Art Comes First x The Kooples
Exclusive Interview With
Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh

the kooples aw16 art comes first sam lambert shaka maidoh

Art Comes First Tie Up with the Kooples

Art Comes First creative duo have collaborated with the Kooples for AW16. When the three Elicha brothers founded their Parisian chic brand in 2008, the name The Kooples was chosen as inspired by the French pronunciation of the English word ‘couples’. Since then, enviably stylish street-cast duos have fronted The Kooples advertising campaigns, and for AW16 The Kooples have called upon creative duos to model.  Well dressed and creative powerhouses, Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh of Art Comes First had previously collaborated with The Kooples on a capsule collection of suave hats. Now the two can be seen dressed in this winter’s slim tailored suiting, fine knitwear and shirting. Something About met Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh  to learn more about Art Comes First, their friendship and which The Kooples item the two won’t leave the house without this cold season.

Something About Q & A with Art Comes First

Please tell us more about your collective, Art Comes First!

Sam: Art Comes First it’s a styling bureau where we offer consultancy to other companies through ( styling, design, research, curation, education, photograph…etc)

Shaka: We started Art Comes First collective in order to circulate sartorial nourishment, oxygenating time-based projects through dynamic collaborations with different creatives in their network. Either in art, music, film, craft, fashion…etc The ACF( Art Comes First) stands for many things, we do in different ways: For clothing line its called AVEC CES FRERES. For collaboration its called ASSOCIATES CREATIVE FRIENDS For craft project its called ALWAYS CUT FIRST. For conceptual artistic project its called ARTIST CANT FEAR. For our inspiration imagery concept its called APERTURE CAMERA FLASH For music its AUDIO COMPILATION FEATURE.

How did you meet?

Shaka: We met outside of a night club though mutual friend of ours, a very spiritual brother Mr Abdul Thiam.

Sam: He said to both of us “I have someone you need to meet”, and we both didn’t realised that we lived in the area west London and went to the same market stall in Portobello every weekend.

How do you work together on a day to day basis? Where do you work from and what are some upcoming projects?

Shaka: I handle the digital side of design and Sam handles the tailoring craft side of the design.

Sam: Well since both are based in different cities right now, I’m in Paris and Shaka is in London, we use WhatsApp and email quite a lot to communicate and send images. If we have something physical to send to each other we just use Eurostar cargo to send, it take just few hours. And during busy seasons we do get to travel to each other’s cities every other weekend. But most of the time its either in the plane on our way to the factory, or hotel after travelling to see some of our main clients.

Shaka: Right now we are working on the music compilation project with this band of brothers from Chicago called Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Including some of our favourite artists.

Sam: We’re also working on Art Comes FIrst book/installation project. It’s a photography book about our travel inspiration culture , muses, styling, events etc…

How does your work for Art Comes First impact what you wear?

Sam: My father was a tailor so it was always about how you presented yourself to people, but this also created certain rebellious way to approach what I wore. We are like the expression they says “you are what you eat” we make sure we wear what we are into at that time no matter the trends.

Shaka: Our main connection with people is through expressing ourselves with clothing, we speak through images so we have to be accurate with what we are trying to say with what we wear.

Sam: It’s very important subject to us.

How do you decide what to wear in the morning?

Sam: As we get older we became very practical so number one thing to consider its colour palette and silhouette. So it became very clear to me I wear black and keep it tailoring.

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the kooples aw16 art comes first sam lambert shaka maidoh

How did Art Comes First get involved with The Kooples? Was there a casting process?

Sam: The first time we met the three brothers was at an event they did about the ART OF TAILORING, we spoke about Savile Row, music, art and culture. And after that they called us back in to do an Art Comes First x Kooples hat collaboration, and then we get more involved with the brand through consultancy.

Shaka: There was not much casting process, Alex Elicha ( men’s creative director) been talking about this new idea of coupling. Using duos/twins/friends as well as romantic couples. But I didn’t even know that he had us (Art Comes First) in mind, when the time came he just kind of pushed us into the studio and that was it.

What was your first experience of The Kooples before starring in the company’s campaign?

Sam: When I was working on Savile Row I kept seeing people in wearing this amazing skinny suits and every time I would ask where they were from they would say The Kooples. Later on I had to put together a styling mood board for a TV show and I found myself chasing this amazing silk bomber they did back in 2012 but it was sold out. I still haven’t found a silk bomber like that.

How did you experience the day of the shoot?

Sam: It was great experience, such nice chilled vibe, the guys really made us feel like rock stars. Through the music they were playing, food, conversation it was like hanging out with mates over a proper chilled weekend.

Shaka: Just catching jokes and all that, we didn’t want it to end.

What was your friends’ reaction to seeing you both on billboards?

Shaka: A bunch of our mates they are like “what you are doing on the black cab mate, Oh now on the bus, come lads its too much” Just making fun but I know they are proud.

Sam: Yes they are very proud, I didn’t even realised how big it was until one of our good mates Armando Cabral, a pretty big mode in New York, posted on his Instagram telling us how impressed he was.

What is your favourite item from The Kooples this Autumn?

Sam: There are few but if I can only choose one, it has to be the lace up black leather boots, I will wear them for the whole season. They work well with suit and jeans. They are going to be part of my everyday look this winter

Shaka: I would say the burgundy single breasted shawl collar suit– it’s perfect for evening events but you can also wear the jacket on its own on the weekend with pair of skinny black jeans and knitwear.

If you could design any item of clothing, what would it be?

Sam: I would design a morning coat I feel like there aren’t many “fashion” ones out there, we need more of them. Well-tailored of course!