24 Hours With… SWAMPGOD
Meet SWAMPGOD, the elusive Venetian artist whose ingenious upcycling techniques recently caught Rick Owens' eye. Spotting a flash of genius via SWAMPGOD’s Instagram, Owens appointed the artist as his newest collaborator. Inviting SWAMPGOD to Owenscorp HQ, the artist set about creating a series of one-off conscious collections using fabric offcuts from their studio.
Here, SWAMPGOD tells us more about life in Venice and working with one of fashion’s great visionaries...
“Morning light shining on the canal in Venice.”
“Heading to my studio in Lido.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I usually wake up very early, around 4-5 am. On the weekends I’m in Venice, and from Monday to Friday I wake up in the small town where the Owenscorp HQ is located.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
While I’m still in bed, I check my emails and collect my thoughts for the upcoming day. Then I drink a four shot mocha coffee and take a shower.
Where are you usually based?
Since working on this collaboration with Rick, I’ve been living next to the Owencorp factory - for eight months now. So, during the week I’m in the middle of an Italian village with the Rick Owens team and for weekends and holidays I’m in Venice. Before this project I was living in Venice.
What does your average day look like?
My day is pretty basic. Work in the morning, lunch break, work again and in the evening, I chill a bit.
Where is your studio located and how do you get there?
My studio is located in Lido island, which is a small island off Venice City - that’s where I was born and raised. Usually, I get there from my apartment in Venice with my boat.
“Ready to go to work…”
“The pier used for the FW21 Rick Owens women's runway show.”
“Matching fabrics is always challenging.”
How would you describe what you do?
The main thing I’ve been doing for the past few years now is learning. I learnt how to sew on Wiki-how a year-and-a-half ago. I still have a lot to learn and this opportunity with Owenscorp, to me, is all about learning.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
I come from editorial and graphic design, and I was a very active graffiti writer (I don’t have enough time now). This background always helps me see things from a different perspective in the fashion world, where almost everyone embraces their idols so much that they lose their personality. The graffiti lifestyle helps me a lot to adapt to every kind of situation.
How did you get your start in fashion?
Honestly, I started because I couldn’t afford the clothes I wanted.
How did the collaboration with Rick arise? Had you previously been an admirer of Rick’s work?
I’m still wondering how it happened! The only thing I know is that I’m lucky enough to have been noticed by him on Instagram. And that I was born and raised a few meters from his apartment in Lido. I was already an admirer of his work, but the only Rick piece I could afford at the time was a pair of slip-on boat shoes!
“My office inside the Owenscorp factory.”
“A little break in the garden to collect my thoughts.”
How do you get into a creative headspace?
With a lot of dedication and commitment. I’m a very volatile person, so routine, dedication and focus are what gets me into a creative headspace.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
Usually, I jump into the fabric scraps container in the factory backyard searching for enough of the same fabric to use for these capsule collections.
Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
The jackets because they were the most challenging item for me to create.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
Since every item I’ve made to this day, for these collaborations, is for retailers, I would love to see myself in them.
"The finished products in the collection’s campaign shoot."
“Sunset in Venice”
“One of the few nights me and my partner get to go out for dinner.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
Mostly independent fanzines.
What do you usually do for dinner?
During the week I eat at the Owenscorp restaurant and on the weekends, I have dinner at home with my girlfriend and my dog.
What time do you go to bed?
I go to sleep between 10:30-11pm and I’m usually so tired that I fall asleep as soon as I lay down.
What do you dream about?
I don’t remember any of my dreams - I stopped remembering them during my teen years. My body just shuts down and turns back on after six hours…
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