For Saul Nash, it’s always been about “liberating people through movement.”
With a background in performance dance and a Caribbean heritage, the designer couples these aspects with his London identity to create sportswear that breaks down masculinity and stereotypes. His most recent collection, Fall/Winter 2023, juxtaposed the uniforms prescribed to inner-city environments with a sense of aspiration, dreaming of how activewear can be a transformative garment, while his work with Mercedes-Benz also went on to explore how clothes and the wearer interact with one another.
Now, the 2022 International Woolmark Prize winner invites Hypebeast into his Somerset House studio to inform us about his working practices, collections, influences, and more in the latest installment of Hypebeast Visits.
Explaining the brand’s ethos in a nutshell, Nash told us: “Within sportswear, there’s a lot of loaded stereotypes. I think, when I first started my brand, I wanted to challenge the preconceived ideas around what sportswear means. Can sportswear be a smart object? Does it always have to be seen to be worn [by] a certain demographic of people? What was always key for me is to elevate the idea of it and almost cause the audience looking at my work to perceive the people in my work in a different way.”
Once the patterns are made and the materials are chosen, Nash often explores his cultural roots. Flags that represent his mother’s and grandparents’ lives are scanned and manipulated across technical jackets, creating gradient effects that, as the designer puts it, look like “landscapes.”
His sportswear is unlike anything else in the industry. “What’s great about sportswear is that the extremities are endless,” explains Nash. “Anything can happen in sportswear, I think. And that’s what’s really exciting for me in sportswear, is that you can explore worlds that don’t fit, but then there’s also this explorational function. I’m really excited as a designer to think about a function or a purpose or to give a reason to everything. That’s how my brain thinks.”
For more insight, watch Hypebeast Visits: Saul Nash above.