Ross Sey, also known as Archy, and Dhevan Bergmann are friends and collaborators whos CV’s read like a list of the coolest vocations one could wish for – Photographer, designer, model and musician, the pair are jacks of all trades and on the road to mastering them all.
Words: Tshiamo Seape
Hot off the launch of his fashion label Big Foot Wild Boy, we caught up with Joburg based Ross and his friend and constant collaborator, Dhevan, to talk about the vision, their passion, and the seminal works of 1970’s children’s programming.
Ross “Archy” Sey (19), Designer, Model, Musician
You’re a busy guy, but what takes up most of your time?
I think what takes up most of my time is definitely the brand. I say that because I’m boarder-line obsessive about it, something to do with the brand is always on my mind. Other than that, university can be pretty time consuming too.
What impression are you trying to make with your work?
I’m trying to make the impression that everything is working through a mechanism. I want to make things seem kind of industrial. I think the reason for that is that the work is a reflection of how I feel about my environment.
How long have you been working on your collection?
Well, all in all, I’d say about a year. Although I’ve had the idea for the brand in the sense that it’s in now, for about three years. And I’ve wanted to make clothes for even longer than that. I guess it just took me a while to get my shit together
Can you give us any insight into what the collection looks like – where are you taking your inspiration?
bigfoot.wildboy’s first season also looks kind of industrial, as that’s the vibe I was going for. Everything is in tones and it gives off that “face-of-a-building” feel. Once again, I think it’s a visual reflection of my environment on some level. The other inspiration I have is the fashion scene in South Korea. They have quite a distinct sense of fashion there that resonates with me.
You’ve started your own label bigfoot.wildboy – does the name have anything to do with the children’s television series from the seventies, Bigfoot AND Wild Boy?
Haha, I can tell you’ve done your research. And yes, it does. The name has two stories behind it. The one is that one of my best friends, Dhevan, and I were looking for names for the brand and this one stuck with me, and we got it from the old US tv show. The second story behind the name is that all of my closest friends and I used to listen to this old MGK song when we were younger and in the song he says “Ima Wildboy” and it just became a thing from there.
Take us through the prep for the launch.
Man, the prep for the launch has been pretty hectic, so without giving away too many trade secrets, I think that preparing for anything creative of this kind takes a lot of visualisation. One has to think about how everything will look and feel in terms of the environment, the clothes, of course, the overall image of the brand and how models will fit into that, planning photo shoots and how they will look, etc. So I think most of the prep comes through getting a complete image of things in your head, and then just practically arranging every element to match what’s going on in your head. Hopefully, that answers the question.
What is “the vision” for BFWB?
Well, the vision is everything. It’s like a lifestyle. Its the way you handle yourself, the way you dress, talk, think and breathe. It’s all about getting to where you see yourself going.
You’ve made a track with your friend, Riley. Who instigated the idea?
Yeah, it’s not the last track actually, Riley and I have some more things cooking. But Riley and I have known each other a really long time, and we’ve both been musicians since before we knew each other, so I think it was kind of a mutual thing that we always wanted to get done, and finally did. I’m glad it happened when it did though and that samedeadproblems was the result, it was the right time.
What’s the one thing young creatives need to understand about getting started and pushing their own vision?
The one thing that any young creative who wants to get started and push their vision needs to do, without a doubt, is realise and maintain the fact that nothing materializes through talking about your creative ideas – it’s about actually putting them into practice. It’s about getting up in the morning and actually making art, or sitting and thinking about designs for clothes for hours until you find the right one. I say all this as if I know what I’m talking about, I’m still getting started myself and I’m trying to push my vision, that’s just the philosophy I follow.
2017’s biggest lesson?
2017’s biggest lesson – grit gets your far, and living your life in the way that everyone says you should (I.e. go to school, take maths and science, go to university, get a degree, get a job) offers just as many guarantees as doing whatever makes you happy. So do whatever makes you happy.
Trying not to sink in a talent pool as vast and deep as photography is no small feat, but at just 20 years old Dhevan Bergmann is making a name for himself with confident strides.
Dhevan Bergmann (20 ), Photographer
How long have you been taking photos, and why did you start?
I have been taking photos probably since I was 12 or 13 years old. There was no specific reason to start, I just picked up my dad’s camera one day and started experimenting. I’ve always been a person to try new things and if I enjoy them, then work to get better and keep learning.
Social media makes sharing your work easier. Do you think you would have followed another path were it not for Instagram?
Well, actually I am going to study Music Production and Sound Engineering overseas later this year so photography is mainly just a hobby for me at the moment, where I am just trying to keep learning and get better at it and maybe it will progress into showing more of my work and lead to bigger things.
Your work is inherently collaborative – what’s the biggest challenge when working with others?
Yeah currently my work is very collaborative which can be very rewarding in terms of new ideas and how different people approach different spaces, but I think the biggest challenge when working with others is just getting everyone on the same wavelength as you in terms of the idea for a shot in your head and how you can accurately bring that into real life.
When did you start working with Ross?
Ross and I have been best friends since the age of about 7 or 8 and we have always experimented together with different projects from a whole variety of fields including music for a while. I think we just gel really well as a creative collective when we do collaborate.
Locally, who inspires you?
I get my inspiration from various places and ideas, but I think my friends and family just inspire me to push any ideas I have.
What’s your dream editorial to shoot?
Hmmm, I haven’t really thought of that, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see and keep gaining more experience in photography at the moment.
Photography: Dhevan Bergmann