Shooting the Shirt with Cobra S.C
As summer draws near, we thought it would be a good opportunity to have a quick discussion with shirting brand, Cobra S.C., one of the most recent additions to our evolving brand list. We had one of our Roden Gray team members, Adam Danyluk, reach out to conduct this e-interview.
Safa Taghizadeh and Christopher Reynolds are the creators of this menswear line focusing on Italian button down shirts. Christopher originally hails from Kansas, while Safa was born in Melbourne. After some time in the menswear industry, the two decided to commit to a joint venture, starting with a Spring/Summer collection for 2018. Quickly, the two have solidified their claim on timeless casual menswear, and Cobra S.C. is stocked at Dover Street Market, Opening Ceremony, and Totokaelo, to name a few other retailers.
Adam: I’d love to be able to start with the roots of the brand. What were the two of you doing prior to meeting up? How did your professional relationship form?
Safa: We cut our teeth working for various companies in New York. I think that from the beginning we both had the ultimate goal of starting our own lines. This was before we knew each other, but it was what eventually brought us together.
Christopher: I’d spent some time in Paris working for A.P.C., as well as a gig on the men’s team at Alexander Wang, designing for a few other companies in-between. Saf moved to New York to work for Adam Kimmel. Afterwards, he was jumping around in a similar way to me, gaining the experience and knowledge to start his own. In 2015, a mutual friend connected us and I worked freelance for a company of which Saf was heading up the men’s design for. We got on well. My idea for a company was very much aligned with his. It came together naturally after that.
It seems as though the core of the brand is a focus on the finished product, with the inspiration reflecting your own personal taste not only aesthetically but also as a representation of a particular lifestyle. How do you try to marry these two, sometimes conflicting, approaches to design?
C: We believe that authenticity is a bi-product of working intuitively. During the design process, we are consciously focused on the architectural elements and details of each individual piece. Thematically, or aesthetically, we put trust in our underlying intuition, and allow the collection as a whole to take form more subconsciously. It gives us space to move, which is important when designing together as a team.
"We also got into our fair share of trouble along the way..."
Do the two of you find any common ground in what your youth was like and how it shaped you as adults? I remember reading that Christopher interpreted Nick Cave as embodying a sort of Kansas lifestyle as well, do you find this to be the case for other artists?
S: We both grew up interested in music, snowboarding, skateboarding, girls etc. We also got into our fair share of trouble along the way, so you could say there are definite similarities in our experiences growing up.
For that matter, why is music such an essential aspect of your design process? Are you interested in music as an art form or is it more centered around the life and philosophy of musicians?
C: The philosophy of a musician creates the foundation for his or her work. So I think our interest lies in both.
On that same note, how do you approach any one particular shirt design?
S: One of us usually has an idea. The other shoots it down immediately. We start from there.
Shifting to more personal tastes, what books are the two of you reading or have recently read? Any recommendations?
C: Currently reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. I was late in reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex last fall but feel it’s only gaining relevancy. (Robert) Pirsig’s Zen and Lila.
Same question but for music.
C/S: Against All Logic – 2012 - 2017
Destroyer – Ken
Alex Cameron – Forced Witness
As you head into your second season, what are you hoping for for the company by the end of 2018? Have you set any milestones for the brand?
S: Progression – personally and professionally. We are adding a new category each season with the intention of building a full collection in the not too distant future. We’re delivering pants for FW18 and developing jackets for SS19 which we’re pretty excited about.
Thank-you Safa and Christopher for taking the time to respond to our questions.
The Cobra S.C. Spring/Summer collection is now available in store and online
Text: Adam Danyluk
Images courtesy of Cobra S.C.
Creative Direction: Safa Taghizadeh & Christopher Reynolds
Photography: Adrien Cothier
Model and Styling: Cash McCall
Casting: Andreas Joseph