Designer Spotlight: Sid Neigum

Designer Spotlight: Sid Neigum

In a new column for V, Mathias Rosenzweig highlights up and coming designers to know now. Here, Canadian designer Sid Neigum whose sculptural pieces have practical applications and have earned him impressive early recognition.

In a new column for V, Mathias Rosenzweig highlights up and coming designers to know now. Here, Canadian designer Sid Neigum whose sculptural pieces have practical applications and have earned him impressive early recognition.

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

Sid Neigum’s foray into the design world was propelled by a series of awards and accolades. To date, he’s won the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels Award, the Mercedes-Benz Start Up Award, and the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award, to name a few. Now based out of Toronto, Neigum attended the Fashion Institute of Technology before returning to Canada. His designs showcase the meeting ground between abstract sculptural looks and practical outfits. Neigum’s clothing juxtaposes bursts of volume with slimmer cuts by wrapping and tying pieces in inventive ways—extra fabric dangling from sleeves adds a spontaneous flair. His eye for textiles has also won Neigum a place in the closets of Coco Rocha, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jennifer Aniston. He seems to be one of fashion’s “chosen ones,” if you will, whose future feels fairly secure.

We spoke to Neigum about getting creative with Legos, his love for Wes Anderson, and how the Canadian is keeping himself warm during the brutal winter.

 

When and why did you decide to become a designer? 

I've always enjoyed creating things; music, food, clothing. When I was growing up, I made tree houses after school, [as well as] model rockets, Legos, and K'NEX. When I became interested in fashion, the two worlds came together and I became fascinated with garment construction, making a three-dimensional form out of a two-dimensional fabric.

How did you go about learning to design and turning your ideas into a reality?

I studied at a small college in Canada before studying at F.I.T. There, I learned how to drape, make patterns, and sew. Once that understanding was there, I became obsessed.

What are the greatest sources of inspiration for your line? 

Geometry, architecture, science, math, proportion, and draping.

If you could have anyone be the face of your line, who would it be? 

For my Spring 2017 collection, I had the opportunity to work with one of my all time favorite models, Kirsten Owen, which was a dream come true. Kirsten embodies effortlessness; she has a very shy and gentle demeanor until she gets on set. Each look, Kirsten really got a sense of the pieces and moved in a way that I would describe as interpretive dance, or watching a performance artist. I would love to work with Daria, another fellow Canadian.

What movie, TV show, music video, etc. had the best or most inspiring fashion? 

I love Game of Thrones. I love Wes Anderson films. The Matrix, Lost in Translation, Blade Runner, Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations, Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element. There are too many to list. My favorite images and movies always come out in my work, subconsciously or consciously. I'm currently working on the costume designs for an opera; it is a totally different world but has been very engaging. Until now, I've never had to make somebody look bad, awkward or not-age-appropriate on purpose [laughs].

What's your go-to outfit for the winter? 

I'm the type of person that wears the same thing every day, so when it gets cold I start layering more of the same long sleeve shirt and add a big coat and toque. It's currently 15F in Toronto, so I went with four layers today. Should've gone with 5.

Why do you think fashion is important in a cultural or broader sense?

Fashion is a language that describes the times. It tells you how people are feeling and thinking. Fashion portrays belief systems or where people are from. It is the first thing you see when you look at someone passing on the street. You can dress to be whoever you want to be; I find that all so interesting.

What's the most difficult part of your job that most people don't know about? 

Accounting.

What's the most rewarding part of your job? 

Seeing people wearing my pieces and feeling good while wearing it.

Where would you like to see yourself or your line in five years? 

I'd like to expand our distribution. I'm currently selling to select retailers in larger cities, but I think there is a lot of room for growth

If you had to choose any other profession, what would it be? 

I love to cook. I would probably be a chef, or maybe an architect.

How do you define success for yourself? 

Success for me is enjoying my work and enjoying the journey.

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