Art Comes First —Ala Champ
Ala Champ
00:00/

OPTICKS

After A Decade and A Half, Japanese Contemporary Artist Hiroshi Sugimoto Recreates Sir Isaac Newton’s Prism Experiments

A WEST AFRICAN ROAD TRIP WITH ART COMES FIRST

Discovering Accra's Craftsmanship & Sustainable Culture Through The Eyes Of The Locals

DEKOTORA

Filmmaker Joe Almond Catches A Rare Insight Into The Fascinating Japanese Subculture

TOMONARI HASHIMOTO STUDIO VISIT

In Situ In The Famed Ceramic Region Shigaraki

TOMONORI HASHIMOTO

Three-Dimensional Geometric Works Exploring The Essence Of Being

JOE MORTELL

Transport Yourself To The Surreal Scenes & Brilliantly Vivid Worlds of the London-based 3D Designer

THE TOKYO EDITION, TORANOMON

The Epitome Of A Perfect Urban Getaway Spectacularly Designed by Ian Schrager & Kengo Kuma

UNITED ARROWS & SONS

Dramatic Spanish Columns & Curved Glass Facade in Central Tokyo, Designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura

BOTANICAL PAVILION

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma & Australian Artist Geoff Nees Create An Interlocking Timber Portal for NGV Triennale

EIKO ISHIOKA

Crossing All Realms: One of Japan's Greatest Creative Visionaries

U-JOINTS: THE BOOK

A Kickstarter Campaign Begins For A Monumental Encyclopaedic Print Taxonomy of Connections and Universal World of Joints

TAJIMI CUSTOM TILES

A New Contemporary Context and Value For The Humble Japanese Tile With Designer Kwangho Lee

TADANORI YOKOO ISSEY MIYAKE

A Piece Of Clothing — And A Legendary Japanese Artist

The Best of Spring/Summer 21

Champ Fashion Editor-at-Large Ciana Mai Selects The Season's Top 5 Ready-to-Wear Collections

Site of Reversible Destiny

Arakawa and Gins Re-build Existing Perceptions to Extend the Human Lifespan

PARĪLIO

A Luxury Oasis on a Cycladic Island Without the Crowds

Art Comes First

Artistic Expression & Cultural Craftsmanship For A Redefined Global Style

October, 2017
Art Comes First's Sam & Shaka in London. © Lukas Korschan, Ala Champ (2017)

It’s hard to define Art Comes First as just an artistic or fashion collective. Founders Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh ensure their creative expression extends beyond their base in London, and is found in the cultural craftsmanship in their designed garments, products and collaborative pieces worldwide.

Championing art in their creative expression above all first, they lead a movement of tailored and classic style-driven garments for gentlemen and gentlewomen. Think Saville Row and English sartorialism mixed with British punk and a D.I.Y philosophy. Find them at Pitti Uomo to United Arrows in Tokyo, from hosting events to DJing and bringing their effortlessly authentic energy to any space.

London Editor Monique Kawecki caught up with Sam and Shaka of Art Comes First in East London, shot by photographer Lukas Korschan.

Monique: Would you say there was a tipping point for the brand at any time?

Shaka: I would say there was a time Sam and I decided to give up our 9 – 5 jobs, and the secured and constant income to pursue our dreams and passion. In the beginning it was manageable to work 9-5 and then in the evening do ACF, although as the brand grew and the workload grew, it became harder to manage. We then decided to give 100% to ACF, as that’s the only way we can get a 100 out of it.

Art Comes First's Sam & Shaka in London. © Lukas Korschan, Ala Champ (2017)

Art Comes First is helmed by you both. How do you define your roles?

We wear many hats within the set up, but creatively Sam heads the designs and I handle digital designs and styling.

Where do you see ACF in the future?

Working on opening our own concept store where everyone can have a full ACF experience, capturing what everyone sees online in one, physical space. We are also hoping to branch out into various key cities that we are already working in. An ACF experience is beyond a clothing brand and can be anything that falls under art.

You’re constantly travelling, can you tell us more about how this intertwines or informs your work?

The use of traveling outside of learning and meeting new people and things is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are and interpret it on everything we do within ACF.

What are some of the essentials your never travel without?

Phone. Leather jacket. Evening / Dinner suit.

October, 2017