While lots of you spend your time googly eyed over peacocks and street style, we have spent our time on more…well…engaging pursuits. Don’t get us wrong, we love some good camo combos here and there, but there’s far more ways to innovate menswear. Right?
For Ricky Hendry and Marc Daniels of ISAORA, the answer is YES. And we can’t help but agree. As best friends, they have found a way to combine seemingly opposite, yet similar backgrounds—one from clothing design (Ricky) the other from user interface design (Marc)—to create a brand like nothing else on the market today. Their love of the outdoors, primarily snowboarding, got them yearning for more in the world of technical garments. However, by starting ISAORA they have chosen to lead instead of follow. With their deep belief in and experience with modern technology, Marc and Ricky have created a brand that incorporates not only functionality, but performance and style as well. A primary reason why we can not get enough from these guys.
Acrimony has been happy to carry several pieces this spring and we know you’re all going to fall over yourselves for fall. So to keep you from dying in anticipation, we caught up with Marc and Ricky recently to find out more about themselves and their amazing brand.
It’s very clear that your brand spawned from a lack of options available in technical sportswear. Aside from that, what experience did you guys have before your brand came about and how does it influence your designs today?
MARC: Before starting ISAORA I was a tech guy immersed in the world of user interface design, so I knew very little about the complexities of making garments. But I quickly discovered that my obsession over how to make a product usable, powerful, and elegant was just as applicable and critical. Ricky on the other hand, had a tremendous amount of experience in the fashion design world (thankfully so). We think our distinct backgrounds have given us a unique perspective, and one well suited for today. After all, when the goal is performance, the design - be software or technical fabric - must be both simple and elegant.
RICKY: I worked for 12 years designing for several large fashion brands in both designer, luxury, and contemporary menswear before we launched ISAORA—that experience definitely influences the aesthetic direction of ISAORA and the fact that we wanted it to be a fashion brand rather than a technical clothing brand. It also made me want to do something different than was currently available and realize the importance of having a clear point of view. A brand needs to have a reason and an identity or it’s just clothes on a rack: for ISAORA that means bringing together style and performance through directional, purpose-driven design.
Your designs seem to literally be broken down to a science. Tell us about the technology you guys use to produce such high-performance clothing while maintaining a tailored fit.
RICKY: We believe technology has the power to improve our lives and we keep this concept in mind every time we design a garment. The whole idea behind ISAORA is to create great-looking clothes that function well. We are always looking for a balance between innovation and tradition, so you’ll have a perfectly fitted shell which is entirely waterproof—from the three-layer material to the zippers—and seam-sealed or a down vest in technical reflective fabric treated with an irregular garment dye.
Are there any materials or fabric that are your favorite to work with? Also, where do you source most of your materials and fabric from?
RICKY: For Spring / Summer we really enjoyed working with Pertex® ripstop. It’s exceptionally light, durable, wind and water resistant, and feels quiet amazing. As for most of the materials we choose, they come from Italy and Japan.
What is your favorite outdoor sport and how does it influence your work and designs?
MARC: Snowboarding and snowboarding. And it absolutely influences our work, but never our style. We always design with the idea of demanding more from each garment and our goal is to create clothes that look, feel and perform wherever your pleasure takes you. So technical materials are and always will be key elements of our aesthetic.
If you had to choose one item as your favorite from your S/S 2012 collection, which one would it be and why?
RICKY: Easy: the waxed cotton field jacket with removable liner.
You guys have done some collaborations in the past, for example a bag with Porter. Can we look forward to any new collaborations on the horizon?
MARC: Absolutely! We have a few surprises in store for the upcoming season. Something very different from what we’ve ever done before, that we are really proud of and can’t wait to show!
Thanks to Ricky and Marc for the interview!