You have crafted custom tour and
red carpet looks for Rihanna since 2011. How did your
Mel Ottenberg was hired to help with her Loud tour. I was working with [costume designer] Zaldy Goco on Britney Spears’ tour at the time. Mel had never done live performances before so he brought me in to help him consult, next thing I know I am making half of the tour costumes. We just made a great trio. We still do, I think.
What is it that draws you to
work with Rihanna? What do you love about her
She’s a muse. I respect her. She’s bold and fearless and does what she wants. She is a real force. Someone told me, “You can give people great clothes, but you can’t give them style.” Rihanna’s just got it all.
You started your career by
helping to create costumes for the likes of Lady Gaga,
Michael Jackson and Britney Spears; had you always wanted
to design for performers? How did you get into it?
I originally wanted to design active wear; like performance gear for Nike or Champion. Then I met artist and jewellery designer Desi Santiago and Zaldy, and they just really made me change my fashion perspective. I worked with Zaldy for 10 years. Getting to meet and work with Dolly Parton, RuPaul, Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger...I mean, what more does a boy need?!
What sparked the desire to
create your own label?
I really wanted and needed a new challenge. I wanted to have my own voice and just figure out a new facet of design. I was a little naive going into it to be honest, but all the challenges have really made me grow and expand in ways that I never could have expected.
What are the differences between
creating your own collection and a tour wardrobe? Do you
have a preference?
I like projects. I just finished working on Rihanna’s Monster Tour, and am making something for Lorde’s new tour as well. All on top of doing my collection and a few other exciting projects. They both have their own set of challenges... but I’m not giving away my secrets... or else I am out of a job!
How do you see the Adam Selman
label being worn?
I like for a lady to have options. For me, my style is very “wash and wear” I would wash almost everything in the washing machine, including the silks; but most people aren’t like that. I like mixing in vintage to my label, like a killer torn t-shirt with a miniskirt is so hot to me. The Adam Selman girl is confident, playful and has a bit of a tomboy edge. Sexy one day, relaxed and comfortable the next.
What does Browns mean to you?
How do you describe Browns to your friends in
Browns means support and forward thinking to me. So many stores are afraid to introduce and support new brands. Browns just has such an amazing track record of introducing new talent. Innovation and supporting the new generation is what it’s all about. I tell my friends in America that Browns is an “establishment”, it’s the place to be.
“I tell my friends in America that Browns’ is an ‘establishment’,
it’s the place to be.”
“Rihanna’s a muse. I respect her. She’s bold
and fearless and does what she
We talk to the hot new designer with everyone from Rihanna to Lady Gaga on his hit list.
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“Someone told me, ‘You can give people great clothes, but you can’t give them style.’ Rihanna’s just got it all”.