We get to meet some very cool kids at Gaschette and because they look incredible time after time, we insist on taking a peek into their closets and ultimately their homes. So we bring you the first in a series called Wardrobe Walk Through with William Ndatila, the co-founder and art director of Cult 11AD.
“I admire anybody who has consistency when it comes to personal style. I think too often people mistake being fashionable with having style. Money makes you fashionable, but style is consistency – you don’t follow trends or fashion- taste and a strong sense of self. It’s people like Anna Piaggi, Lagerfeld, Catherine Baba, Camille Bildeault- Waddington, Lotta Volkova Adams, Boy George, Nelson Mandela or Vivienne Westwood . Kanye West and Kim K are fashionable…not stylish. You have to take fashion and make it your own, not the other way around. I am still learning and deciding what mine will be, still enjoying fashion and clothes to find my own specific look.”
“I would raid …the Pope’s closet and Panos Yiapanis. But I don’t really believe in looking at other peoples’ style to define mine. I think fashion and clothes are like an alphabet created by designers, you have to write your own sentences and say something personal and interesting with your choices.”
William was born in Burundi, in Central Africa, to Rwandan parents but grew up in Europe. He later studied at London’s prestigious Central St Martins.
“The brand started as Cult Collective and has been re-branded to CULT11AD. It started with me meeting Miro Bijelich and our common love for the iconic retro printed t-shirt. I had been working on more custom and couture type clients for most of my career and felt intuitively that something was missing. I felt that a cross between street wear and high fashion was the way forward. Now you have brands like Supreme doing collaborations with Comme Des Garcons and well-made skate wear like Palace etc. The great divide between street wear and high fashion is closing because of the way the new generation of shoppers dress. That was the whole way of thinking when we started Cult – to offer a good finish, quality and fit to something as simple as a printed t-shirt.”
On his intriguing and popular Instagram account, the one Katy Perry and FKA Twiggs follow. Totes casual:
“Yeah…that’s a bit crazy. I started it as a way of storing and sharing images that I might use for references and then I ended up with Katy Perry, FKA Twiggs, and some of my favourite designers and magazine editors in London, NYC and Paris following it.
It started with the fact that I was a bit shocked by how many people are always looking down at their phones in those cities. I thought if people are going to be looking down, they might as well look at something interesting that adds to their lives – discover new artists, music, photographers, books. I mean, there is nothing wrong with looking at someone’s lunch or your friend’s selfies but I am too private. My daily research takes me to weird and wonderful corners of the net…so why not share it.”
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“I dress according to my mood…I have a lot of hats, I see them as wigs. I always pick a ‘starting’ item I feel like wearing that day and then build everything else around that. It can be a shoe, a belt or jacket…anything really.”
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“If you start a fashion brand these days you cannot be in your ivory tower of designing. The designer has to also be an art director, a merchandiser, a production manager – these are different times so I have to look at all these aspects. Miro and I have to first look at what the right inspiration, silhouettes and cuts are. Then getting samples, fitting and tweaking them. Then I edit the graphics with Miro, and we source the fabrication and factories. Then it’s shooting the look book, pricing, getting it to the showroom, send orders out and stocking the stores. It’s a process that goes beyond just designing, it’s sampling, PR and retail. You’re always working subconsciously on your next collection.”
“My favourite item is a gift. It’s a watch given to me by my brother for my six months sobriety. I was still in rehab and he handed it to me and said I trust you and believe that you won’t relapse and pawn it for drugs – that meant a lot that someone believed in me when I wasn’t sure I could beat years of drug addiction. I am six years clean of drugs and alcohol now and I call it my ‘Trust’ watch. Everything else I have is replaceable and gets donated when I clear my space. I believe that if you haven’t worn something for 6 to 8 months, don’t hang unto it, it’s clutter…let it go.
“Each place has its appeal – Hollywood/L.A has the best drives and beautiful people. A gene pool of wanna-be actors and actresses does wonders for the population. West Hollywood has ridiculously good-looking men.
NYC has the best parties. They know how to put on a show, which is great for a sober person like me. I am dependent on good DJ’s, scary drag queens and cool club kids to watch, talk to and dance with in order to be entertained.
A remote, often-empty beach in Anahita (Mauritius) is my happy place.
London is an epicentre of creative individuals and friends. My last trip was to London for Fashion Week and looking for showrooms. It was good to see friends and industry people I hadn’t seen since I moved.”
“I got these at Westwood ‘s World’s End store, I was lucky to get a pair of white and red Pirate boots in my size. They are made to order and the person didn’t pick them up.”
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“My favourite designers change with each season but when the shows come around I always look forward to seeing what JW Anderson, Phoebe Philo at Celine, Marjan Pejoski at KTZ.
London is great with its new directional talent pool. I look at Siblings, Shaun Samson, Christopher Kane, Nazir Mahzar, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Simone Rochas, Martin Rose , Meadham Kirchhoff.
Locally I watch Black Coffee, OATH by Richard Mnisi and Naked Ape by Shaldon Koopman.
I am struggling to keep this one short – I love them all for very different reasons but mostly their ideas and talent.”
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“I studied at LISOF and Central St Martin’s in London doing a Fashion Degree. I had been sketching from the age of 16 so it was good to learn how to go from two-dimensional designs to three-dimensional garments, and about pattern making, cuts, proportions and researching inspiration.”
“I remember playing dress up with my brother in our parents wardrobe. My mother had some cool 70’s and 80’s Yves Saint Laurent, watching Joan Collin’s shoulder in Dynasty, my sister’s 80s French Vogues. I was the guy who pinned Steven Meisel’s pics of supermodels on my boarding-school bedroom walls instead of cars and spent my pocket money on copies of The Face Magazine.”