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glorydays

list of favorite designers

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Meet Dominic Sondag, the design mind behind S.K. Manor Hil

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“S is for my last name ‘Sondag,’ K is for ‘kindred’, which means friends and family,” Dominic Sondag shares, recalling the origins of his burgeoning menswear label, S.K. Manor Hill. The two and a hald year old label is still in its infancy, but has already garnered widespread acclaim throughout the industry for its eclectic influences and sharp aesthetic. Today, Sondag resides in New York. Meanwhile, the line is being stocked in stores in Japan Korea, and Canada while also maintaining a presence in the Big Apple.

Currently serving Fall/Winter ’18 looks worldwide, S.K. Manor Hill label draws from a diverse palette. Where Fall /Winter  ’17 was inspired by Japanese art, with a monochromatic palette, Fall/Winter ’18 is typified by vibrant cottons, soft fleece, wide wale corduroy, plush velvet, soft velour, and cozy pullovers. Sondag’s 2018 offerings continue to source natural fiber fabrics from Japan and Italy, all the while maintaining a casual sophistication.

Manor, is like a big house, as in a “fashion house,”  Sondag reminds me. “Hill represents nature, and a journey to the top.”

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A native of San Francisco, Sondag’s love for fashion came at an early age. “My mama tells me I was hella picky about the clothes she’d put on me when I was young. She’d say I’d have to have everything be one color and match.”

Sondag cut his teeth studying fashion in Florence, Italy, and also spent time working in London, designing for a luxury resort brand called Chucs Dive & Mountain Shop on Dover Street. Florence provided Sondag with his basic fashion education, from figure drawings to sewing and pattern making, as well as a contextual education of fashion history.

When asked about the designers who have inspired him, Dominic is quick to respond,”Issey Miyake, Daiki Suzuki, Dries Van Noten” he offers, adding, “I hope you Google them to get their names right.” Influenced by Miyake’s silhouettes and unconventional yet wearable approach to fashion, Dominic also cites Daiki’s Suzuki’s nod to vintage aesthetics as key aspects of each designers work that resonate with him.

 

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There’s a lot of different paths you can take within the world of fashion, what compelled you to start your brand?

There’s a lot of things you can do, but not a lot of things where you can do you.

 

What do you mean by that?

You can design for somebody else, but that’s not you. If you work for others you’re under certain guidelines. You have to cater to what their idea is. I feel like the only way to truly express yourself is if it’s your own thing.

 

You appreciate the freedom of expression?

(Laughs) Those aren’t my words, but if that’s what it sounds like I’m saying…

 

Do women influence your life and work?

I design for me, but I am inspired by women’s style. I especially like women dressed in men’s clothes, and I want women to wear my clothes.

 

How do you stay motivated as an underdog in such a fast-paced, competitive industry?

I don’t know how to explain it. To me it’s just what I’m supposed to be doing. So what else is there to do but keep going? It feels like there’s no other option for me. This is what I’m meant to do.

 

 

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Why do you feel like that?

Because I had an epiphany.

 

What was the context of the epiphany?

Well it started in high school. I had anxiety, and I just always kept worrying about the future. I was like I can only feel some type of way about myself, like I’m supposed to do something—something creative—to make something for people to appreciate. In school I was also very materialistic, I just liked clothes a lot, and shoes, and I was just into expensive things. I was worried about how I was gonna get this stuff, cause I didn’t feel like I was good at any particular school stuff. I worry a lot I guess, I was worried about my future, like what was I gonna do.

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I would have insomnia, and then like it carried [on] into college. Not the insomnia, but I just worried. People would ask me “What do you wanna do?” I was like “Oh, I just want to work at Nike, and work my way up, but I never said anything specific. I had heard of fashion schools and I thought it wasn’t a realistic career. I thought it was like a fantasy, or a dream, so I never pursued it. In college I didn’t select what I wanted to major in until I was a Junior, and I picked graphic design because I thought that was a practical line of work—something in the arts but something you can have a career in. But I wasn’t passionate about it.

I was always passionate about fashion but I never thought it was realistic. Then my last semester of college, all I needed was electives to graduate, so I went to study abroad, and I took all fashion classes. I studied abroad because my whole family encouraged me to do so. In the past I never really cared about traveling much. So I went to school in Florence, Italy and I took all fashion classes.

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It was an amazing experience, I loved going to school every day, I loved what I was learning. it was crazy how much joy I was getting from learning about fashion. Then I was explaining to my friend back home how much I liked it, and then I just started crying tears of joy because I was feeling all this stress relieved because I came to this conclusion, or I had this epiphany that like I don’t have to worry anymore, because I knew what to do, I knew what to be. I was gonna be a fashion designer because that’s what I always wanted to be, but I’ve always been scared to admit it. 

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That was my epiphany. So ever since then I’ve just been moving towards my goals.

 

What are the goals?

The goal is to be one of the best fashion designers…in the world.

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What does being the best mean?

Well it’s just opinions, right? So I guess I would need the opinions from the people in the industry whose opinions are respected.

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Have you seen anyone wearing your clothes on the street?

I don’t think I’ve seen somebody wear it. Unless it’s like my homie or something. I see the Japanese buyers that buy for their stores wear it. But I’ve never seen no random stranger wearing it. I’m waiting for that.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Jack Carlson for Rowing Blazers

 

I love this brand. He recreates traditional rowing blazers to their exact specifications. So these blazers aren't made of wool, they're jersey cloth and made for actual athletes.

 

 

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Edited by glorydays
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