We have teamed up with Bergen-based designer T-Michael for a fun project that is sure to appeal to the tuxedo aficionados among our customers. Usually made from silk, we have created a leather version of a cummerbund.
Born in Ghana and spending his teenage years in London, bespoke tailor and designer T-Michael has been living in the Norwegian city of Bergen for the past 30 years. From his shops in Bergen, Oslo, Paris and Tokyo he sells his impeccably constructed garments and is known for paying an incredible amount of attention to every detail in the design and manufacturing process. That nerdy detail-oriented approach to craftsmanship is right up our alley, making our collaboration a perfect match.
PORTRAIT BY IBRAHIM KASAEV
We talked with T-Michael about the collaboration, inspiration sources and craftsmanship.
Paint the picture for us. In what situation would a leather cummerbund be just perfect to wear, and what does it say about a person that he would wear a leather cummerbund?
I think most of us have a memory of the cummerbund from the ‘80s of some sort. Yes, the pastel ones too. Now let’s forget all that. The T Cummerbund is a new proposal. It is a unisex accessory to be used to style your get up any which way you please. It’s a tool for self-expression! Wear it as a sash on your waist or drape it around your body. It’s all about you telling us something about yourself.
When it comes to developing new designs and products, what are your biggest sources of inspiration?
I am inspired by all forms of creativity really, except fashion. Tailoring not fashion. The way a craftsperson develops a new language- a departure from the traditional- to create new forms and shapes to accentuate their individuality is so intoxicating. This is just what I’m looking to do in my field. A fine blend of old memories and new memories adhered together with a fundamentally truthful approach to self-expression.
Things are slowly changing in the fashion industry and it seems as if there is a new focus on craftsmanship and sustainability - how do you think we can make sure that this is not just another trend, but something that will continue and be an important factor in the future of fashion and consumerism?
Trends are powerful. They dictate all aspects of our lives. Which in the case of sustainability and less consumption makes it just brilliant. However as sure as it’s ‘arrival’ so will it depart. How we mature from that point is the million Cedis question. I believe the answer lies in how we value commodities and services. The value should be placed in the social capital of the product. The rewards will maintain the continuous slow down of our clothing industry, moving past sustainability as a buzzword but rather a prerequisite of all our lives and equipping us with a wholesome and holistic approach to consumption.
Why is it interesting for you to work with a company like Dahlman and how do they match your approach to menswear?
An honest approach to menswear always warms my heart. Dahlman’s way is to bring a historical artisan studio into contemporary times without losing the essence of its core principles. Jeppe Dencker approached me sometime back and invited me to visit his studio when and if I happened to be in CPH. That put Dahlman on my radar. When the T Cummerbund idea sneaked into my creative stream, there was no doubt as to whom I wanted to collaborate with!