Though few designers choose Russia to be home to their first ever presentation, this is exactly what designer Gio Forbice did for his new brand DarkDron. Away from London, New York and Paris, he sought to strip away all elements of a usual fashion show set-up to create an incredibly liberated show without allocated seating or a regimented schedule. As a result, it took at least an hour to find your way out once inside the venue—an intriguing experience for anyone who dared to attend.
This, however, is exactly what Forbice wanted to achieve, leaving attendees with a memory to hold onto once they left. The brand’s website shows a white dove flying out of flames, which the designer said represents the freedom that everyone owns, but somehow can never really have. This probably explains his core rationale for trying to push the boundaries of self expression—the ability to really own an identity when you’re given no restrictions.
We sat down with Forbice, whose previous collaborators include Hood By Air, Opening Ceremony and Sanrio, to hear all about his new exciting project.
What inspired DarkDron?
“Darkdron is a scary dream, terrifying future perspective or reflection of the anxious past experience. I’m really into ’80s or ’90s sci-fi and horror films. I wanted to mix those influences to create a new kind of story—a story that has a purpose.”
Tell me about the transition from your previous footwear label Forfex to DarkDron.
“Darkdron is a bigger experience. It’s not only about clothing and footwear, but also about the story that stands behind it. There’s something more unique to it.”
Your SS ’16 presentation was held in Moscow. Why did you choose this location for your debut?
“I wanted a special place and we found that bunker 65 meters underground with no reception and clear connection to the rest of the world. People came inside and didn’t have an idea of where they were and what they were about to experience. It’s the same for anyone who sees the presentation images for the first time: crashed bike with the girl crying, a boy with an axe, missing girls and chained victims. You don’t take it literally as a fashion show—there is space for your interpretation. Every good story has it, you know.”
The presentation had a gritty punk vibe. How would you describe the experience?
“I wanted people to step out of their comfort zone. Some were really scared, some wanted to quit, some were interested in what was coming next, some got ecstatic from what was going on. It was an experience for those who came—some kind of life moment quest.”
Where are you currently based?
“Darkdron is not a Russian brand. I live in the countryside of Italy and I think it’s a mirror of my aesthetic. Living here is some kind of trap, which makes me strong with a sick mindset.”
Going through the collection, most garments are unisex. Is this the core of DarkDon?
“I believe so. Even the pieces that were originally selective for men gets me thinking how sexy they would look on girls. I like that baggy, unpolished look and there is a space to play around further.”
Who are your dream customers?
“Creepy kids, horny girls.”
Tell me about the presentation’s soundtrack.
“It sounds futuristic to me. We worked with a number of cool Russian artists to make this project special with a local accent. The soundtrack is made by Zhenya Bazarov, one of the most interesting young electronic music producers out there. He understood the direction of the brand and delivered a gasping, mysterious and thrilling soundtrack.”
You’ve worked with HBA and Opening Ceremony to name a few. Can we expect any more collaborations soon?
“Please ask this street artist Katsu—I want to use his graffiti drone.”
What are your hopes for the future?