joshua sanders
Vittorio Cordella

They’re like Warhols

“My team takes inspiration from the street – from people-watching and talking to strangers. We travel the world (which is how he came up with the #citybyJS capsule – plimsolls with patches representing different cultures). We’re also deeply influenced by musicians. For example, we got the idea for the ‘Good Boy’ slogan in the Fall men’s line after watching G-Dragon’s music video (of the same name), and the Smile series (smiley face motif and patches) from listening to Pharrell’s Happy. Ultimately, our designs (which debut at Club 21b this season) are a representation of pop culture.”

Embellishments are hella fun

“The brand’s key styles are slip-ons and, from this season, lace-up sneakers. (What makes them recognisable) is our use of pop art motifs (the #citybyJS line, for example, features cartoon-illustrated patches of pagodas, geishas and the Eiffel Tower). One of our earliest designs is the Hologram (shoes with an iridescent finish), which has since become a signature. We’ve collaborated with the Smiley Company on prints and patches, and most recently, we created the Bowbomb (a plimsoll with an oversized handmade bow in front) – I think it’s It for F/W ’15.”

joshua sanders ciara
Ciara rocks plain ones.

They set trends

“The brand was one of the first to put a double sole on slip-ons, followed by patches. My team then printed letters on the heel tab and created leather with a hologram finish. All these details have since been used by other designers, but this is (the reality of) fashion and the social media world… (The simplicity of my designs) might make it easy for them to be copied, but if that happens, it means that they’re becoming a big trend.”

joshua sanders club 21b
Wool plimsolls, $530 each, Club 21b

The workmanship is European

“I describe my aesthetic as ‘street couture’ because, while there’s a street-wear influence, everything is made in Italy using luxurious materials. I work with a couple of factories to create new technologies to offer something new every season. My team sources for some of the leather, fabrics and embellishments from trade fairs, but most of the time, we customise the colours and shapes. In this way, every piece is unique and truly creative.”

An adapted version first appeared in Female’s October issue.

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