Abdul Koroma and Andrew Jones, the unlikely business partners behind the line Modernist, became friends by default as some of the only men working at an Italian design house. Next month will mark their third time presenting at London Fashion Week after entering the Fashion Fringe competition in September 2005.
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They’ll have you know something: They don’t cater to celebrities and can’t even recognise most of the people in their friends’ copies of Heat magazine. But if they ever run into Beyonce, they’ll have a thing or two to say to her (beautiful as she might be). Abdul and Andrew took a break from their latest collection and gave LondonNet the rundown on everything from Dolly Parton to the music scene in Turkey.
So the two of you met at MaxMara in Italy?
Andrew: Right. Abdul was fresh out of university and got his placement in July.
Abdul: We just became friends because we had no other option but to be friends.
How would you describe your partnership?
Abdul: It’s the alchemy of two opposites. We don’t compromise. We blend our styles together.
What is the Modernist woman like?
Abdul: We’re going back to maturity. Our clothes are made in the same factories as Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga in France, so naturally that draws a certain kind of customer. Our woman is in her mid-30s on, or someone with money who likes nicer things, but isn’t completely perfect.
Any hints on what your Spring/Summer 2009 collection might be like?
Andrew: We got the idea of a bride’s trousseau. It’s the polar opposite of last season, which was really dark.
Abdul: There’s no witchcraft…we drew on some new baroque and rococo. We like the idea of hard and soft. We’re using neoprene with duchess.
Do you have any collaborations coming up?
Abdul: We’re working with Burnstock Spears to make something between hats and headpieces for the runway show.
Andrew: We’re doing a short film with ShowStudio, and Unkle is doing the music for it.
Name another designer collection you love.
Abdul: I really liked the Prada winter collection with all the Perspex and fake fur.
What trend should die now?
Andrew: Print handbags.
Whose style has caught your attention?
Abdul: The actress from Don’t Look Now. Julie Christie.
Andrew: Probably Beyonce. Even Tina Turner quit dressing that way.
On a more personal note, where do you go for a good bite to eat in London?
Abdul: Home in Shoreditch.
Andrew: We go to the same places. I’ll say Bistrotheque.
What’s your favourite vacation spot?
Andrew: Amsterdam or Berlin. I’ll say Amsterdam. I’ve never been to either place.
Abdul: My bedroom – I like to sleep. No, Cinque Terre [in Italy].
Name your favourite artist on your iPod.
Abdul: I like some really random Turkish artists. Servet Kocakaya is good.
Andrew: The Kills and Feist.
And your favourite movie?
Andrew: Probably 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton.
Abdul: Don’t Look Now.
What’s your biggest vice?
Abdul: Probably smoking. And tidying up. [Ed. note: This is a vice?]
Andrew: Not tidying up.
– Jill Hilbrenner