Producing effortlessly deconstructed designs built upon the importance of line and graphic form, New York based designer Dejan Despotovic’s Black’D label works with the balance that lies between negative space, transparency and solid material. Transporting the wearer into an industrial future, the results are powerful and contemporarily unexpected.
Drawn towards what generates contrast and allows duality in how the garment is perceived, Despotovic is focused on the quality of fabric. “I like stiffer fabrics. But when I work with satin silk or lighter materials, I like to play and find a way to make it stronger and more powerful.”
“Everything begins with the first sketch,” says the designer, whose creative process involves him sitting in a room with a single light over drawing paper and classical music as company. “I’m inspired by listening to music that can take me to that state of mind where I start seeing creatures and beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. The point where I start imagining is the real moment of creation.” Reminiscing to his first experiences of producing, he talks of a time spent with his grandmother, who was a seamstress.
“Black for me is the space where you can feel freedom to imagine anything you want,” explains Despotovic when asked about his preference for the lack of colour. “When you close your eyes, you can imagine anything you want, and that is the most important thing for me. To be free to imagine.” An individual who consistently highlights black’s versatility and impact as negative space, he’s able to use it to embody his signature look and design visually impactful garments. “In a black world,” he finishes, “everything is about cut and form”.