IT’S OFTEN OVERLOOKED, but collaboration is the cornerstone of the fashion industry. Be it emerging designers partnering with major companies, models and muses with designers or magazines with labels; Without ongoing dialogue and collaboration, fashion simply wouldn’t move forward.
It’s through creative partnerships that individual talents can grow. Given the support to fund their ideas and creative backboard to bounce them off, fashion’s young minds are better able to push their ideas out of their brains and into the real world — where they benefit all of us.
Perhaps no creative understands the value of partnership quite like Jordan Gogos. For his sophomore runway show last year, the aptly-dubbed ‘Prince of Australian Fashion’ called on the talents of 60 individuals and institutions, who came together to create a spectacle that underscored the vibrancy of Australia’s creative industry. For this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) presentation, Gogos has teamed up with Australian design legend Akira Isogawa. Rather appropriately, the pair’s collaboration is celebrated in a new campaign from Glenfiddich.
The whisky-maker has supported Gogos for the past three years, supporting his rise and rise (and rise) since his first venture in the fashion world. Ahead of AAFW 2023, Glenfiddich appointed Gogos as Creative Director for its latest campaign, which explores the deep understanding — and the depth of the collaboration — between Gogos and Isogawa. The forthcoming collection also includes a bespoke textile, inspired by the Glenfiddich 12 colourway and crafted from repurposed uniform fabrics.
Ahead, Gogos discusses the beauty of collaboration, his ongoing relationship with Glenfiddich, and why creative partnership is imperative if you want to ask “where next?”
Harper’s BAZAAR: Glenfiddich has supported you since your first venture into the fashion world. Why is it so special to be part of a long-running partnership?
Jodan Gogos: Partnering with a fashion designer from the beginning of their career is important because it makes the designer feel acknowledged, and the natural progression from this is time and understanding. This collaboration is multifaceted because the values of both of our brands have become more intertwined and there is no compromise either one’s brand. What is so amazing about the brand is they have individuals like Ross [Blainey, Creative Collaborations Lead, Glenfiddich] who actually carve out time and space to grow ideas, whether that is coming into the studio, being involved in our processes and understanding how we work, it all leads to the creative outcomes we end up with.
HB: How has your relationship with Glenfiddich evolved over the years?
JG: Creatively, it has expanded. We started at fashion, then we did furniture, a bar at Melbourne Art Fair, and AAFW 2022 at the Powerhouse Museum which incorporated both a clothing and a metaverse collaboration… For the 2023 AAFW show we have done everything, including set design, creative production, fashion and even cocktails. So creatively Glenfiddich and I started out in fashion at the same time and navigated the space together, so now both brands are in we’ve not only come full circle, but we have landed all of the facets. The relationship now is less about the product and more about the understanding of how all the attributes of the brand, its DNA and heritage have been compressed into something creative.
HB: What was your inspiration for Glenfiddich’s new ad campaign?
JG: First of all, I’m never inspired by one thing, there is never a mood board or anything like that. I am inspired by so many components, layers and the process of storytelling as I believe a piece is never meaningful without all these aspects and understanding them. Like the history of Glenfiddich, my pieces always have a meaningful origin and multiple hands at work, so therefore the inspiration is already inherently built into my process. For the textile we created for the campaign, we utilised the compressing technique which comes with an element of chance and is both risky and exciting, aligning with both brands values. Taking something to a point that you can’t control is both exciting for me and exciting for Glenfiddich.
HB: This campaign highlights your collaboration with Akira Isogawa, as well as Glenfiddich. Why is collaboration so important in your creative process?
JG: Collaboration to me is something that shouldn’t but could align. The idea of mixing components of people that wouldn’t necessarily work together is what is so exciting. Looking outside of the product you are is already more exciting than the finishing product because there is an element of curiosity. Similar to hedonic value, where audiences will have a completely different experience with art when associating their emotions with it — pieces that are part of collaborations already have this value. Knowing there is more than meets the eye because of the way you’ve worked and how you’ve communicated with collaborators, and how people have reflected their aesthetics and ideas into the piece — that’s what makes collaboration so important.
HB: Talk me through the process of creating the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos for Glenfiddich textile.
JG: When we started developing fabrics, we salvaged a whole lot of old school uniform fabric from a closing down warehouse. The materials included various shades of green and gold thread, which Ross and I put together as a sample, and immediately saw the harmony between the fabric and whisky. Utilising the compression technique, the piece also visually represented the layers of whisky making and its rich history.
HB: How does the textile represent the dynamic relationship between yourself and Glenfiddich?
JG: Time comes into play with compression and whisky. The more time that interplays with a textile, the more it evolves and changes. For example, if I can compress it for 5 minutes compared to two hours, the piece is radically changed, and so it is technically the same process however susceptible to time. It is the same process with whisky making – the longer you leave it, the more the product will differentiate and become its own unique being. This idea of time is so evident in the textile we created together, and similarly the idea of layering and it being so important in the process of whisky making.
HB: If you were to toast to something right now, what would it be?
JG: My team! All of the work that has gone into this collaboration and my show is all thanks to team effort. Everyone together make the dynamic so incredible, we have become family.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.