Tuesday April 7, 2020
Editor's Note: Our founder, Archie Barnes is conducting this interview while I work on other's and more behind the scenes work. Archie and Shalev have been good friends for a while now so it should make for a great Interview. As always, thank you for supporting your local artists and the Shotwamp collective.
Archie: What’s up Shalev! I’m so happy to have you here in Shotwamp! I’m personally so happy with this group of people, and I think that we all could make some incredible stuff together. What's opinion on this idea of young designers joining together to create a stronger fashion community?
Shalev: I feel like we are going to make a much more significant impact that is going to last and is going to be very effective as well. I feel like good communication and really understanding each other is going to be a very important for us all.
A: For sure, I think communication is key with these sorts of things. If you were to pitch yourself like a business, how would you put it?
S: I would say "Hello this is Shalev Incorporated and we are focused on creating a better world through unconventional ways of being through art and community challenging the old by challenging ourselves !"
A: Talk a bit about what your brand and its name represents! What does Syner specifically strive for?
S: Syner is actually derived from the word Synergy, which is all about the coming togetherness of two or more entities in order to create and make something greater than either or could individually. Syner specifically focuses on sustainable fashion through the re-purposing of second hand clothing and other alternative retired Garments and reworks them in new abstract ways. Syner strives to bring awareness to the importance of the need for sustainability in the ever changing world through fashion and art!
A: What do you see Syner becoming in the upcoming future? I know you’ve been talking a lot about your upcoming collection - can you speak a bit about that?
S: In the upcoming future I see Syner becoming more known everywhere, especially in Portland and New York hence those two places being where i am currently (Portland) and where I plan to be within the next year (New York) and also collaborating with a lot of local talent for Video, Photography, and modeling. To work with those who align with the brand as much as possible.
And yes! I currently am in the works of a 30-piece handmade collection consisting of a variety of garments including, hoodies, beanies, bags, pants, button ups and more. This collection is based off of a bunch of materials that had been sitting in my grandmas basement for years that she has actually passed onto me which is exciting. Currently it is delayed a bit due to the currently happenings of the world (Covid Shenanigans) but it will be out before summer without a doubt.
A: What is your dream for Syner / your ideal endpoint or goal for your brand?
I see Syner ultimately splitting in the future a bit, A more fashion focused expressive line known globally all across the world with an audience consisting of more fashion inclined individuals and artists. This part of the line would collaborate with various Photographers, videographers , and ‘models’ from all walks. I also see Syner providing a much more utilitarian line that focus’ a bit less on design and more so on the global distribution of sustainable clothing for very affordable prices for everyone. This side will also be doing a lot of donating and providing of Sustainable clothing for people all across the globe who are in need; a way of giving back in the most loving and eco friendly way possible. It is also important to me that when larger quantities of product are starting to be made and developed, that it is all done locally through a team of people who love what they are doing and the impact that they are having on the world.
A: Why do you create? What was your inspiration to start and what drives you to keep going?
S: I create what feels right in the moment. If there is a guitar in front of me and it feels right it is music. If there is a vision of a pair of pants that has flooded my mind and feels right, I’ll make that. If there is inspiration and the feeling and paper & pen I’ll write a poem… What inspired me to start was honestly seeing a picture of something someone had hand embroidered that I thought looked cool and then desiring to do the same thing, taking my crack at it and then going from there, creating one thing after another until I wound up where I am now. What drives me to keep going is my desire to express myself whilst simultaneously making a positive change in the world by doing so.
A: What does being an artist mean to you?
S: For me it means to be a creator, to express the self & to reflect the true ever pervading nature of reality. Art is so infinite in what it is, can be, can do, says, means, and so much more. To be a maker of such a powerful thing, an ‘Artist’ is someone who is connected to their essence of all that is.
A: Thank you Shalev. And there it is ladies and gentlemen, a deep insight into the mind behind Syner, Shalev Hanamura, founder and owner of one of the most spectacular local Portland brands, focused on bringing importance to art in an ever-changing industry.