mardi 13 mai 2014

Sam Shan: Once upon a time...

He is a boy with a lovable laugh who came from a tiny planet into a big world. Before his life in San-Francisco he lived with his family in a small Burmese farming village. He studied at school made out of bamboo and had to share his textbooks with others. He likes “Alice in Wonderland,” Winnie-the-Pooh and “The Hobbit.” His name is Sam Shan. He is currently studying fashion design at City College of San Francisco and is the creative director of his own brand “Sam Shan”.

I met Sam at his studio in a quiet neighborhood of San Francisco. He welcomed me with a big smile, Oriental music, two whistling parrots, good coffee and sweet profiteroles stuffed with cream.

By Sam Shan

Tell me a few words about yourself.

I was born in Burma. I was fifteen when I finished high school and fled to Malaysia as a refugee. I have lived in Malaysia for about 6 years. I worked in a grocery store, then as a kitchen helper, and finally as a cook. I immigrated to the United States and feel like I am home here.

Was it always your dream to become a fashion designer?

When I was a school kid, I wanted to become an engineer or a doctor because I was good at mathematics and science. But then I fell in love with fashion. I learned sewing. But I felt like being a tailor is not enough for me. I wanted to create. That's how I decided to be a fashion designer.

What kind of women are you inspired by?

Artistic women, modern women, women who dare to do things, women who are in control of their fates while maintaining their femininity and enjoying their lives.

What about Burmese women? Do they inspire you?

I am definitely inspired by my grandmother. She is 89 years old but is still very active. She raised her 7 children alone. She was a seamstress and she taught me sewing.

What is your inspiration?

Actually, I am inspired by everything surrounding me: nature, animals, all of the beauty of things. I am always looking for a different life out there. The life I've never seen. I always have my notebook that I share my thoughts and ideas with. While creating my latest “Scottish” collection I was inspired by my boyfriend's family story. He has Scottish roots.

Dress by Sam Shan
Photographer: Talya Brott
MUA: Emily Juliette Friedricks
Stylists: JJ Cortez and Lencee Bee
Model: Vicky Parubets

What are the materials you work with?

I work with different materials: plaid, tweed, wool, silk, cotton. I try to combine softness and hardness. My main goal is to make women feel comfortable and beautiful. In my latest FW 14 “Scottish” collection I used plaid, a conservative fabric I love and want to bring back to fashion (Author: like Coco Chanel once did).

What items are must-haves in your closet?

Colorful T-shirts, white and pink pants. May be it is just a spring mood, but I feel like I need more colors - pink, yellow. I love Marten's shoes. Also I love bows and especially handbags and purses.

Dr. Martens grey denim floral shoes

Do you have a charm accessory?

Yes. Two pendents that I wear all the time: one is from Yellowstone Park and another one I bought at Grand Canyon.

How do you see yourself in the future?

Oh, I am so exited about my future (laughs). In a few years I'll have my fashion degree. Then my line will be sold online and in boutiques. Ultimately, I will have my own boutiques: here in San Francisco and later in New York, in Europe, in Malaysia, in Thailand. Every woman should look beautiful.

Interview: Albina Patou-Chebykina
Text: Albina Patou-Chebykina, Lina Bailey

Photographer: Alekz Benavides
Model: Indre Raudon
MUA: Luis Granados
Hair Stylist: Raul Forense 
Dress by Sam Shan

Photographer: Chad Jenkins
Model: Lynnann Ford
MUA: Linsi Matteson
Dress by Sam Shan

Photographer: Chad Jenkins
Model: Sara Juel
MUA: Jessica Fraser
Dress by Sam Shan

Photographer: Molly Van Kley
MUA: Molly McCormick
Hair Stylist: Heather Werner
Wardrobe Editor: Sharron Fisher
Assistant: Collette Grina
Dress by Sam Shan

Photographer: Paul Goodsin
Model: Agnes Liong
MUA: Nomi Nguyen 
Dress by Sam Shan

Drawings by Sam Shan: