Boris Bidjan Saberi is a half German, half Persian menswear designer born on September 11, 1978 in Munich, Germany to a Persian father and a German mother. These biographical factors play a fundamental role in Boris’s formation: they combine dual systems such as West/Middle East traditions and form/formless garments with the designer’s passion for numerology. 11 is in fact the symbolic trademark of BBS and 11 is the name of Saberi’s second line.
Boris was exposed to the clothing and fashion industry from an early age. In 1996, his push to reinvent pre-existing forms drove him to alter Levi’s vintage jeans and military garments: it was the very first demonstration of Saberi’s customized items, destined to inaugurate a long series of future collections. In 2003, Boris began exploring ways to experiment with leather and created his first handmade leather accessories. He then completed his education in fashion design and tailoring in Barcelona, Spain, graduating in 2006.
How did your interest in fashion begin? It began naturally, almost unconsciously. I’ve been a curious child and an even more boundaries-pushing teenager. This desire of knowledge and experimentation has never decreased.
My parents owned a textile factory, it has definitely had an impact on my path. But music above all has driven me where I am; hip-hop, street cultures and my practice of skateboarding. I started exploring the functionality of clothing and began creating my own garments which I wanted protective, just like an armor to make me feel stronger.
Time, passion, experiences have made the rest.
If you had to explain your work or brand to a stranger, what would you say? That my daily basis consists on exploring the limits of garments tailoring with a rising desire for perfection and experimentation.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? My creative process is very essential.
I work on the patterns during evolving fitting sessions; it’s a process which can be very complex and technical but the core of the process is the feel. In that sense it has something very primitive. It’s a constant play between the body and the matter, the proportions and the cut.
The process is similar when we’re seeking material or experimenting treatments. I work with all my senses, not only with the touch or the sight but also with the smell and the hearing. And I think it’s something which remains perceptible at the end of the design process. My garments get this very organic feel and I think that it’s because they’re made with no industrial steps. We really follow the transformation of the matter, we work on its surface—tanning the skins, developing peculiar knitting patterns… then we shape it through tailoring and finishes.. Everything goes through an handmade process and is subject to human alterations.
What’s your favorite thing about your city? Its authenticity. My day-to-day life and the people I’m surrounding by, make me keep doing what I do with the same thirst and energy.
My influences come from what I live, experience and discover daily. Basically here, there are no fashion influences and I believe it does help to keep true to myself and seek inspiration out of my own roots and experiences.
What are you really excited about right now? The new collection we are working on. That seasonal flow is really exciting. Each time it’s a new story to write and besides the pressure that you can’t avoid it’s a good thing to know that you’re challenging your creativity with a limited time frame.
If you hadn’t become a designer what do you think you’d be doing? A car engineer? I believe one can only feel good having found its own path, luckily I’ve found mine and I doubt I would have felt that fulfilled working in the car industry. Still one day, I’ll be designing a car.
What are you listening to right now? Mobb Deep. Odissee.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? We are constantly working on developing new projects. We have created two lines. Boris Bidjan Saberi and 11 by Boris Bidjan Saberi and each have different approaches and in the end it gives a really wide horizon.
We can develop more things, also because we know better how to do them but mostly because we aren’t sated yet. Each step opens a door and it’s a never-ending story. And that’s amazing. Our last big step has been the opening of our first flagship store in New York.
But I wish to keep on moving carefully. If I start something I want to feel that it’s 100% me, that if I move I’m moving with the right people with the right energy.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? Sharing my work and presenting my collections. It’s very emotional to feel that what you’re doing, your vision of things can be shared with so many individuals and encounter a public.
It is the kind of moments that makes you realize what has been accomplished and in what you’ve been putting your energy and devotion over the years.
I’m also gladly realizing this everyday when I see my team working with the same passion on my side, I’m proud of having gathered this crew. This “fashion adventure” made me meet really amazing and talented persons. Recently I’ve got to know Pete Rock who has performed during my store opening; he’s had such an influence in my teen age, I couldn’t imagine getting to know him this way one day.