Rendez-Vous with Sam Cotton

On Friday, October 26th, Polimoda welcomed Sam Cotton, Creative Consultant and Director of Agi & Sam, for a rousing Rendez-Vous addressing the negative impact of digital and social media on research and design. 

The London-based designer, currently head of menswear brand Agi & Sam, boasts over a decade’s worth of experience in the industry. His extensive background includes consulting and collaborating with top-notch brands the likes of COS, Nike, Lacoste, Topman, Jaeger, Fred Perry and Converse, and working for luxury brands J.W. Anderson, Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld.

A trailblazer in contemporary menswear, Cotton has garnered significant recognition throughout the years, including a British Fashion Award for Emerging Menswear in 2013, GQ Men of the Year Award for Breakthrough Designer in 2014 and the WGSN Award for Breakthrough Design in 2015. The architect of attention-grabbing designs was also a finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2015 and the regional winner of the International Woolmark Prize in 2016.

A divergent thinker in today’s industry, Cotton’s work is especially conscious of the ways neoliberalism and globalization have impacted the individual, a concept transferred to the product development of his latest collection. Coupled with the digitalized world, this new societal landscape, he argues, has altered creativity, resulting in a benign homogenous society.

Cotton’s lecture addressed these societal shifts, focusing on the effects of marketing on social constructs and digital innovations, from the advent of social advertising to Pavlovian conditioning and algorithmic marketing. Through a thoughtful and thorough analysis of digital, his lecture unveiled the importance of tactile research and of discovering the new within design.