SAANNTI is a streetwear brand that creates custom fit, small run, limited edition gender-neutral clothing in bright colors and geometric prints. They made a splash on the fashion scene this April when they debuted their first full collection at Queer Fashion Week in Oakland. SAANNTI was selected for dapperQ’s list of brands to watch in 2015. So, we sat down with the creative visionary behind the brand, Saan, to learn more about SAANNTI’s inspiration and future.
Backstage at Queer Fashion Week
dapperQ: Tell our readers about SAANNTI.
Saan: I’m the founder and I have a great team of creative thinkers and everyday activist who support my vision. Our mission is to provide a framework for people of all gender expressions to express themselves through fashion. We believe everyone has the right to decide their identity and gender. SAANNTI encourages self-expression and self-empowerment. We want people to feel comfortable and confident when they wear our clothes.
dapperQ: Can you tell me a bit about the history and evolution of SAANTI? What motivated you to start the brand?
Saan: It first started when I lived in NYC, buying jackets from thrift stores and redesigning them. SAANNTI has evolved into a luxury street wear brand. From Jackets, to T-shirts, and everything in between. In 2010, I decided to move to the East Bay because I felt that this would be the ideal place to grow the brand. As an artist, the slower pace of East Bay is more conducive to my current creative process.
dapperQ: How would you describe the SAANNTI aesthetic?
Saan: Gender neutral quality crafted clever relaxed fun street-wear.
dapperQ: What inspires your designs?
Saan: Anything and everything, from people that I see walking on the street, to the pattern of the wood grain in a table at a local cafe. My ideas and creativity are limitless.
dapperQ: Tell us about the collection you featured at Queer Fashion Week?
Saan: This was my first collection and it included jackets, pants and t-shirts with geometric shapes bright colors and big bold prints.
dapperQ: Can you describe for those who were not able to attend what the experience/vibe/energy was like at Queer Fashion week?
Saan: One word, Electric! The energy and experience was inspiring and the vibe of QFW was surreal. QFW was the catalyst that push me to share SAANNTI with the community. am so glad I did it!
dapperQ: Many of our readers have problems finding masculine clothes that fit them properly. How is SAANNTI addressing this issue?
Saan: We provide custom fit clothing that can be ordered to fit specific measurements.
dapperQ: How does SAANNTI stand out from some of the other recent queer clothing collections that have launched recently?
Saan: We’re all about creating custom fit, small runs, limited edition and gender-neutral clothes.
dapperQ: How would you describe your personal everyday style?
Saan: Eclectic street wear.
dapperQ: Has it been a journey defining your own personal style?
Saan: Yes, it has been a exciting empowering journey and an ever evolving creation. I’m consistently wearing gender-neutral clothes that I create. My personal style challenges [the] fashion normative and I love defying so called “fashion rules.” I believe there are no rules, and I wear whatever makes me feel comfortable and confident in the moment.
dapperQ: Who or what has most influenced your personal style?
Saan: I would have to say my parents. They owned a fabric store in my hometown and my mother was a excellent seamstress. I guess I would say they taught me the value of personal style.
dapperQ: Who are your fashion icons?
Saan: Alexander McQueen, he created works of art.
dapperQ: What is the one article of clothing you cannot live without?
Saan: A fitted T-shirt.
dapperQ: What can we expect next from SAANNTI?
Saan: Always expect something new at SAANNTI. We’re already preparing for next years QFW.