Maharam Taps Fashion Designer and Master Colorist Sander Lak to Enhance Wool

“When it comes to color, I have colors I don’t like or combinations I don’t like, but I have been known to change my mind—I never think any feeling is forever,” says fashion designer Sander Lak. While Lak, the creative director behind Sies Marjan, lauded for its colorful and endearingly relaxed ensembles, sets no limits when selecting a palette, he does welcome a challenge. In a just-debuted interiors collaboration, Sak introduces a three-part pigment-drenched wool collection with Maharam Design Studio.

Though Lak’s color proficiency would presume a trouble-free transition to the world of decor, the designer is quick to note the nuances of color within fashion versus interiors. A typical fashion show would consist of 6 to 12 colors max, whereas the Maharam collection allowed Lak to experiment with around 200 hues. And while the relationships between color, light, and application all had to be reconsidered, the brand’s condensed textile offering of heavier, treated materials allowed him to concentrate his ideas. 

Lak begins every design project with a pushpin board full of images. Its never about what the image means its about the...

Lak begins every design project with a pushpin board full of images. “It’s never about what the image means, it’s about the color I see,” he says.

Photo: Pia Riverola

“Sometimes it feels like an endless sea of possibilities of textures, weights, and materials you can use for clothes,” Lak tells AD PRO. “I loved being able to really focus on the colors and let the fabric do what it does and find the best colors for that vehicle.”

Careful considerations were made to achieve that enhanced relationship between color and texture. One of the new upholsteries, for instance, “has a pronounced bouclé texture and therefore creates many different tones as it interacts with light. This requires selecting colors that can adapt those different dimensions without making them muddy or sad,” Lak says. His critical thinking resulted in the richly hued and tactile Gemma, Gemma Multi, and Terra—three uplifting wool upholsteries that will join Maharam Design Studio’s 2021 series dedicated to promoting renewable natural fibers. 

Image may contain Velvet and Paper

“I never think about it, I just kind of feel my way through the colors and pick what my gut tells me to,” says Lak of his instinctual color-selection process.

Photo: Pia Riverola

For Lak, wool’s keen ability to absorb pigment was a fun opportunity to play with color, and the textile’s durability and longevity were plusses too. “I love the idea of a textile being almost ancient,” he says. “Humans have been washing, weaving, and wearing wool since 10,000 BCE. It’s probably one of the first materials humans made fabrics out of, and there is a reason why we still do!”

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