Frédéric Sanchez’s work has always managed to induce a kind of synesthesia, blurring the lines between what people hear, see, and feel. Among the most in-demand sound designers in the biz, the 46-year-old musician and producer has created sonic landscapes for Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy fashion shows, among many others. Surprisingly, Sanchez didn’t even attempt to play an instrument as a kid growing up in Paris—rather, a Beatles album inherited from his older sister sparked a voracious curiosity about sound that led him to the ambient and experimental works of John Cale, Brian Eno, and Robert Wyatt. “Listening to music became my passion,” he says. “I transformed that passion into work, but it almost happened by coincidence.” After dropping out of college, Sanchez worked briefly in the theater and then ran an eponymous record shop in Paris that doubled as an art gallery and a performance space. (He shut it in 2002, citing the onerous time demands of operating a retail business.) But a chance meeting with the elusive Martin Margiela in 1988 led Sanchez to his first job assembling music for a fashion show. “I didn’t know much about fashion,” he admits, “but I was very into artists like Roxy Music and David Bowie, which led me to fashion.” Since then, Sanchez has composed original sound installations for not only his fashion clients, but a number of galleries and museums, including the Louvre. He has also begun to create original multimedia works that integrate music, photography, and film. “When I work with fashion, I often collaborate with other artists, so it’s more of a conversation,” he says. “The job is to create sound images that reflect the fashion. Whereas when I do work for galleries and museums, it’s only me, and I’m trying to create a sound installation that will allow each person to have a unique experience, so that they visualize an image based on what they hear.”
PHOTO: FREÌDEÌRIC SANCHEZ IN PARIS, JANUARY 2013. SUIT: PRADA. TOP: SANCHEZÂ?’S OWN. HAIR (FOR ALL ARTISTS): NAOKI KOMIYA/JULIAN WATSON AGENCY. SPECIAL THANKS: KOBY BOAFO AND OSKAR GYLLENSWAÌ?RD.