Studio-1X has more than fashion on its mind. With curated apparel designed around themes of social impact, S1X is looking to not just change the industry, but the world. Working outside the confines of a normal label, Studio-1X focuses its work on heightening the conversation rather than merely promoting its pieces. To do this, it forefronts and discusses artists, featuring work from a series of creatives in bi-weekly drops of both fashion and additional content like articles or podcasts.
The label’s first collection, Industry Standards, features works in the form of limited-edition apparel and prints by up-and-coming European contemporary artists whose works around industry, supply chains, and consumption made them “a good match for the first collection,” says the brand. To coincide with its first launch, Schön! spoke with the label to hear more about its innovative and intriguing process.
One of your founders, Ida Josefiina, recently wrote a piece on Medium describing the history and ethos of Studio-1X. Can you tell us more about how your experiences travelling and working in different places and industries inspired the creation of S1X?
S1X is the result of nearly a decade of active reflection, reading, and interactions with people around the world. It’s a philosophical, social, and intellectual effort to try and solve the problem of how we can use culture as a way to encourage intellectual pursuit, and minimise the negative effects of an overly accelerated world. We want our generation to be critical, community-driven, and demanding of justice. S1X is effectively our response to solving this problem.
Continuing with that Medium piece, why is art such a powerful tool in fighting polarisation?
A few years ago I saw an artwork by Mexican artist Dámian Ortega at the White Cube in London. One of his works was a poster that depicted the political and economic centre of the world as a set. Underneath it read, “When arguments don’t count and lies are accepted as the truth, democracy as we understand it ceases to exist.” I couldn’t get this out of my mind for months. For the first time I felt that I connected with art as a medium. His work understood me and allowed me to have a dialogue on how I saw these issues.
Art forces us to reflect. I consider it to be among the highest forms of knowledge because it will never deliver information without requiring your participation. I think that participation is key in taking the space and attention to really try and understand. Comprehension, reflection, and knowledge fight polarization, and art creates room and environment for those elements to come alive.
You’ve said S1X produces collections around topics that drive social impact. Could you explain the creative process here and how you work with artists?
S1X is about challenging what it means to be a brand in the 2020s. I care about collective social consciousness, community, and self-expression. I want to live in a world where intellectualism is sexy, and clothing can be about more than just beauty and luxury.
As creative directors, my co-founder Tiina Peuna and I go through periods of research and reflection to see which social issue inspires and speaks to us. We then start mapping it out, writing premature curatorial texts and collection briefs, after which we find artists we believe would be suitable for responding to the brief. We then work together with the artists to see how their ideas, concepts and works could fit on garments and prints.
Our first collection, Industry Standards, came to be during lockdown when different supply chains globally were cut down because of the restrictions, and revealed a lot of the invisible and fragile forces that enable us to access to everyday products. We had already been talking with some of the artists for some time, Leo Luccioni and Rafael Perez Evans, and their work revolves around topics of supply chains, industry and consumption, so it was a good match for the first collection.
Explain your “drop” process and how it differs from others in the field of streetwear.
We release our collections in bi-weekly drops, revealing a new collaboration with each drop. We work in this way in order to highlight each edition and communicate the ideas behind it for a period of time. Each drop is released with articles unwrapping the creative process behind the artwork. This process also reduces waste, as each product is made to order.
How do you see the role of the artist altering as the world undergoes major changes, specifically in regards to artists’ development as leaders? How does S1X accelerate this?
We really see artists are harbingers as change. We work with artists whose practice comments, questions, and challenges societal behavior, who use art as a means to stimulate discussion and influence change, raising awareness of unconscious habits, prejudice and blind-spots. Art isn’t about being politically correct, civil, polite, or careful. It’s raw, it’s honest, provocative and has the ability to call out bullshit. The position of an artist in society is invaluably important just because of how revealing it is, or can be. We want those ideas to be democratized and circulated to the masses instead of staying exclusively inside gallery and museum walls, or within elite circles of the art world.
What is the place of a social impact-driven brand in that ecosystem?
It’s created for those who appreciate something more than just beauty and luxury. S1X is about intellectual pursuit, community, and self-expression.
How do you hope to grow S1X in the future?
I want S1X to make people question what the role of a brand is, and be more critical about the industry as a whole. We will always grow off of a limited-edition basis, ensuring sustainable production and making sure we always prioritize highlighting the value of the concepts and ideas being relayed in each collection and collaboration.
portrait photography. Selene Alexa Pliez