“Style is fundamental to everything”, says Luke Meier. The Creative Director of his own brand OAMC, and Co-Creative Director of Jil Sander, is one of the designers who we should focus our attention on. Contemporary culture, traditional tailoring, subtle touch of street culture and the finest materials. We cannot find a designer other than him, who combines all these elements with modern sensibility so flawlessly.
Now, talking about style, which lies at the source of his creation, I asked him how he perceives the term style. “Style to me is the way that you do something. To me this is fundamental and I find it always important. I am always thinking about it. Style is not just a word to represent fashion but what expresses our point of view, our values, our intellect, our feeling. Also, when creating a collection, I always pay attention to individual style for each look and the styling of the overall concept. I look for meaning in every single look. Without style there is nothing.”
He said his surrounding environment made him think about style. “I don’t think it was a person, rather I think it was the formative time when I was growing up. I was, and still am, very attracted to individuality and original thought. Especially the culture I was fortunate to be surrounded by was skateboarding, which celebrated individuality. It was not conformist like organized activities, but rather was something where people with their own point of view were respected. Street culture is fascinating for its individuality. Being independent, being yourself and pursuing what you believe is cool. My generation grew up always being aware of it. What we saw, how to absorb it and how to live. All this related to how to create style.”
He continues his story looking back to Canada, his roots and the place he was born. “My roots are multicultural, so as a personal identity I have mixed perspectives. The West Coast of Canada where I grew up was like that. We have nature and urban culture. We have the culture of European and Asian immigrants, American media culture, and a deep history of the people of the West Coast of Canada. These were mixed together and gave me influence. I think that’s where I was exploring my own style and the process brought me to my creation. A respect towards a mix of various senses, individuality and styles. I have been grateful of the environment in which I grew up. I have my roots deep in Canada as well as in my family.”
His attitude, with which he works on his creation, firmly reflects on his craftsmanship. The garments, which have spirit, are appreciated by people around the globe who “get” it. When asking him if he knows someone who presents an interesting style and message, he immediately mentioned his wife, Lucie. “My wife Lucie has a truly unique idea. Her vision is always pure and clear. Her expression is always interesting and inspirational to me.”
What he tries to express through Jil Sander, which he co-designs with Lucie, and his own brand OAMC is very intellectual. We can find a great sense of balance in it. “I like to express many things but some maybe through subtlety. I always try to express my feelings and still personally do this but because I work with clothes I use ideas in more understated ways to express myself. I also think it’s important to create interesting style through the mixture of references, sometimes easy to understand, other times more complicated. I would like to express the ambivalent sense of balance, which is not always intended for the mass to understand. In a sense, I have a dilemma that I am not expressing my work that can be understood by many people.”
Contrary to his comment, his design creation for OAMC and Jil Sander has earned him a lot of acclaim from many people around the world and both brands have gained a very significant position. What supports its foundation is his sincere, one can say over-sincere, attitude towards its production. OAMC is produced only in a limited quantity in France, Italy, Portugal, and Japan. Many of the fabrics, ornaments and parts that are used for details are developed solely for OAMC. His modern sensibility behind the high quality production is one of a kind.
His sense of balance and way of living are also shown in his belongings that he carries day by day. “What I carry everyday is only my wallet and my phone. Everything else changes. It’s ok that what I take along is always different depending on my mood. Feeling comfortable is most important. You can also change your favourite things. When season changes, your mood changes, and so do preferred colours. By living honestly in your surroundings and mood is what makes you really feel good.”
He also made a comment about his stance on making garments. “I like full canvas tailoring, and I also love strong graphic messages on simple garments like T-shirts and sweat shirts. I appreciate and will wear a wide range of pieces. Focusing on exploring interesting designs with comfort as well as functionality is a never-ending theme. The fundamental concept and basis of creation is to not only to think about the garment but also the “style”. Everyday, seeking for the meaning of style leads to the creation of style. Style is everything.”
Creative Director of OAMC and Co-Creative Director Jil Sander. Having a link to street culture, he mixes tailoring with contemporary culture and utilizes them effortlessly.