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British menswear retail giant oki-ni recently had the opportunity to sit down with Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders. Having left his life as a Hollywood agent behind to establish Band of Outsiders in 2004, Sternberg’s brand has made a name for itself with a tailored yet casual aesthetic that harkens back to the effortless cool of the East Coast of old. Speaking to oki-ni, Sternberg touched on his love of films and Hollywood past while also sharing insights into the inspirations behind the name of the brand, the aesthetic of the brand itself, and even how he would dress Eric Cartman and Kermit the Frog if given the opportunity. Choice excerpts can be seen below while the interview can be viewed in its entirety here.
Fans of fashion or film will probably know that the name Band of Outsiders is borrowed from Goddard’s 1964 film Bande à part. Did you chose the name simply because you like the sound of it, or is there something deeper than that?
I chose it at first because of the phonetic impact, how different it sounded from other fashion brands at the time, but still powerful and appropriate somehow. Then I had to work out all of the other associations – the connection to the Godard movie and my experience with film in general, the literal interpretation of rebellion and solitude, and the contradiction within the phrase itself as one doesn’t think of outsiders being part of a community – and make sure everything still felt honest and not too serious.
In the past we’ve written about film’s ability to create fashion icons, but which, in your opinion, are the strongest looks in film history?
Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor – he pretty much wears the same thing throughout, a melton wool peacoat, grey tweed blazer, Shetland wool sweater, chambray shirt, faded denim. Bud Court in the shearling peacoat and plaid turtleneck in Harold and Maude. And of course Sean Connery wearing nothing but a diaper-like cod piece and a gun holster in the completely friggin’ insane, cult sci-fi classic Zardoz.
Do you ever use characters from films as direct reference points for collections, and are there any overt film references in this season’s SS12 pieces?
Sure, there are always film stills up on the board season to season – lots of Jean Pierre Leaud from Truffaut films. SS12 lightly references Gene Kelly in Singin in the Rain, George Chakiris in West Side Story, and the uptown snobs in Whit Stilman’s Metropolitan.