Band Of Outsiders were one of the most promising labels coming out of L.A during the noughties. Two changes of hands and £2.5 million worth of debt left their future looking rather bleak. However, that didn't stop their owners. We sat down with Angelo Von Mal to discuss where the brand is going under his and Daniel Hettman's hand. Take a look below.
Founded by Scott Sternberg in Los Angeles, 2004; Band Of Outsiders quickly became known for its preppy twist on tailoring and streetwear pieces, ultimately creating its own lane in the menswear market. Band Of Outsiders gained huge amounts of publicity during this time partly due to their experimental shows. One of the most prominent came in Paris for their SS13 campaign; a 60 hour long presentation. Model Brendan Ruck lived inside a “small compartment built from cardboard boxes and wood planks adjacent to the window of an anonymous gallery in Paris”, leaving only once every 90 minutes to change into the next look. The show was live streamed in more than 90 countries.
One half of the partnership bringing the Band Of Outsiders that we knew and loved back is Daniel Hettmann. Formerly brand director of French tailoring house Arnys, Hettmann also runs his own production company which has produced shows for the likes of Vetements and Christian Dada. Heading up the design side of the business is Angelo Van Mol, a 2010 Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp graduate. After winning coveted prizes such as the Motivation Award by Anne Chapellerave, he decided to further his menswear skills by training on Saville Row before launching his eponymous label in 2011.
In the run-up to LFWM we had the pleasure of sitting down with Head Designer Angelo, so he could tell us a little bit about the new Band Of Outsiders, as well as share some key prints that will feature in the collection, and what to expect in AW18.
Angelo! First of all, thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule too have a chat with us. How are you feeling in the run-up to LFWM?
Hi! We still have some work ahead of us and the festive season is around the corner, so it is indeed quite a hectic period. But despite the many preparations, we are so looking forward to seeing the end result that actually, I mostly feel excited!
Graduating from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in 2010, how do you feel living and studying there has influenced your style of work?
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp is a concept-driven school. This means we are taught to always keep an original concept as a red line throughout every collection. Each garment must reflect the concept in some way, and I think this respect for the concept is something I continue to have even in a practical work environment. Besides, the curriculum in Antwerp is structured to be very hands-on, which means we learned to create pieces that can stand alone. I’d say learning the importance of balancing strong individual pieces with a conceptual whole collection certainly still influences my work today.
You are now in your third season of heading the design team for Band Of Outsiders. For those who aren’t as familiar, can you tell us a little about the brand and the overall aesthetic?
For the new team at Band, it was important to stay true to the DNA, as much as to evolve from it with a new interpretation. The brand is known for Authenticity and Fun, this is true for both our aesthetic and our general attitude. In terms of design, the general aesthetic is ‘not too complicated, but still complicated enough’. This translates to high quality reworked staple items - clothes for actual men, which are in direct relation with reality. Our aim is to always offer a complete wardrobe, that appeals to many different types and characters.
Alongside Daniel Hettmann you have been relaunching the label. What aspects have you kept and what do you feel you have brought to the table?
We have kept the light-hearted elements of the brand. When you work with such a strong and beloved brand name it is important to hold on to what made the band so successful in the first place. What we brought to the table is a more contemporary silhouette, with more attention to fit and proportion. And perhaps even more fun!?
How have you taken elements of your own namesake label and reinvented them for the Band Of Outsiders aesthetic?
To be honest, I did not take any elements of my own namesake label to Band. Band of Outsiders truly functions as a ‘band’ in the studio as well, we have a close-knit team and create in unison. As such, the brand feels completely new as such, with general inspirations from all, but no direct elements from either the old Band of Outsiders or from my own label.
You spent time training on Saville Row which is apparent by the use of tailoring in Band Of Outsiders past two shows. What drew you to tailoring originally and how big a part do you feel it plays in the current menswear landscape?
Nowadays every garment is structured, whether it is a lightweight sports coat or a dinner jacket. To me, all design will reference to tailoring, because the way one is trained on Saville Row will always affect the way one sees and creates garments. This fits Band very well, as we incorporate some form of tailoring into everything.
For SS18 you had a refreshing take on the generic catwalk by presenting in a comedy styled show. What were some of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome when bringing this idea to life?
We chose this unconventional way of showing our collection because it was really in the spirit of the brand. To ensure we got the best comedians, we went to stand-up comedy events all over London for about two months until we found the 4 amazing comedians for our show, with whom we still collaborate. Like with any new concept, we weren’t quite sure how press and buyers would react but the result was incredibly positive. Everyone seemed to appreciate the experience! And the jokes!
We hear this season show will take place at Summer Set house. Without giving too much away, can you give us a little taster of whats to come?
Hot wine, ice-skates and great moves.
Can you tell us any key trends to look out for during AW18?
I think the landscape of fashion is not about key trends anymore, but about catching the right subculture. That was also our starting point this season.
Aside from Band Of Outsiders, is there anything else you have lined up that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us?
Let’s talk about that AFTER the show...
Thanks Angelo, we look forward to seeing Band of Outsiders AW18 Show come to life on the 6th January!
Band Of Outsiders AW18 show seems set to be spectacle on ice which is strangely no less than what we expect of the brand now. With Daniel Hettmann finely tuning the production in the lead up to the show and from what Angelo has told us so far this is not one to be missed at LFWM. Stay tuned to to see things unravel on the 6th January at Somerset House.