OBJECT - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
We took some time out to get up close and personal with designer Ryan Heard about the fundamentals of his avant-garde label Object, checkout the exclusive interview below.
Object; a brand we have championed since it's birth is built around designer Ryan Heard's signature dark aesthetic. Object is derived from a conceptual approach towards fashion design, producing limited edition artisanal pieces from their UK studio. All materials are sourced individually and garments are hand sewn with a high end craftsmanship, combining specialist dye treatments with hand painted finishes and unique stitching techniques.
Uncon: Ryan, let us begin by exploring your childhood, what kind of a youngster were you?
Ryan: I was an outgoing child growing up, always a perfectionist, everything had to be just right. I enjoyed drawing, painting and building things with random materials. I knew from a young age that I wanted to do something artistic for my career but did not know exactly what.
Uncon: Could you recall a unique moment that perhaps served as a trigger for you to explore garment design?
Ryan: Yes, I was on a college trip at a textiles event. I was not very interested at first but was told to give it a try. I instantly enjoyed creating unique swatches using cuts of denims and leathers adding creative appliqué and embroidery. You could say I got the design bug from this point,. After this trip I immediately stopped by a sewing machine shop and bought my first machine. It must of been fate. From that day on I started customising clothing for friends and started to get recognition for my style and finish.
Uncon: Your work is deep, meaningful and so rich in craftsmanship. How reflective are you in your craft?
Ryan: I always treat each item I produce/design with an individual creative approach. Fast commercial fashion has never interested me. I enjoy creating items which are commercially wearable, however handmade and unique in application, construction and choice of fabrics.
Uncon: How did you define your particular style or approach to fashion?
Ryan: I would define my style as dark, minimal and contemporary. Never mass produced, always incorporating unique ways to attach or finish the garment unlike commercial design. I do not follow trends and create pieces that do not date.
Uncon: How would you like for your designs to be appropriated, when they journey onto your clients?
Ryan: I would like for my clients to feel good when wearing my pieces. They should be confident and stand out for the right reasons. They should notice good craftsmanship and select the items to compliment other items in their wardrobe.
Uncon: What do you believe is the most important characteristic of a garment?
Ryan: I would say for me it is creating good quality made pieces that wear well over time. Sourcing high quality materials is important but a strong knowledge of good construction is key, along with subtle types of branding or characteristics that sends out a message to the wearer themselves.
Uncon: What are the main influences of your design process, and what guided you to this way of design?
Ryan: I draw my inspiration from horror films and dark thrillers, I watched too many as a child and I have always had the ability to remember the scenes of the film very vividly to this day. I have used these as the back bones to everything I have created through the years.
Uncon: Originality and authenticity are important factors in your design process, How do you stay at forefront of contemporary fashion?
Ryan: In this genre of contemporary fashion there are many similar designers nowadays. It is not easy to create something new that is also acceptable. Within this dark contempoary style, trends and development tend to move slowly from season to season, so adapting styles at a slow pace is key in my opinion. It is important that customers understand your design and feel comfortable mentally when wearing them.
Uncon: What makes Object, truly Object?
Ryan: I would have to say I make Object truly object. It's more a passion of mine. It's my vision, drive and ideas. I ask myself on everything I design, would I wear it? if not why? Do the pieces work well with an outfit or are they too much and hard to merchandise with other items?.
Uncon: If you could wear and repeat one of your designs eternally, which one would you pick?
Ryan: I am looking forward to wearing a pair my own footwear because this is a new category for me that I am excited about. Footwear is something I have always wanted to do.
Uncon: What advice would you give young designers starting out?
Ryan: Stay focused on your chosen style and strengthen it season on season. Try to stay one step ahead and believe in yourself and your abilities. Try to portray your individualism into the collections you make.
Uncon: What does Object as a brand hope to contribute to the future of emerging fashion?
Ryan: There are not many labels from the U.K representing this dark Avant-garde style. I hope that Object will become a respected label known from the United Kingdom.