While some designers chase trends or build collections around narratives and mood boards, Sies Marjan’s Sander Lak begins every collection with a color card. He finds inspiration in a savvy mash-up of pop culture and academic references, everything from the Dunkin’ logo to the Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country, about an Oregon commune founded by highly controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. “It’s very much based on gut feelings and emotional decisions,” says Lak, whose shows have become New York Fashion Week’s hottest ticket and star a diverse inner circle that includes models Anna Ewers, Lexi Boling, and Roberto Rossellini.
Family affair: “This spring season ended up very much being about my father, who passed away when I was younger. It was about what he wore and who he was, but also about giving that part of my life and feeling so at home in New York. The cast included friends (old ones from school to new ones), family (my mom was in the show, too), people I work with here at Sies Marjan, and models we have worked with for a while.”
Inspiration: “It’s a cliché but everything [inspires me]; it’s never just one thing or one moment. It’s also more about energy—when I feel happy and healthy, I do my best work.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Spring Issue under the headline Creative Minds. Subscribe to the magazine.