Adi, Ange, and Gabi are the fashion visionaries known as threeASFOUR. Today’s fashion exists in a world that is constantly changing and adopting new ideas that it seems impossible for someone to stick out as unique and innovative, and yet with one look at their work and how they operate threeASFOUR always sets itself from the pack. They don’t work the way other labels operate and which produces clothes that most people don’t expect. Great looks that seem to exist in past styles and future trends. What I also love about their work is that there is a level of emotion that feels honest. A lot of the times I’ll review a collection that was designed on the concept of love or peace and the whole collection comes off as cheap melodrama. threeASFOUR find a way to achieve what is very hard to do, convey what they really feel into their product. A great example is their recent collection where they collaborated with the legendary Yoko Ono. There was not only the references to Ono’s work, but her messages of peace were also present and none of it felt tacked on. Their runway show was a great mix of show and performance art. As soon as I saw their last show I knew I wanted them in the magazine and I am very pleased to have all three designers get together and collaborate on this piece and present their answers as a group, just like they design.
I want to start with the latest collection where you collaborated with Yoko Ono and brought back her performance work “Cut Piece”. So take me through the process of coming up with an idea, and how the clothes come out of that, and then the performance piece that was done for the runway show?
THREEASFOUR: First, we’d like to say that we love Yoko Ono as an artist, musician, performer, and humanitarian. She is very inspiring as a woman who still keeps her love and enthusiasm for life. As she said in her latest birthday on stage at BAM (She just turned 77), to all women around the age of 40, your life is only in its midway and hope for plenty of surprises for the second half!
The three of us have been close friends of Sean Lennon for years now, and he came up with the idea of us using his mother’s rarely seen series of drawings. Sean proposed to do threeASFOUR prints and we felt the idea was very appropriate. We subsequently started developing a collection in close back and fourth with Yoko for a few months. She loved everything we developed in terms of the dot drawing prints and later continued to love the styles we created, and so on it was a surprisingly natural interaction and a very fluid process.
threeASFOUR is definitely not just a commercial line. Is there any struggle keeping true to your vision and pleasing buyers?
THREEASFOUR: We feel we have developed pieces through the years that appeal to a wider audience and have kept us in business while not diminishing our design integrity. This has resulted into a variety of signature threeASFOUR pieces that have been evolving through our experience in clothing construction. We learned that we are very considerate to what our customers propose and what our buyers suggest. We love what we do and we like that same passion to translate in our product without compromise. It is actually VERY challenging to achieve that, and we welcome the task with great pleasure to have everything we make with the best = price / quality / creativity.
How did threeASFOUR get started and what were you all doing before?
THREEASFOUR: threeASFOUR started with As FOUR, where we had an extensive experimentation with fashion,art, and performance. threeASFOUR finds its passion in a specialized product that brings a balance of those fields.
threeASFOUR is considered more of an artist’s collective than just a fashion house, so what is alluring to you about fashion?
THREEASFOUR: Fashion is about motion, evolution It is about change: a challenge of staying fresh and passionate and we love that the moment you give birth to one collection you are upfront with the task of the next one a face to face with the ups and downs that enables us to face our self.
Who is your biggest style icon?
THREEASFOUR: Hard to say. It is so general how we feel Human history has had many beautiful people who were able to shine style icons from races and places and periods in time but in general everyone is beautiful and all things.
Do you remember the first person you met that embodied your ideals of fashion should be?
THREEASFOUR: There are so many on such different levels mom? dad? the doctor?
So who is at your fantasy dinner party of past and present figures?
THREEASFOUR: Anyone who genuinely appreciates the food the wine and the company.
Are you concerned with making a statement with your work?
THREEASFOUR: We are learning as we go and our intention is to be able to express ourselves truly and clearly.
What’s your take the current state of fashion?
THREEASFOUR: It is a market of an ever increasing and ever varying product the rising interest in fashion is very inspiring.
Do you think threeASFOUR could exist in another era? 70’s 20’s, etc?
THREEASFOUR: We are so happy and grateful to be alive in the present era but if we would have happen to meet in past or future life we would still do what we do since we consider ourself timeless!
Do you have a favorite era?
THREEASFOUR: The NOW: Now is a wonderful time.
Any secret interests, like civil war buff or something?
THREEASFOUR: Peace, because war is over if you want it and peace is never out of fashion.
Is location important to the creative process? Could you do this outside of New York?
THREEASFOUR: No, No, No! We loooooove New York City!
What is a fashion trend that you see on the street that you hope would just die already?
THREEASFOUR: We welcome trends as awarenesses of moments that reflect events in time and since time passes eventually they fade out naturally.
Who do you design for?
Most people don’t like the labels that people give them whether they are positive or negative, do you like the term avant-garde? Does that term mean anything to you?
THREEASFOUR: We have come to learn that public opinion is very valuable whether positive or negative it usually applies from the angle it is coming from our challenge is how to use that information constructively avant garde is a term used frequently to describe what we are doing it is welcome.
Do you read the reviews?
THREEASFOUR: It is so fascinating how much you can find out about the writer through the review.
What do you think are the differences between fashion and art, or is there any separation?
THREEASFOUR: In both there is a process of creation and a subsequence of imitation our life is full of both and they are equally as necessary to one other.
Would you like to move into creating for any other mediums? if the opportunity arise
THREEASFOUR: Sure, why not?
(threeASFOUR is a fashion label from New York City, you can view more about the company at their website http://threeasfour.com)
Original interview at Letter To Jane