Based in East London, Ada + Nik is a contemporary designer label dedicated to the creation of next-level menswear fashion. Headed by couturier Ada Zanditon and creative Nik Thakkar, darkly sophisticated collections are made with innovative materials and technical detailing, complete with a nod to sustainability. Following their cinematic Immersive Experience S/S16 show at London Collections Men, we caught up with the duo for a chat about fashion inspiration, music and superheroes.
Tell us a bit about the inspiration/s behind your S/S16 collection, SYN.
We wanted to build a vision around the idea of positive co-existence – ‘SYN’ means ‘co-‘ or ‘with’ in Greek. This is symbolic of the Ada + Nik plus sign prevalent throughout the entire collection, from prints to stitching and laser-cutting.
What are the signature pieces?
We have created an incredible leather jacket; minimalist yet perfectly constructed. It is such an important part of our DNA, so we wanted to create a timeless black leather jacket that every single man (or woman) would want to wear as a beautiful wardrobe staple.
We loved the immersive feel of your LCM presentation (which brought fashion together with other mediums like film, music and poetry). What was the thinking behind it?
First of all, thank you! We have had an awesome reaction and wanted to GIVE the guests that came a legitimate experience. Building a world about who we are – our dark black sand romantic dystopia – was incredible, taking art and our artistry to the forefront across every element of the campaign.
Do you think more labels should attempt to involve audiences with designs in this kind of way?
We set ourselves apart in every element of the brand; our voices aren’t heard enough. What we have pioneered is huge, but our work goes unrecognised a lot of the time. The reason we came together was because we are creative pioneers – if we didn’t set ourselves apart from and ahead of the crowd, then I would be worried.
What is the Ada + Nik man like?
What did you have playing in the studio during the production process?
Last Japan and WIFE. Last Japan is a hero, listen to his song Harca – that is the sound of SYN – the sound we had at our immersive experience, it filled the world; the dark dystopia. We used WIFE’s track ‘Bodies’ for the SYN film.
If you could style anyone in the new S/S16 range, who would you pick and why?
Superheroes – in life and death, fiction and reality. We like creative people, people who stand up for what they believe in, who are strong and have ideals that they want to see come to life in the world. Rebels and heroes.
Your label aims to reconcile 17th/18th century pre-industrial revolution menswear with 70’s British punk – how do you make two such different influences work together?
Yes! Look at Hercules or Zeus – they were Gods and wore dresses and kilts and capes. Why should your masculinity be defined by a suit and trousers? Punks were the rebels,that came from London – we are just another vessel to bring that rebellion to a wider audience.
As a duo, how do you split the running of the label between you?
We spend a lot of time together, both in time and digitally. Communication and understanding is very open, and we love working with each other. It makes the creative process fun – we have the same vision.
Have you had any ideas about next season’s collection yet…?
We’re working on that now, you’ll have to stay tuned…