Scott Ian McFarland creates unique wearable sculptures for the fashionably modern man or woman who doesn’t want to sacrifice comfort or craftsmanship to make a statement. As a formally trained sculptor, designer Scott Ian McFarland translated his skills to knitwear design when he took a graduate elective in contemporary knitwear at the Academy of Art San Francisco. Amazed by the technique of taking long strips of various materials and turning them into wearable objects, in addition to discovering the control and creativity that knitwear allowed him– right down to a single stitch– Scott began to create his first collection. His experience with three-dimensional shapes, colors, and textures lead him to experiment with a variety of fibers and knitting techniques. His pieces have been shown at New York Fashion Week and most recently at San Francisco Fashion Week 2012.
Where are you from?
I was born in Arkansas in a small town. I don’t really remember much about living there. I moved a lot growing up. I lived in very different places with different surrounding from small towns in the south to cities in the Midwest. I consider Arkansas to be where I am from since I ended up there the longest and finished High School there.
What motivated you to become a fashion designer?
I became a designer by accident in some ways. I have always been an artist. In grad school I was working on a MFA in sculpture. I was feeling a bit tried of sculpture and constrained by that art form. I then took a knitwear class as a break. I loved it and switched to fashion. I have been creating knitwear since. It is wonderful to be able to create wearable sculptures. I find it a great challenge to create new and interesting designs that can be worn.
What inspires you?
Many things inspire me. For my designs I always like to look at things from the past as in different movements and momentous events. I always try to conceptual, try and understand what those events would feel like to go through. I also look at art, music, architecture, and everything else that went into the time and place I am inspired by for a particular project.
What are some of your favorite fibers/materials to work with and why?
I like wool cashmere and alpaca. They are warm fibers and perfect for winter collections. I also like using lace and ribbing in my work. I find knitting with various ribbons to be fun and decadent- ribbons also tend to have qualities that yarn never has.
Who do you see wearing your clothing?
I have always thought that the person that would wear my clothing is the person that would want a unique and elegant garment. I have always felt that my work would fit in perfectly in a more European environment. Being that Europeans are willing to wear things that are more unique and do not fall in as much as us Americans in to the conformity of dress that most people have.
What would you like people to associate with your designs?
Ideally I would want my brand to stand for unique, original knitwear that is high quality.
What are the future goals for Scott Ian McFarland Knitwear?
I believe the goal for me and the line is grow as far and as large as I can. It would be great to become a large brand that is carried in many stores worldwide. I hope that the sky is the limit!