Style / May 2017

Sciamat: Shouldering The Weight of Creativity

Translated from the original Persian, Sciamát means ‘the king is dead’, which gives you an idea of how brothers Valentino and Nicola Ricci have revolutionised men’s sartorialism with their original creative expression and uniqueness of vision.

Kris Van Assche, the creative director of Dior Homme, was recently quoted as saying: “The suit has become [such] a place of intense creativity now that it’s divested itself of its heaviness and conformity.” Similarly, it was the intense search for new creative expression, combined with a pared-back simplicity in execution and a divestment from heaviness and conformity, that motivated brothers Valentino and Nicola Ricci in 2002 to create Sciamat, what may well be the most original new voice in the men’s sartorial lexicon since Attolini and Scholte ripped the padding out of suits. To begin with, the name of their brand is a provocation. Translated from the Persian word ‘sha-mat’, it means ‘the king is dead’, which, Valentino says with a broad and charismatically devious grin, “alludes to our revolutionary vein”. In a conversation I had with Samuel L. Jackson, he explained that, “When Quentin [Tarantino] and I were filming Pulp Fiction, we thought we were making it for ourselves and the people we knew. We didn’t realise it would be a global phenomenon.”

Similarly, rap billionaire Dr. Dre has said that during the formation of the seminal gangsta-rap group N.W.A, “We were making the music for ourselves. We had no idea it would cross over like that.” What the world rewards — as evinced by the reaction to iconoclastic voices like those of e.e. cummings or Joey Ramone — is originality and uniqueness of vision. And while you could make the argument that the fundamental blueprint of men’s classic style has remained unchanged beyond the cyclical pattern of growing and shrinking proportions, Sciamat manages to be completely different while adhering to the perennial craft-based roots of tailoring.

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Wei Koh

The Rake's Founder & Editorial Director.