Sid Neigum: Renaissance Man

Sid Neigum: Renaissance Man

Meet the designer behind Canada’s leading womenswear line.

Meet the designer behind Canada’s leading womenswear line.

Text: Maxwell N. Burnstein

Sid Neigum is the Renaissance man behind Canada’s leading womenswear line. Applying mathematics and architecture through fabrication have elevated the name-sake label into a global fashion house. After a galactic-grunge showing for spring 19, Neigum gave insight into the success of his business.

Neigum’s entrepreneurial spirit came from his father, who ran a business in Alberta, Canada. Backed by a focus on education, Neigum saw potential to apply his studies in Science to fashion design. Attending FIT in New York City, Neigum honed his skills before launching his company in Toronto, Canada. After debuting collection at London fashion week (2016), Neigum captured the attention of Vogue editors, receiving acclaim for his articulate and mathematical approach to design, that “make sense for real life, too.”

Approaching design through calculation has earned clientele Jennifer Aniston, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and the Vancouver Opera for their adaption of The Marriage of Figaro. Working on advances in 3D design through a grant with Edward Burtynsky’s studio, Neigum even presented a collection through VR for spring 18. Now branching into the automotive industry, the designer is working with Pfaff Auto on custom fabrication and detailing of luxury vehicles for select clientele.

Entering an underground parking garage in Toronto’s Yorkville Village for his latest punk and sci-fi inspired show, the designer dismantled his audience, including internationally recognized stylist Patti Wilson, with blasting music and the longest runway of the RE\SET™ at Toronto Fashion Week season; details that play to the showmanship of Neigum’s label. The quality of his fabrication, draping and technique, accompanied by his ability to present refined luxury, make Sid Neigum Canada’s most distinguished designer.

Has being an entrepreneur helped you become a better designer?

Being an entrepreneur has made me a more pragmatic, empathetic designer. Running both the financial and design aspects of the business has been mostly an advantage because the information from each side can inform the other. The downside has been the 90+ hour work weeks.

How have you worked against the stigma of Canadian fashion?

I think this stigma is created mostly by Canadians; if you have a great product people don't care where you are from, and they are interested to learn more about you and what you create. There is a victim mentality in the Canadian fashion industry that is getting old. I’ve always thought if you don't like something, change it; if you don't like living somewhere, move; we create our own reality.

What inspired the decision to present your SS19 collection in a parking garage?

I loved the juxtaposition between the soft, sheer, draped clothing and the harshness and realness of the setting. The opportunity came through Dwayne Kennedy at the Collections, and his platform RESET with Toronto Fashion Week. It was something that couldn't be passed up.

Can you articulate the concept behind this collection?

From a construction standpoint I always start with my core beliefs; using golden ratio to determine proportions, keeping the pattern work minimal by eliminating non-essential seams and darts through draping. Many of the pieces in this collection are made from a single panel of draped fabric.

Did you apply your background in mathematics to produce this collection?

Yes in a few key areas; the gathered necklines and waistlines were slashed and multiplied by the golden ratio (1.618) then gathered back down to the original size.

Skirt waist circumferences and hem circumferences are in golden proportion. For several dresses and tops the length of the top from high point shoulder to waist seam, and length of waist seam to hem is also in golden proportion. This gives the collection a sense of consistent proportion, not only within this collection, but as a line of consistency through every collection.

A VR presentation to costumes for the Opera, what’s your next unconventional medium?

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work on some cars with Pfaff, it is really interesting to able to apply ideas to a completely different medium all-together. Its something you will definitely see more of.

Can you share what you envision for the next phase of your career?

I really enjoy being able to create and travel. I still feel like I'm just getting started, and there are so many opportunities for growth. This next year I'm pushing myself to the limit of what I thought was possible in terms of collections and collaborations. Stay tuned.

Credits: PHOTOGRAPHY BY OLA WALKOW

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