Sam Slegers | JUNGE TALENTKollaboration mit der Gästeliste

SAM SLEGERS

YOUNG TALENT COLLABORATION with 

THE GUESTLIST

THE GUESTLIST’s Young Talent Collaboration designer, Sam Slegers, has always been surrounded by color and the fashion industry. Growing up, her childhood home was painted in bright, vibrant colors. She would watch her mother work from home as an independent fashion designer, creating technical designs in Illustrator. Many of her childhood games revolved around playing with her mother’s boxes of fabric. Her grandmother was another creative influence in her early days, and, as an artist herself, she would create dolls with Sam, and together they would dress them up. 

Different colors kindle different emotional responses for Sam

At the age of sixteen, Sam started watching fashion shows. It was at this point that she decided she also wanted to get involved in the industry herself. As a teenager, she already knew that this would be the path that she wanted to take, and so went on to study art and graphic design with the idea of eventually going into fashion. For Sam, art school became a place where she felt like she could fully express herself, play with fashion, and experiment with her appearance.

In high school, she felt that she would wear the colors that she so enjoyed, but, when she reached college, her approach shifted into actively working with them instead. Rather than becoming tangled up in the notion of feeling like a doll that was being dressed, she felt like she was able to be more present and focused on the work behind the designing at fashion school. Different colors kindle different emotional responses for Sam, so, in working with them, she makes a deliberate choice to be more conscious. 

she sought to display the highly intricate level of mathematics that comes into play

Her final school collection was named “Ratio.” It came about as a tangible response to an experience in which the comment “Fashion is not mathematics!” was made. Upon further inquiry into this idea, she sought to display the highly intricate level of mathematics that comes into play when creating and designing fashion. This stemmed from the experiences of knitting on a machine herself and her exploration into the understanding of how to manipulate the mathematics behind the process - all the while, tailoring it to reach the desired outcome of a garment. 

This further drove her to be more strategic in her work and go against the stereotype of an overtly creative designer. She rather wanted to do it her way, and show that it CAN certainly be more strategic and mathematical. She has even commented that if she was not working in the creative arena, she would probably have gone into something based on mathematics. 

While studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, she had the opportunity to order wool from the Südwolle Group, and The Woolmark Company. Serendipitously, this was followed by the possibility of having a knitting machine in her home. She recalls driving through to pick it up from a friend of her mother, and realizing that it was in perfect condition. Elated, and somewhat daunted too, she set about learning how to use it. Having had some input from her mother on her previous collections, she decided that the knitting machine would be something that she wanted to do completely by herself.

This turned out to be quite a complex process and added immensely to what she was learning in class, complimenting her studies. She decided that it was her goal to dive deeper into things and teach herself how to use the machines properly. Through much trial and error, and watching a few tutorials, she found that she slowly but surely came to grips with the complexities and fine-tuning involved.

“Knitting,” says Sam, “is such a niche. There are many designers, many fashion designers, but not many knitwear designers. It’s something that I kind of stumbled into, but I really like it. I also really like the mathematical parts of it too.” Knitwear was something she was always interested in, but she got more and more into it as she learned how to do it herself. The sense of accomplishment and empowerment gained through this process was invaluable. She admits to preferring wool and cotton, being fond of the feelings of the natural fibers themselves.

It is this synthesized fusion between creativity and highly technical aspects within fashion that she enjoys. Within her designs, she aims to recognize and honor both.

“Fashion needs to be for everyday life, for people to live in, and feel comfortable in.”

Initially, Sam had wanted to become a big designer, traveling to fashion weeks around the world, but she notes that recently her priorities have changed. She wants to still be designing and involved with fashion - but in her own terms, in more humble ways, “Fashion needs to be for everyday life, for people to live in, and feel comfortable in.” She no longer feels like she needs to go to another city or move around to do what it is that she loves, she feels like she can already do that where she is right now. 

With knitwear, this is even more possible. “It's a craft from the past,” she says, and with that, “A lot of people, but maybe not enough, are trying to go back to the roots a little bit. With fast fashion, people are trying to do the opposite and bring something sustainable, local things, more craftsmanship. In a way, this is also a trend. Hopefully, it will stay a little bit longer than a “trend” kind of period. With the pandemic, people are stimulated to buy more locally.”

This was an aspect of her collaboration with THE GUESTLIST that she thoroughly enjoyed - which came about in the form of an award generously granted by the Südwolle Group, The Woolmark Company, Peterseim Strickwaren, and THE GUESTLIST. The whole experience exposed her to a side of the fashion world that she was not previously aware of. She felt attracted to creating niche, exclusive, ethically-made products in a smaller factory in Germany - as it is so far removed from the atrocities of the fast fashion industry. 


Even as a young creative, Sam has already established and evolved her own style - one in which she feels comfortable and sturdy. For her collaboration with THE GUESTLIST, she felt that there was a certain something that was already within her, and she found that she came to the ideas swiftly and effortlessly. 

This was an aspect of her collaboration with THE GUESTLIST that she thoroughly enjoyed - which came about in the form of an award generously granted by the Südwolle Group, The Woolmark Company, Peterseim Strickwaren, and THE GUESTLIST. The whole experience exposed her to a side of the fashion world that she was not previously aware of. She felt attracted to creating niche, exclusive, ethically-made products in a smaller factory in Germany - as it is so far removed from the atrocities of the fast fashion industry. 

Even as a young creative, Sam has already established and evolved her own style - one in which she feels comfortable and sturdy. For her collaboration with THE GUESTLIST, she felt that there was a certain something that was already within her, and she found that she came to the ideas swiftly and effortlessly. 

She loved the young, fresh colors that she chose, and the cadences of the patterns - and mentioned that it was a very intuitive process from start to end: “It just felt right. There wasn’t a conscious choice or decision. It just felt right.” she shares.


And when she reached points that didn’t feel right, where she was not happy with the designs, she kept working on it until there was something that she did like that came out of it. 

Building on the foundations of styles that already existed in THE GUESTLIST, Sam created pieces that would fit a variety of people. There is something within it for everyone - surpassing time and crossing both younger and older audiences. If there had to be some sort of story behind the collection, it would be the aesthetic that carries through. The circle is a shape that is common across all pieces - with her Sunny Wave Sweater emulating the sun and the sea. Her Stripey Stripe Sweater has the circle on the back, and her Moony Contrast Cardigan has the circle too.

The circle, as a soft shape, creates a shared and common thread across the whole collection. It enthralls the notions of themes of a natural kind - inspired by the sun and the sea, with waves on the arms - while injecting them with vibrant colors. We are surrounded by a myriad of shapes, symbols, and colors all the time, and, to the unassuming eye, they may all look the same. Yet each person interprets them differently, and this is one of the things that Sam enjoys about design.


Especially when one chooses what to wear, emphasis should be placed on the importance of feeling comfortable and confident. In keeping with this feeling, she favored designs that allow one to emulate the feelings of comfort that they have of 'home' (whatever that feeling to them may be) with her pieces. Dressed up or dressed down, the pieces are able to be interpreted according to the wearer as they feel on any specific day.

The circle, as a soft shape, creates a shared and common thread across the whole collection. It enthralls the notions of themes of a natural kind - inspired by the sun and the sea, with waves on the arms - while injecting them with vibrant colors. We are surrounded by a myriad of shapes, symbols, and colors all the time, and, to the unassuming eye, they may all look the same. Yet each person interprets them differently, and this is one of the things that Sam enjoys about design.

Especially when one chooses what to wear, emphasis should be placed on the importance of feeling comfortable and confident. In keeping with this feeling, she favored designs that allow one to emulate the feelings of comfort that they have of 'home' (whatever that feeling to them may be) with her pieces. Dressed up or dressed down, the pieces are able to be interpreted according to the wearer as they feel on any specific day.

The circle, as a soft shape, creates a shared and common thread across the whole collection. It enthralls the notions of themes of a natural kind - inspired by the sun and the sea, with waves on the arms - while injecting them with vibrant colors. We are surrounded by a myriad of shapes, symbols, and colors all the time, and, to the unassuming eye, they may all look the same. Yet each person interprets them differently, and this is one of the things that Sam enjoys about design.


Especially when one chooses what to wear, emphasis should be placed on the importance of feeling comfortable and confident. In keeping with this feeling, she favored designs that allow one to emulate the feelings of comfort that they have of 'home' (whatever that feeling to them may be) with her pieces. Dressed up or dressed down, the pieces are able to be interpreted according to the wearer as they feel on any specific day.

Similar to the feelings that she has towards a piece of art that she acquired when she was eighteen because she “recognized herself in it,” she simply felt like she related to it. And that is what she wants in her fashion and in her designs. “As a designer, you are asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?”” she says, but for her, the creativity is just an outlet. And yet, within such simple motives, there is also a very specific type of beauty and presence.


“I just want people to feel good and have their own interpretation of the collection,” she adds, “Just like art.” Color is very important in this regard, as she emphasis that certain colors are associated with certain emotions - so that may sway the interpretations of the pieces themselves, but apart from that, she found it difficult to decide on anything more specific, as she feels like she’s just fallen into the industry and it just happened.

Similar to the feelings that she has towards a piece of art that she acquired when she was eighteen because she “recognized herself in it,” she simply felt like she related to it. And that is what she wants in her fashion and in her designs. “As a designer, you are asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?”” she says, but for her, the creativity is just an outlet. And yet, within such simple motives, there is also a very specific type of beauty and presence.

“I just want people to feel good and have their own interpretation of the collection,” she adds, “Just like art.” Color is very important in this regard, as she emphasis that certain colors are associated with certain emotions - so that may sway the interpretations of the pieces themselves, but apart from that, she found it difficult to decide on anything more specific, as she feels like she’s just fallen into the industry and it just happened.

It is within the space of simplicity - that comes about from her straightforward, bold, and open approach - that her genius lies. Rather than having her collection stand for something, make a bold statement, or push an agenda, she notes that it “Doesn’t have a story to tell, rather, it is about feelings and ensuring people are comfortable and feeling good.” 


Such an “anti-stand” could be seen to be an antithesis of sorts, yet, in the way that Sam’s pieces come across, it has untouchable magic about it. 

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1 Kommentar


  • An Slegers

    De collectie lijkt me supermooi!
    Ik wil er graag een stuk van kopen.
    Laat maar weten waar en wanneer


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