Basic Colour Instinct with Zomer

Relying on instinct over inspiration, designer Daniel Aitouganov and stylist Imruh Asha underscored Zomer’s values and beliefs at the brand’s official debut show in Paris. For Fall-Winter 2024, the duo started with the radical slashes of Lucio Fontana, the Argentinian artist famed for his Spatialist paintings and languid sculptures. From there, without being beholden to the inspiration, the studio embarked on their own artistic odyssey with painting sessions. The prints were scanned and superimposed on fabrics. The impactful works of Fontana fed into a rich textile story which saw wool, leather (a sponsorship from ECCO Leather), and silk accentuate depth of field within each look.

The contrast between Aitouganov’s love for drapery and Asha’s sculptural touch manifests itself in silhouettes. The former plays with volume and proportion while the latter’s touches can be seen in slits in dresses and the expert styling. Embedded in the world of high fashion, the two bring a sophisticated touch to an otherwise theatrical and playful oeuvre. Every look bursts with colour and texture, an honest and pointed refusal of the quiet luxury trend. What’s more exciting than that?

“This is a continuation from our first season. We looked at what worked and felt closest to our shared DNA. It’s a mix of all these elements,” said Asha, sharing the call with Aitouganov.

By Paul McLauchlan

What was the initial starting point for this collection?


Daniel Aitouganov: Our starting point this season was the artist [Lucio Fontana]. We like to have references to art in our collections and Fontana is very dear to us so we dove into his work. 

Imruh Asha: [His work] plays into the overarching move in the collection. It kind of reflects the time that we live in poetically. We don’t want to portray any negative emotions but it’s like a little cut in the world. However, we’ve done it in a very positive way in the show. We also work with more instinctive shapes; it’s not always a straight reference through other eyes. 



What has been a takeaway from your debut collection last season?


DA: We had quite some time with the first collection because we were laying the foundations for the brand and everything ran quite smoothly. Of course, this season, you have to deal with production, which takes a big chunk of your time, meaning you have less time for the collection. We’re learning even more this season so we’ll take those learnings into the third season.

IA: Both of us have been working in the industry for quite some time and developed a certain skill set. The first season was way smoother than we expected. We had a network, we had people who wanted to collaborate with us; we understood the logistics of hosting a show. We stepped into things on a higher level than if we had started when we first met eight years ago. 



What excites you about fashion today?


DA: Everyone is talking about the Margiela moment and how [John Galliano] is bringing back the theatrical spectacle of the 1990s. It’s a nice example of something exciting. [It’s a similar idea] to why we wanted to start the brand because we felt something was missing in fashion. We wanted to bring a certain playfulness and sense of humour into our visuals.

IA: I love being surprised by a fashion show. It happens at every show and the surprise for me is being able to see new things as soon as the model walks out. It’s the newest thing that you can see every hour. I like to see new things, innovation, the modernity of brands, and certain brands pushing their designs.


What’s something you’re optimistic about in the industry?


IA: When I go to shows, I want to see artistic expression, and a lot of brands are placing the clothing that you will see in the shop on the models. We love to dream more about a narrative or the story of a brand rather than just looking at the clothing that is going to be in the shop. To us, it’s an artistic expression. It’s always optimistic. It’s made to spark people’s imaginations in a positive way. That’s something I’m optimistic about.


What’s a fashion mantra you would like to suggest?


DA: Wear more colour! People feel safe in black and beige and it’s so mass market. 

IA: I agree. In Western culture, people wear more black, navy, beige because of the environments they live in – cities like Paris, New York, London or Milan. When you travel to places like South America, Southeast Asia, or Africa, [you feel] the environment, nature, food, animals, and people adapt to their environment in the way that they dress. We should try to bring this global colour palette back. 


This interview has been lightly edited.