When Jérémie Rozan and Aldric Speer founded Surface to Air in 2000, it broke the mold of a traditional fashion brand. Driven by concept and aesthetic, the goal was to have a creative company that could encompass fashion, art direction and film. The two put forward their savoire-faire attitude to do everything from curate contemporary art to throw underground parties.
Speer overlooks the fashion label, which like the rest of the company is grounded in fluidity and lifestyle rather than trends. The Parisian started his career in Japan where he worked for highly creative companies like Comme des Garcons and I-D.
While Speer has always been involved in Surface To Air as a founder, in 2007 he officially became creative director of the company’s ready-to-wear line and helped launch the label into the global arena (the NYC flagship opened on Mercer St last year). Under his guidance, the label has become synonymous with a hip French vibe that’s as modern as it is nonchalant. Speer has helped foster hugely successful collaborations, which he describes as working with friends. Those friends include diverse names ranging form Kid Cudi to Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and even Leigh Lezark.
It’s no surprise that Surface to Air HQ is located in the heart of the Marais, where the team can readily soak up inspiration from the city’s hippest and most creative residents. We were excited to chat with Speer to learn how his strong vision and laidback attitude play into the collections, and of course what he’s cooking up next.
Tell us about your background, what was your relationship like with fashion growing up?
I grew up skateboarding and listening to hip hop. Then I discovered girls and thought having good style wouldn’t hurt…
What were you doing prior to starting with Surface to Air?
I was the creative director for a Japanese group and for another one in Hong Kong. I was overlooking the store concept, buyings and collaborations.
How did you get involved with Surface to Air?
Jérémie and I met through mutual friends. We became partners and decided to set up a company where we could live from what we wanted to do. We wanted to create our future on our own terms.
What is the ethos of Surface to Air clothing?
Quality and creativity. Do whatever you want, don’t look next to you, and have a positive attitude.