Much like an original piece of art, CPxArt’s designs are unique, and no two items are ever really alike. Hand-painted and captivating, Donaldson Sackey, 27, and Sainey Sidibeh, 26, showcase endless creativity and inspiration through their collections of street-inspired bomber jackets. First generation Europeans, born to African immigrant parents (Sackey’s from Togo and Sainey’s dad is from Gambia), their vision is inspiring, and their focus is set to propel their designs to covetable status. ELLE meets the Paris- and Hamburg-based creatives behind CPxArt
Describe your style aesthetic in one sentence.
Our style aesthetic is best described as making things that wouldn’t look good together at first glance work together.
What inspired the launch of CPxArt?
Many things inspired us, from the environment that we grew up in, to our sense of fashion and art, our background, and our faith in God. We decided to create a brand with a message. Essentially we are good friends who decided to create a story with our clothes and the way we think.
How did you begin the label as it’s never easy to fund one?
Yes, that’s true, it’s never easy but sometimes you need to risk something in order to gain something. So we decided to put everything that we had that was worth something and funded the label. The most important thing is to have faith that it will work out.
What is it about streetwear that resonates with you?
We don’t think that street has ever really changed. It comes from punk and grunge, it comes from a place of not having, so it has come from a place of pure creativity. From our personal experience, if you don’t have something you will search for an alternative – that in itself will push you to be creative. We feel that the purest form of originality comes from a place of not having, and that’s the streets.
What does Africa mean to you?
Africa represent creativity... Africa is inspiration.
What does art mean to you?
Art is something that we can’t describe but feel it every day. Imagine, just for a minute, a world without art? Art is the power to give life to everything. Art is our way to be creative and express ourselves. For some people art is the entire reason they get out of bed in the morning. Just look around you – everything you see has been designed by someone. The whole world is art – from the mountains to the trees. Art is indescribable.
Who are some of the artists that inspire you most?
We are really inspired by Michael Jackson, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo and God – just look at nature.
Take us through the design process, as items are hand-painted, and the fabrics used in your current God is Art collection
We don’t do mass production, and we try to keep our circle small. And because the bomber jackets and denim vests are all hand-painted means the quantity is small, which in a way is great because it helps us maintain a bespoke appeal throughout. We design and produce in Europe using quality fabrics. Once the pieces are designed, we let creativity rule over every single piece. The bomber is very special, it can be styled edgy or smart, and it gives streetwear a unique feel.
And your collaboration with Carl Antonio: how did it come about?
Carl Antonio is a young Swedish fashion brand with a passion for high quality footwear. We met in Paris and decided to collaborate on boots. The Stockholm x Art boots are made from calf suede leather with leather soles, and are already in boutiques in Los Angeles and Stockholm. We are working on a new boot for 2016, and you will be able to team it with our bomber.
So how do we shop CPxArt?
Everything is online right now. We’ve had some requests from high-end boutiques in Paris, and it’s something we are considering.
What are your plans for 2016?
We are trying to make the best of what we have. Sure, we all dream of big things but we need to put a lot of hard work into it, so that’s the plan for 2016, and the rest will follow.
Photography: Martina Cyman
Model: Gabriel Hendrixx
Styling: Chantal Sackey