INTERVIEW | Dominic Sondag of s.k. manor hill
Dominic Sondag grew up in San Francisco, studied fashion in Florence, Italy, interned in London and later re-located to New York where this leg of his journey began. His love of travel comes from his desire to seek out experiences and build relationships with those from all cultures. What he’s learnt through his travels is deep-rooted in the heart of his label: s.k. manor hill.
For his most recent collection – Fall/Winter ’18 – Sondag looked to slouchy and oversized silhouettes and combined this with the finest materials sourced from Italy and Japan. Organic cotton that has been responsibly and ethically-sourced is milled into soft fleece and velvet – both providing a different textual experience that separate s.k. manor hill from other young labels. Based out of New York’s Garment District, the same place as his previous mentor Daiki Suzuki of Engineered Garments, Dominic is constantly innovating on a seasonal basis to bring something new to his still young label.
We caught up with the designer for a few quick questions as he and his label is gearing up to release the first pieces from the Fall/Winter ‘18 collection.
When was the s.k. manor hill clothing line created?
My debut collection was SS16. I started working on the line a year before showing the collection so I began working on the line in 2014.
How does it feel to be approaching the brand’s 4th year?
I’m numb… just kidding, It feels good to have been doing what I love for 3 year and I’m looking forward to doing it forever.
Do you see your approach to s.k. manor hill evolving over time, or has it already?
Hard to say. I think people are always evolving - including me - but at the same time my general principles and philosophies have remained consistent. My goal was to create and offer a quality line of clothing with timeless designs, made with attention to detail, using primarily natural fibers, that are comfortable and possessing a casual elegance for people who have an appreciation for clothing.
Being from the San Francisco, studying in Florence, interning in London, and finally relocating to New York…how have these unique environments played a role into defining s.k. manor hill?
It has definitely opened up my eyes to the world and instilled in me a love for travel. I appreciate diversity and love experiencing new things, cities, environments, people and seeing the day to day attire and garments. I’m all about diversity in terms of what things influence me and the designs I create and I hope my work reaches a diverse audience. I would love to be able to live and experience more places in my life.
Prior to launching S.K. Manor Hill, you’ve worked closely with Daiki Suzuki and Engineered Garments design/production teams…what would you say was the biggest takeaway from those years?
Being able to learn through hands-on experience in all stages of production and development with one of the best designers and best production managers in the industry gave me an excellent blueprint and amazing knowledge to apply to my own line.
What are some achievements short term and long term for S.K. Manor Hill?
I don’t want to say too much, to be real vague - growth.
Lastly, what’s one thing about you or the brand that you’d particularly like to mention?
I don’t know if this is something about me or the brand but I would like to give thanks for all those individuals and organizations that have provided me and my brand with support and resources that have assisted me to continue to do what I love.
Words: John Erick Ramos & Alistair Hinkins
Photography: Aren Johnson