2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of Damir Doma’s eponymous label and, to celebrate, the Milan-based avant-garde designer is releasing an exclusive archival collection in collaboration with Farfetch. “Past.Present.Future,” the release features updated takes on some of Doma’s most iconic men’s and women’s creations, like the “Infinity” coat, “Scarf” jacket and “Bag” skirt, and will span from 2007 to the present.
"Throughout the whole project I felt so excited. I basically went through our archive and selected some of the most iconic pieces we created in the past 10 years. We reproduced them in my favourite materials and mixed them up with some current collection pieces in order to refresh the complete look. This was an emotional exercise for me as with every piece that I pulled out of the archive and started to study, I felt like I was thrown back in time again! Behind every piece there is also a human story and this is the beauty of this project. I believe “Past.Present.Future” gives a beautiful, selected overview of the last 10 years of the brand." Said the designer.
Time flies and the Croatian-born designer dusts off some memory from his time at Raf Simons' atelier before he came into his eponymous one in 2007. "What I also learnt is that there isn't just one way. There's only your way,"More than a decade ago, a fresh and young fashion graduate moved to Antwerp, a bold move that brought about a reality check he describes as "a slap in his face", but also, the birth of a raw, genuine label that spoke to a cult following once it found its atelier.
Research for Androgyny took a special place in the heart of the young dreamer when Yves Saint Laurent's Le Smoking gave women the sartorial power they craved and Jean Paul Gaultier's man skirt handed males the statement they needed to make. This is the birth of Damir Doma. Now, never distracted by fashion's fanfare and working just beyond the brightest glare of the industry's spotlight, he constantly proposes a quiet luxury revolution, just doing what he loves.
How would you say your work has evolved over the years?
I feel the essence and starting points of all the collections are still the same, but I would say that the product changed. Today, we are more professional and mature as a company, which you can see in the final garment. At the same time, I'm still trying to keep a certain naivety when it comes to designing and creation.
What are your overriding memories when you think back to 2006?
There are so many, but obviously the first show was very special for me. We basically started with zero budget, little experience, and a lot of naivety. It felt like some strange dream for the first two years. The first show was staged in a courtyard of a church in Rue des Archives, Paris. I remember writing handwritten letters to a priest who was responsible for the church asking the permission to do my show there. He didn't reply to the first three letters, so finally I had to fly to Paris to talk to him personally and he agreed. The show was very improvised; the first models arrived and we sent them to a hairdresser on the corner of Rue des Archives to fix their hair, the makeup was literally a box of powder from Jean Paul Gaultier and we forgot to bring light for the photographers, so I had to organize it last minute and so on. In the end, it was a great success and from there it all started.
What's the greatest lesson learned from 10 years in the industry? What advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
I think the most important advice I can give is to find out who you really are and what you really want from your life. I believe it's crucial to love what you do and stay true to yourself. That's also something I had to learn over the last few years. I think the only way is your own way!
What excites you most about tomorrow?
I like change and at the moment the ground is shaking and the system is cracking up. I can`t wait to see what's next and how things are going to evolve. I believe it's a fantastic moment for brave people.