In Conversation With: Nathan Korn

Interview by Sophie Cull-Candy

Hi Nathan, thanks for chatting with us! Could you share a bit about yourself and where you’re from?
My pleasure! I’m a menswear and print designer from London. I like to read and write and cook and can’t stop buying cute and/or beautiful little objects from eBay and charity shops. It’s getting to be a serious problem.

You studied Print at CSM, how did you find your time there?
I did, yes. I really enjoyed it for the most part, there are lots of aspects I do miss and lots that I don’t. I miss the freedom and the way all my time was spent creating. I think I took that for granted. I really don’t miss making food runs to Waitrose at 9PM or having to satisfy others with reasons for why I’m doing things. ‘Because I want to and I like it’ is a good enough reason.

Since graduating you’re now at Fiorucci – how do you find the balance between working for a fashion house and creating for your own label?
It’s tough! But I kind of love it. I’m lucky that I don’t have to travel too far to get to work and I have a home studio where I have almost everything I need. Being in town during the day also means I can get stuff from Kleins on my lunch breaks which is pretty useful. My job at Fiorucci is creative so it feels like I’ve spent all day warming up, all day winding the motor, then when I get back I feel like I have all this pent-up energy that I need to expel. Usually that pent-up energy is crossed with tiredness and hunger so I try to rest a bit first in case I end up heatpressing my face or stitching though my hand.

The Nathan Korn aesthetic is very unique, the luxury beading and 3D flowers are truly beautiful – can we expect to see more of this in your next collection?
Thanks! That’s so nice to hear. I have a very conflicted relationship with those flowers but people seem to like them, and I know I do too, somewhere deep inside of me. I definitely won’t be doing such a wide range of colours but yes, I am planning on using them in my next collection, even if it’s just for styling purposes.

I adore your glitter vinyl T’s – what inspired these?
Beautiful boys, of course! Beautiful boys having orgasms. Although everyone seems to think they’re crying. There were two t-shirts in my final collection which I really loved but didn’t really seem like main events against some of the other pieces. I wanted to do something else with the glitter faces, hopefully something that I could sell and that people wanted to buy, so I started doing these t-shirts with the smaller faces, and one with a larger abstract garden pattern.

Whether it be designer, photographer or musician etc, who would you most like to collaborate with and how?
It would be a dream to collaborate with Pierre Et Gilles. They are my absolute favourite photographers, the way they celebrate beauty in such a pure and extreme way is something I feel I can relate to. If they ever used any of my designs in their work I think I’d have an aneurysm. If I ever have an aneurysm caused by anything less than that I’ll be really disappointed. The there are people who I’d love to dress, like Ezra Miller, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Welch, Frank Ocean… they’re probably my top ones at the moment. I think they would all be perfect pairings.

For your first collection ‘Sweat and Honey’ there was a clear focus on sexuality and you say it was born out of the frustration and compulsion to conceal them – could you tell us a bit more about the process behind your inspiration for a collection? Do you often use emotion as the kick-start?
Always. I have tried using more basic catalysts but I feel like it never rings true, I can’t get fully into it if I can’t feel it, if I don’t understand the emotional language, or if it isn’t there at all. I need a story and a feeling and a mood, and the music playing in the background and the way the characters are thinking, the memories they want to relive, what they want and what they need and how they smell. I’d love to create a fragrance, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time but I’ve never been sure where to start. I’ve found sexuality is really important to my process as well, I don’t find anything nearly as inspirational as having that part of my mind stimulated. I feel like I’m finally embracing my own sexuality and I want it to be clear that it’s something I’m proud of, and that I feel lucky to be able to be have this experience as a gay guy.

What can we expect to see from the label in 2018?
Super gay. Beautiful. Witty. New t-shirts. And if anyone wants to give me some tips on how - maybe even a fragrance.

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