SAMIZDAT is a collaborative group label founded by Chinese designer Yang Li, a platform where music and design find a strong indivisible connection. SAMIZDAT means “self-publishing” in Russian and it refers to the designer original idea of presenting a fashion label as a music band. The label was created to explore music from a lifestyle point of view, not as frame or an embellishment but as a starting point for the visual language of the the brand. SAMIZDAT offers a product range that include hoodies, T-shirts, totes, jackets with woven patches and other merchandise-like products. Yang Li updates the collection seasonally with new products and collaborations with artists. Together with Italian designer Federico Capalbo of Komakino, Yang Li started SAMIZDAT as a fictional music project, a “mock band”, and the clothes represent the merchandise. The 'band members' are constantly changing for every collection as the designer is always working with new artists and musicians. The focus of the label is going towards the most extreme and industrial side of metal music, a genre that is slowly but relentlessly finding a voice in the fashion industry. The collections always turn out as group efforts and so SAMIZDAT is an ever changing collective out of people who are still fans.
Yang Li was born in Beijng, China. After he moved to Australia he spent his time with skateboarding and playing basketball - activities that made him find a way to express himself through wearing particular clothes. Li started his career with an internship with British designer Gareth Pugh, subsequently moving to Belgium to work for Raf Simons, founding finally his eponymous label in 2010. After various collections Li debuted with his menswear line in January 2016 for Paris Fashion Week. The following year he launched the collaboration label SAMIZDAT. He is known for working with underground and cult musicians such as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Justin Broadrick, Jenny Beth and many more.
SS19In his Spring/Summer 19 Collection the designer is keeping his nostalgic, goth-tinted romance. The riffs are featured with stenciled pieces that are assembled from worn-once British Ministry of Defence such as olive ripstop, woodland camo, black cotton drill, as well as oversize tailoring for women in an orange houndstooth. The collection includes hoodies, bomber jackets, shirts and accessories.
FW19The ”Cosmic Terror” collection is exploring subcultures in print, art and music. This season puts a focus on the dark side of metal music featuring an array or large outerwear pieces including a military parka, a denim jacket, a belted military trench coat, a MA-1 bomber, vintage oversized band tees and more. Leather is one of the main components and is found on pants, jackets and accessories. Print graphics and patches show the brandish band iconography.
SS20The “Greatest Hits (Side A)” collection reflects on voyeurism, obsession and image consumption associated with internet culture. Yang Li is using elements of scrolling, meta-memes and data usage on his “tour merch” for Spring/Summer 20. Jackets, hoodies, shirts, caps and unique accessories deeply influenced by the internet language creating a mixture of genre, aesthetics and references. Also SAMIZDAT is bringing art back to his collection, working with London-based designer Craig Boagey.