SSAP’s Mel Sangsomsap has been in an empire state of mind lately. The NYC-based designer’s Fall 2013 collection is entirely made in New York City, from knits woven in the Bronx to garments dyed in Brooklyn. Here, Ms. Sangsomsap shares a few more secrets behind her new collection, as well as a peek at the new collection.
Please tell us the theme of the collection. Did it reveal itself in surprising ways?
There is no particular theme for this collection. I just like to take inspiration from what I see in everyday life, and many times it ends up completely unthemed; it’s like a journey where I start with an idea but collect things along the way which lead me to realize a whole different story. It is less a theme and more of a story.
What does this particular collection mean to you as the designer?
I feel like I’ve grown so much since my last collection. It is because I’ve gotten to know my customers better and understand the market. But most of all, I’ve spent so much time trying to identify the essence of my brand. This collection truly illustrates the SSAP man, and what SSAP really stands for.
Are there any secrets of the studio we might share?
This season I decided to do cut and sew knits. I created a short sleeve sweatshirt tee, which I’ve never done before. I wanted to keep all my products made in New York so finding a factory for this collection was a quest to me. After much searching, I finally found a knit factory in the Bronx and randomly stumbled upon a dyeing service in Brooklyn, just couple blocks away from my apartment.
Since we’re thinking about your fall collection, can you share with us a memory of your best back-to-school look ever?
I had to wear a school uniform so the only thing that was fresh was my sneakers!