California-based ‘t-shirt cutter’ Adam Saaks on how all body types and personalities are equal for his scissors
He started off by being a wardrobe stylist. On photography sets,California-based Adam Saaks would do what it took to get a look right. “If something didn’t look sexy enough,I would work on it. Sometimes that called for cutting the piece to make it look better,” he says. That was perhaps the seed of what was to germinate later — his celebrated talent of creating art out of cotton t-shirts. Using just a pair of scissors,Saaks snips away quirky,funky and creative designs to transform a basic tee. The city will witness him live in action at the ABIL Pune Fashion Week on Friday evening.
“I’m going to do a live demo and cut tees worn by a few beautiful girls and maybe something special that will be a first even for me,” he says. When he’s working on the tees,a dozen thoughts go through his mind. “I’m thinking of a hundred different things — what the audience is feeling,how loud the music is,can everyone see what I’m doing,can the cameras see what I’m doing,can I see what I’m doing,is the girl I’m cutting on standing still and paying attention,are my scissors cutting clean lines,are my lines straight,where I should cut next,when should I be finished with the design,” he reveals. For him,the process is simple – he looks,cuts and falls in love with the design. “I like to keep it simple. I work with cotton jersey basic tees as cotton cuts like butter. I use Gingher 8-inch chrome scissors – they’re the best,” he adds. Doing a live demo isn’t easy. Safety is all important. “It’s incredibly dangerous cutting live on people’s bodies. I’m always conscious of my movements as well as theirs. If I’m cutting in public audiences,then I’m conscious of theirs as well,” he says. Has he ever snipped a model accidentally during a demo? “No,” comes the pat response. Music plays a major role in his technique. “Personally I love to cut to my all-time favorite band,Metallica,but that music doesn’t go well in a party atmosphere,so it’s just playing in my head all the time,” he quips.
Saaks has influenced the global success of fashion brands such as Von Dutch,American Apparel,Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier. His celebrity client list boasts of names like Eva Longoria,Alicia Keys,Keira Knightly,Jessica Simpson,Paris and Nicky Hilton,Nicole Ritchie,Eminem,Jaime Presley,Justin Timberlake,Lindsay Lohan,Craig David and others. “But I look at everyone that I’m cutting on exactly the same way,so if they are famous or not,they get the exact Adam Saaks treatment as everyone else does. All are equal in the eyes of my scissors,” he points out. His perfect model though is predictably “tall and beautiful”. “But then it’s a world full of different body styles and attitudes; I cut my designs to match that particular moment in time,” he says.
Saaks designs are not influenced by anything. “The designs have a life of their own. My art progresses as I progress as a conscious human being. The reaction of the fans has definitely progressed. I have 27,000,000 views on Youtube now and that is unbelievable!” he says. He loves to share his craft with the world and for him,the Pune Fashion Week is another way to do that. “It’s going to be a fantastic experience!” he says,”I love Indian fashion though I don’t follow it. Well,I don’t follow any fashion. I don’t consider myself a part of the fashion industry,it made me a part of it. I just cut shirts because I love it,” he says. Strangely,Saaks does not snip any t-shirts for himself. “It’s like this – a plumber’s sink always leaks,right?”