I always knew I wanted to be successful, but never knew how to get to that point because becoming a fashion designer seemed like a fairytale. -Dominic Sondag
A newcomer to menswear, designer Dominic Sondag of SK Manor Hill is making waves in the fashion field.
With his conscientious construction and attention to detail, Sondag’s aesthetics were the key pieces to make his brand pop to us. Deep appreciation of meticulous craftsmanship, timeless design, and long lasting quality are rare in the new wave of millennial designers. Ingeniously, Sondag doesn’t disappoint.
As one of the over 1000 brands to exhibit during New York’s Men’s Week festivities, I got a chance to speak with Dominic Sondag during Capsule tradeshow about his upcoming collection, design inspiration and the challenges he faces as a New York City based designer.
Words + Interview: Yasmin Yusuff
Yasmin Yusuff: Where are your pieces produced? Where are the materials sourced?
Dominic Sondag: Everything I make is produced in New York City using mostly Italian and Japanese fabrics. The floral print for this season is from India, and it’s a woodblock print. There is also some organic cotton and linen included in the collection. I choose to use natural materials for the buttons on my pieces as well, such as shell, corozo, and bone.
YY: As far as your influences for this collection and your overall design process, what are they?
DS: My influence is always about a worldly vibe. I come from a Chinese, German, and Irish background, and I have done a bit of traveling myself. I try to add a global perspective to my clothing because I’m multi-cultural. I also draw inspiration from vintage pieces and traditional garments from cultures all around the world. I want my pieces to be both relaxed and comfortable but with elegance and sophistication.
DS: My upcoming SS17 collection in particular is inspired by arid climates, the desert, and travel- of course.
YY: Your ideas- how long do they take to process? For you to bring them to life?
DS: Not long, because I’m constantly dreaming of new things I want to make, so it was more of an editing process.
SK Manor Hill SS16 lookbook
[Dominic Sondag models his very own SK Manor Hill SS16 lookbook]
YY: And your ideal customer, who is it?
DS: Someone who’s in the creative world. Someone who has a great appreciation for art and clothing. Someone who appreciates the details in clothing- where and how its made. Travelers will appreciate my aesthetic as well. I think the best market for my clothing at this time would be Japan. I haven’t been to the country itself yet, but before I started this brand I got the opportunity to work with one of my favorite designers, Daiki Suzuki of Engineered Garments. He’s Japanese, but based in New York. By working with him I got to see how he gets things done. I think it’s got a lot to do with the Japanese culture that puts emphasis on their appreciation for clothing design.
YY: Why did you get into designing?
DS: It was just always something that I loved; I’ve always cared the most about clothes, I’m not too sure why – it was something innate. I didn’t really figure out what I wanted to do until I went to school in Florence, Italy for a fashion design program after graduating from a school in San Francisco, California with a degree in Graphic Design. It was an eye-opening experience because before that time I didn’t have any formal fashion-focused coursework. I always knew I wanted to be successful, but never knew how to get to that point because becoming a fashion designer seemed like a fairytale. But from that point on I was able to gain the tools to do so – and that meant a lot.
YY: Are there any challenges with being an emerging designer in NYC?
DS: Yeah! [Laughs]
DS: It’s a great place to be manufacturing, New York. It’s a small radius where you can get everything done; it’s all right there. I get to oversee everything. I’m not outsourcing anything. And of course the press here is great. The difficulties would be budgeting, funding this by myself – that’s a little challenging.
For more information on Dominic Sondag and SK Manor Hill please visit, www.skmanorhill.com