What is avant-garde fashion

Designer Boris Bidjan Saberi: "Avant-garde means that you lean out the window"


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It's cool in the dimly lit cellar vault in Berlin-Mitte. Eleven veiled figures lead visitors through the dark halls. Items of clothing hang from the ceiling in eleven beams of light: jackets, pants, shoes. A ghostly sight. Suddenly DJs, beatboxers and drummers break the calm. Two breakdancers let off steam on stage - all dressed in Boris Bidjan Saberi.

"Eleven" is no ordinary fashion show. Saberi shows the highlights of his previous collections in the context of the hip-hop culture in which he locates his style. The designer is considered one of the young and savages on the fashion scene, and he regularly presents his avant-garde men's line in Paris. The son of a German mother and a Persian father sees himself as a craftsman, he likes to work with disguises and idiosyncratic cuts. The most spectacular designs that could be seen in Berlin include a jacket made of transparent leather and a custom-made leather jacket.

ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Saberi, what does hip-hop have to do with avant-garde fashion?

Boris Bidjan Saberi:Eleven should show to what extent my style embodies avant-garde hip-hop. For me, Berlin is hip-hop. It has an insane street attitude compared to other cities in Europe. For me, avant-garde means that you lean out the window and break new ground - that's why my event also takes place outside of Berlin Fashion Week.

ZEIT ONLINE: Wouldn't that have been better for business? After all, you also want to present your collection.

Saberi: I don't see myself as a fashion designer, but as someone who has learned a craft that he can no longer let go because he is too interested. My aim is to make a good product and not to be a famous designer. That's why I don't really care about fashion dates. I have to go to Paris because it stands for avant-garde design. If I didn't do that, it would be my financial ruin.

ZEIT ONLINE: You have the event Eleven called. What's up with the number?

Saberi: The elf is one of my identity points, my birthday. I am a numerology fetishist. This is my quirk. Whether names or styles - I add numbers everywhere.

ZEIT ONLINE: Because of the dark colors of your designs, you are counted as part of the "black fashion designer" family.

Saberi: I am not a color designer. It doesn't suit me. I work with shapes and cuts. For me, perfection means feeling the body - the fabric, the cut, the shape. When I walk across the street, I want to feel protected. That is the origin of the garment. At the same time I want to feel strong, feel every muscle. That's why my pants are so stiff, for example.