Rather than the standard top model casting, creative director Sander Lak has recruited five friends from his personal life for special imagery joining Sies Marjan‘s debut collection. Incepted after realizing the support he had of each woman for his new brand, Lak worked with photographer Kacper Kasprzyk and art director Christopher Simmonds on a series of intimate photographs titled the “Girlfriends Project” that contextualize his Fall/Winter 2016 collection with the real world and, specifically, the people that fill it. Revealed on the runway this past February in New York, the label’s first line places neon-romantic urgency—no doubt a shadow from his past work at Dries Van Noten—with the playful, pajama-like ease of fashion today. Featuring Cynthia Scholten, Megan Bowman Grey, Nur Elektra El Shami, Patty Lu, and Trish Goff (connections formed from across the globe), the photographs ground the designer’s friendships in candid moments that sparkle with spontaneity and strings from each narrative.

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