KO Designer Feature SP Badu
(Above Photo by Tyler Stalman)
Spencer Badu and I met years ago while volunteering for a non-profit fashion based event in Calgary. Not only was Spencer a young and hardworking up-and-coming designer, but also a strong member of the fashion community in Calgary. Always willing to do what he could to nurture the bigger picture for fashion in the city.
Spencer’s brand SP Badu, is a unisex line challenging gender perceptions with minimalistic elements. Contemporary, most often monochromatic and future focused, the consistent messaging on shirts of SP Badu is “post-gender future”. I remember recently being in Toronto and seeing someone walking down the street with the a SP Badu shirt. It was so exciting to see to see the brand in action. There is something magical about seeing clothing in movement. Seeing fabrics take-on a life of their own on a human form is always so exciting to me. I snapped a pic on my iphone and sent it to Spencer immediately with a huge smiley emoji.
It is such a good feeling seeing artists succeed. Especially in Canada. We sometimes feel a bit removed from the NYC-LONDON-PARIS-MILAN circuit, although it’s changing, the evolution of Toronto Men’s and Women’s Fashion Weeks are more easily compared to perhaps Stockholm or Copenhagen, because our Canadian designers are really an island on to themselves.
Spencer has seen quite a bit of success already, when he was in his 2ndyear of Apparel Technology at Olds College he was chosen as a finalist in the Mercedes Benz Start-Up Emerging Designer Competition. Spencer competed amongst established and emerging designers in front of an audience made up of international media and industry professionals to debut their newest collections and won his spot in the finals in the Victoria competition!
Moving to Toronto after graduating in Calgary brings Spencer closer to the kind of support designers need in this country. With resources like the Toronto Fashion Incubator, a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing Canadian fashion designers and entrepreneurs, there is infrastructure in place to help designers succeed. Click HERE to shop SP Badu, or on any of the photos below 🙂
Here is my recent Q & A with Spencer:
KO: Who is the designer who inspires you the most (past or present)?
SP: RICK OWENS
KO: At what age did you decide you were going to design fashion?
KO: What is your earliest “fashion” memory that evoked the feelings inside you:
SP: Watching fashion television, also making painted t-shirts in elementary
KO: How did you start making fashion?
SP:Buying pattern patches and patterns books and learning how to sew and pattern draft.
KO: What is your favorite film?
SP: Paid in full
KO: What are the staples of your own wardrobe?
SP: Comfortable pants are key
KO: What kind of music do you like to listen to while you are working?
SP:Rap, or anything aggressive. usually listen to slow music in the morning or at night.
KO: If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life. What would it be?
SP: Jalloff or jerk chicken meal
KO: Who is your favorite artist?
SP: I have yet to get into art. I’ve been trying to get into it but i don’t have a favourite at the moment.
KO: What decade of fashion has influenced you the most in your own designs?
SP: I think the recent times have really made me comfortable with what I offer i really loved he early 2001 but non of the clothes felt wearable or real.
KO: What did your parents do that help encourage/discourage you in starting your fashion house?
SP: At first they didn’t really encourage it but they know I won’t do anything else so they root for me.
KO: What advice would you give future designers?
SP: Be you, take your time.
KO: Are you superstitious?
KO: What does your creative process look like?
SP:Concept, sketch, design, pattern draft, sampling
KO: How has your style evolved?
SP: In the beginning everything was really simple but as i grew my skills Ive been more daring with my designs
KO: Where do you ideally see your collection in 7 years from now?
SP: Quietly existing around the world known for creating unisex staples
(Above 2 Photos by Neva Wireko, Styling by Bobby Bowen and Make-up by Mila Victoria)