PHOTO BY CG WATKINS
For those who appreciate the debonair ease of a dress shirt but seek to avoid its monotony, Sidian, Ersatz & Vanes are likely what you’re looking for—although that may have not been their aim at the start. “It certainly wasn’t the case that we were trying to fill a gap that was missing,” says the group, who keep their identities mum and correspond collectively via e-mail. “Dress shirts—or just shirts, as the English would say—made sense to us as a product that fit the aesthetic ideas we are concerned with, and we didn’t want to go through a process of reinvention from scratch.”
Working off a classic concept has likely helped the trio focus more on their ever-expanding palette of patterns and colors, a sort of signature that has gotten the attention of chic shops like Opening Ceremony, who sell their capably cut pieces in stores and online. “Of course it’s quite exciting to see the shirts in shops around the world and people wearing the pieces,” the trio says. “But it’s very fulfilling to see and handle a piece of clothing that started out as just an idea only a few months earlier.”
The aforementioned exercise is an important one, and it’s often a rift between the three creatives that determines what inventive and unsullied designs will appear on the traditional canvas with which they work. “It can often just be a matter of personal taste, which can sometimes be quite straightforward,” explains the troupe. “But at other times, that can cause tension between the three of us. However, when it’s the latter is when it’s likely to be an interesting design.”
Whatever the three mysterious shirt-makers are doing seems to be working—trendsetters like Frank Ocean and members of Arcade Fire have been spotted sporting the shirts as of late. “Even though our objective isn’t celebrity led, it’s quite a thrill nonetheless,” the brand admits.