The design duo talk us through their new collaboration with the high street brand.

For SS13 they cracked the moustache and Birkenstocks combo, then five months ago they got the beards with dogs look down to a T. Now, with the help of Topman, Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton have taken on owls and George Best. Using the former as a starting block for print and the latter for a muse, the London pair this week launch a 20 piece collection with 90s football kits at its heart. 

We stole some time with the guys to talk Gordon Richardson, football and the music that makes the collections.

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How did the collaboration come about?
It all started immediately after the end of our SS13 show at MAN. Gordon Richardson (Topman Creative Director) came over backstage after the show and congratulated us, then said we need to do something together. We thought that it might just have been a very nice passing comment, but we got called in about a month later. When we were in there we thought it might have been some sort of collective collaboration on a project. After they said they wanted to do a full collection we were kind of blown away.

What was it like working with Gordon Richardson?
Gordon is amazing, he’s been so supportive of us from the start. When we first came in and suggested the project he wasn’t a massive football fan himself, and Topman have never done sportswear so we could tell he was a little scared. But it didn’t take long to break the idea down to him and after that he seemed as excited as we were about it.

What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
S. It has to be the football shirts I think. I’ve always dreamt of designing a football shirt since I was about five, and to get the chance to actually make one was kind of a dream come true really.
A. I’d probably say the football kits too to be honest, as I love how versatile they are; they can be worn in completely different contexts.

Can either of you remember your first and last Topman purchase?
S. The first item I bought from Topman was actually a coat, which I still have. It’s a mottled wool double breasted coat. The last thing was a pair of light blue stonewashed skinny jeans.
A. I feel like I have worn Topman clothing for such a long time as I always used to wear my dad’s clothes when I was young. Topman was often included in this, back when it was known as Moto. The first thing I bought myself however was a pair of blue washed boot cut jeans, which I then put rips in the knees in about 10-11 years ago. The last thing I bought was one of the sports tops from SS13.

Did you play football as children? What position did you play?
S. I have played football all my life, my position has changed over the years, but from 7 – 17 I played just behind the striker, as number 10. Then I stopped playing through college and ended up starting again at Uni. This then turned into left back purely for ease of getting into a Uni team.
A. I played football quite a bit during secondary school, but never really too competitively, just for a kick around with my friends, and to impress the ladies with my dazzling skills. I usually played back in defense as a right back but mainly by default because I was quite tall as a kid.

Which team(s) do you support?
S. Manchester United
A. Tottenham Hotspurs.

What does London Collections: Men hold for you next month? Can you tell us anything about Agi & Sam SS14?
We’ve taken a completely different approach to the next collection, and as a brand in general, so be prepared that it might be something quite different.

What part does music play in your lives?
Music plays a big part in our lives, it’s a massive inspiration for collections, we work to it all through the day and spend nights out going to listen to it.

What music do you listen to when you’re working?
A range really, hip hop, like Dre, Dom Kennedy, Ab Soul and Danny Brown. More modern based stuff, James Blake and Jai Paul, or oldies like Fleetwood Mac, Charles Bradley, Roy Brown.

Any new bands you’re particularly into?
Autre Ne Veut, John Talabot, The Underachievers

The range is available from Topman from Thursday.

*Update from Agi & Sam - "Agi & Sam x Topman kick off postponed to June 4th, due to wet pitch"*

Words: Zoe Whitfield


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