In our latest instalment of our interview series, we get to hear from Sarah Tariverdian from Bandits by Sarah Tari on her brand, her motivation and her thoughts on the fashion industry. Before we get to that, here's a little bit about the brand.
Sarah Tariverdian started her label BANDITS BY SARAH TARI in 2010. She developed her unique style during her studies in fashion design in Berlin and in Paris, where she currently works and resides. Inspired by nature and the dichotomy between transience and eternity, she has discovered a new way to explore these themes, expressing transcendental concepts in a material way. BANDITS BY SARAH TARI Jewelry is handcrafted starting with hand carved wax sculptures that are then cast in silver or brass. Sarah experiments with different patinas such as oxidizing and various platings. Finest minerals such as quartz, tourmaline, tanzanite, sapphire, ruby, emerald and diamond are used in a way that maintains their individual characteristics.
BANDITS BY SARAH TARI Scarves offer beautiful drawings and illustrations, made by Sarah herself. Her scarves are truly unique using materials such as silk, modal, pure fine cotton and cashmere. Like a painting, all prints tell their own story and are only available in a small, limited edition.
And now for the interview.
Erebus: What inspired you to get into fashion design? What motivates you?
Sarah Tariverdian: I was inspired by the 90s Anti-Fashion movement that re-invented fashion as an industry in a very new way. Then the “Antwerp Six” motivated me to step in the field of fashion design myself. Today, I am still motivated by this spirit to question developments in fashion and produce my very individual lines.
E: How would you describe your brand to someone who has not yet experienced it?
ST: My brand BANDITS equally represents this core spirit to create your very own thing. A bandit (worn by motorbike drivers for example) carries a sort of rebel attitude. Starting off my brand with scarves, I later focussed on collections of jewellery. Independent from which line you are looking at you will find this spirit that I started from years ago.
E: Nature seems to play a large part in your work. What would you say is the biggest inspiration in your design process? How is this reflected in your designs?
ST: What fascinates me about nature is the process of transience. It is the specific state of an item that I want to capture and eternalise. I try to reflect this in my designs using these details in their imperfection.
E: Why do you feel it is important to let the natural state of the metals and minerals show in your work?
ST: I mainly use materials such as gemstones in their natural states without destroying their forms. I also use irregular forms in metals so they can take full effect. I prefer to work with imperfection and asymmetry because of their aesthetic value and because I believe people can find themselves in irregular and asymmetric forms, simply because the world itself is mostly imperfect.
E: How much time to you spend on your designs? How do you feel about the accelerated pace of the fashion industry?
ST: Searching for new inspiration is a permanent process that I also cannot plan. I try to spend a large amount of time on my prototypes because they are a crucial part of each model. My brand is characterised by manual work, individual designs, production per order and fewer collections per year. This of course is in contrast to the fast production in today’s fashion industry.
E: You make your scarves in limited quantities, what responsibility do you feel you as a fashion designer have to protect the environment?
ST: I take much effort to offer high quality to ensure longer life of my products. It’ s very satisfying to me when end customers communicate to me a piece has become their favourite. This attitude automatically leads to lower quantities in production. In choosing partners for printing or other services as well as suppliers for minerals I consider the companies’ ways of production including their social and environmental accountability.
E: What would you consider your signature?
ST: My designs represent the dichotomy between transience and eternity. I transform a transient natural detail into a permanent product.
E: What is your favourite piece(s) from your past collections?
ST: My favourite design is the litchi (WHO), a small sculpture presented as a necklace. Each piece is a one of a kind. The fragile peel of a litchi after the fruit has been eaten, with its structured surface, is a fascinating example of creativity in nature itself.
E: Who is your audience?
ST: All people who identify with any of my pieces and are touched by my designs are my favourite audience. This is across countries, languages, cultures and lifestyles.
E: Who would be your dream brand ambassador?
ST: Everyone wearing any of my pieces who does not let others’ judgement rule his/her life is my dream ambassador – in the present and in the future.
E: In your opinion, what has been your biggest success so far?
ST: My success clearly is the honest fascination of people for my designs and the joy they retrieve out of them day after day.
E: How do you feel your brand stands out in such a saturated industry?
ST: Being true to my own style is something that people appreciate. Also, they recognise my signature as I keep my style through changing collections.
E: What advice would you give someone thinking of starting a career in the fashion industry?
ST: Have the courage to test yourself in various directions and find your own style as this time will never come back.
E: What is the best piece of advice you have received?
ST: Keep going. Or, as we say in Germany: keep swimming!
E: What’s next for Bandits by Sarah Tari?
ST: Next year you will see my new collection for women and my first jewellery line for men, presented at Ozone Showroom (236 rue Saint Martin, 75003 Paris) during Fashion Week Paris.
Here are some of our favourite pieces from the latest Bandits by Sarah Tari collection.
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