How did growing up there influence you and your creativity?
SB: Growing up I was absolutely influenced by my mom and my grandfather because they are both artists. So as a child I was directly drawing influences from painting and art.
Lucas: You previously studied graphic design before pursuing your fashion career. Are you still doing any work in graphic design?
SB: Yes I am, actually. All of the brand’s graphics are designed by me. I do the graphics for my collections, as well as designing all of the patterns and making the mood boards.
Lucas: Who were the fashion designers that influenced you the most growing up?
SB: When I was a child, Vivienne Westwood. But now I’d say Raf Simons, for the emotional aspect of his collections. I have a different style than him but when it comes to emotions it’s Raf.
Lucas: Your collections are often very emotional and in ways provocative. Are there any values which you hope to communicate through them?
SB: My fashion shows are my parades — so I can speak and I can scream with my clothes and with my collections. Really it’s just all of my emotions coming out.
Lucas: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
SB: I’m Italian, so I love Italy — but if I could live anywhere else I think it’d be Osaka. I was in Japan and I love it. But I’m Italian and I want to change something here.
Editor in-chief Nichelle Cole: How do you know when your designs are finished?
SB: I don’t, it continues until the last minute. If I have 5 more minutes, I’ll change everything. I’ll change the shoes, the outfits, everything: for men and women. In the last minutes the collection is very different all the way until it exits. Like today I even covered up the Tommy Hilfiger logo on my own shirt last minute with tape. I love to be underground, in everything.