WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
Rising brand Ader Error (ADER) is a sartorial concoction of juxtaposed concepts, colours and cuts, all created by an incognito collective. Often inspired by the technology-driven world that they hide from; each collection is packed with irony and thought-provoking symbolism. In short: they’re streetwear’s answer to Banksy.
Forget fame and fortune, ADER simply design to channel their thoughts and creative energy. The collective's dedication to fashion is clear when conversing with them; they view dressing as an art form and take their craft seriously (don’t let their playful designs fool you).
And it must be noted that this interview was like no other. As mentioned, the founders keep their identities under wraps, making an exchange of words about as complex as trying to interview Daft Punk would be. But we got lucky, as ‘Kevin’ (their spokesman) was happy to collate answers from the whole crew.
My perspective on the crew? They’re superhumans. Their insightful answers mixed with their mysterious ways gave me this sense that the ADER collective are omniscient beings. A gut feeling of a higher power I’ve only previously felt whilst watching documentaries on the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs (they knew more than us, I’m telling you).
In fact, the ADER crew’s completely pre-meditated responses actually left me with more questions than I came prepared with. But here’s what I did find out about the new kids on the block (they could literally be kids for all we know).
What is Ader Error?
Ader Error is a South Korean unisex brand designed by an off-the-radar fashion collective. But what does the name mean?
Well, the first part of the name is an acronym: A standing for aesthetic, D for drawing and the ER is added to create a verb that means “people who draw on aesthetics”.
Then, the ‘Error’ part of the name communicates how the designers are attracted to imperfections ― notions that are typically viewed as ‘mistakes’. This serves as the unlikely inspiration for their designs; “We call it making a positive out of something negative”. Deep.
Where is Ader Error from?
Ader Error was founded in 2014 by a group of Korean creatives who live in Seoul. Although they all reside in the South Korean metropolis, members of the ‘crew’ (the name they use for their design collective) regularly “work on projects across the world, mainly in London, Paris and New York”. Sounds like they’re living their best life to me.
What experience did the designers have previously?
The members of the ADER crew “come from all different backgrounds including architecture, food, interior design, consulting, fashion, trade and advertising.” This versatile mix of backgrounds benefits the brand as each season has been carefully constructed by the minds of many. Basically, they’re a trendsetting version of the fellowship of the ring.
Where and how do the Ader Error crew create collections together?
If you were to visit ADER's head office located in the Yongsan (‘Dragon Hill’) district of Seoul, what you’d probably be most fascinated by is their ‘Idea Studio’. The Idea Studio is a space where the crew can relax, think and speak freely about their thoughts on the future of the label. The space has no restrictions and the only principle is that all brainstorming must assume their ‘FINE’ rule (they love an acronym).
What is the ‘FINE’ rule?
Fun - When it comes to creating content, they always consider how they would have fun with it.
Immediate - If there is something they really want to do, they act on it instantly.
New - they focus on something new by playing with the norms
Easy - all concepts should be understandable and accessible to their audience. They prefer this to complex/difficult stories.
What’s in store for Ader Error in 2019?
"In 2019 we will expand the scale and scope of our collaborations projects. We will continue to collaborate with Puma on a second and third season, as well as working with Maison Kitsune on a second season. Additionally, we will debut our collaborations with Eastpak and Alpha Industries.”
“We are also really excited to be launching our flagship store in Seoul next year.” The brand plans to create an arena of modern fashion with great attention to detail: “we will do everything very carefully and selectively.”
Ader Error speak on their relationship with colour...
The nucleus of the ADER brand is colour. They use vibrant hues — most frequently primary colours — to communicate ideologies. “Sight is the sense that man perceives the fastest and most intensely, and colour is the strongest element of visual perception. Colour is a number one priority when we’re designing and we’re most attracted to our signature colour, blue. Blue makes us feel both warm and cold at the same time, it works harmoniously with many other colours and can stand strong in a sea of other colours without being lost. These are the reasons why we feel it best represents our brand.”
and on their obsession with technology...
“We are fascinated with the relationship between man and machine. We believe that we can break through limitations and look beyond human territory by using technology”. This is something that shines through in each of their seasons — such as FW18’s ‘A Web Space’ and SS18’s ‘A Mobile Space’ — as re-working tech iconography has now become a quintessential part of the brand’s aesthetic.
Tell us what your slogan ‘but near missed things’ means…
“As a brand’s slogan and philosophy, ‘but near missed things’ expresses how we want to focus on the things that people regularly miss in their daily lives. Our creations then express everyday ideas”. Ader Error does this in a way that sparks feelings of familiarity and nostalgia, but also feels new.