Sander Lak is sick of monochrome. Lak was raised in Borneo and Holland, and lived in Antwerp, Paris and London before landing in New York, where he launched and now serves as creative director for the emergent luxury label Sies Marjan. Moving from place to place has made him a composite of nationalities and mannerisms, and has left him uniquely equipped to adapt to the American lifestyle and work ethic.
Instead of Holland’s universal healthcare, picture-perfect cityscapes, and a political system so liberal it makes Bernie Sanders look like Mussolini, Lak has opted to chase American dreams of free-market capitalism and perceived autonomy. Growing up in the Netherlands, Lak says, “everything is equal—you can’t get really rich, you can’t get really famous, you can’t get really successful.” Rejecting this one-note ethos of supposed mediocracy, he eventually made his way to the US with aspirations of fashion stardom and commercial success, unabashedly hoping to establish a “massive company that follow[s] in the footsteps of Ralph Lauren, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.”