How many of us have our dream job? Sander Lak, the 33-year-old Dutchman at the helm of Sies Marjan, does. 'To be able to create a company like this is a joy, and that gets into the work,' he says from his New York studio.
The crowd of retailers and editors at his AW16 New York Fashion Week debut agreed. Styled by Vêtements' Lotta Volkova, each piece was as wearable as it was beautiful: a floral bias-cut dress; a ballet slipper-pink ruffled sweater; effervescent oranges and yellows. His recent SS17 collection, an explosion of satin in pink, neon yellow, and tangerine, was just as effervescent.
'I start with colour, I end with colour,'
he says. 'I don't feel the need to translate my demons into my clothes; I want
to make things that make me feel happy. There is just this one life and I
didn't want to fill it with negative things.'
Lak cut his teeth on the MA Menswear course at Central Saint Martins before adding jobs with Phillip Lim, Balmain (during the shoulder pad years) and Dries Van Noten to his CV. Fate intervened in 2015 when the chance to start his own label arose, he relocated to New York and Sies Marjan was born.
'Sies is my father's first name, Marjan my mother's first name,' he explains. 'I didn't want to use my own name, I'm not after fame or recognition in that sense but I did want to make it personal.'
He may not want it, but it's coming for him whether he likes it or not.
Available at Matchesfashion.com, prices from £690