Advice From One Creative Director: Wear Comfortable Shoes…& A Baguette

Who's that handsome man, you ask? Why, it's Aldric Speer, creative director of Paris-based, cult-followed brand Surface to Air. Over at R29 Shops, we're running a killer offer that'll get you up to $500 off S2A's entire fall line, which just happens to be one of our favorites of the season. So, we thought we'd take the opportunity to get a little, ahem, closer to one of the brand's leading men.
Read on to find out why Speer considers a baguette a fall wardrobe staple, comfortable shoes an imperative, and jeans the secret to every guy's sex appeal. Intéressant, n'est-ce pas?
Oh, and that killer offer we mentioned? Don't forget to snap it up!

What are the major inspirations/themes for your winter collection?
"We had a few guidelines like geometric lines, strong textures such as marble and concrete, military aesthetic, and as always, New York for its elegant sportswear and Paris for its simple elegance."

We always look forward to seeing your shoe collections, and this season, we spy some seriously comfy-looking kicks (wedge sneakers, alley boots). Did you purposely design for comfort or did you just like the aesthetic?
"Our hearts always go out to all the lovely girls we see out in the streets teetering on crazy heels with impossible heights. It feels like the effect is counter-productive –– instead of being sexy, empowered, and at ease, women often end up looking and feeling painfully uncomfortable. Comfort is inherent to our S2A style aesthetics. We love the idea of being effortlessly sexy. So, yes, our shoes will make your legs look longer and your posture more feminine, but they won’t make you look like you’re about to break your back. Instead, they make you feel comfortable for real."

In general, do you take comfort into account when designing?
"Absolutely. Beautiful materials are the key. Our customers need to feel completely at ease in our clothes. That’s how they’ll look their best, because they won’t have to worry about showing too much or trying to be someone they’re not. Even our sexiest items are comfortable."


Do you have a favorite piece from your winter collection?
"The Prezzo parka. It’s so versatile. It has this amazing '90s feel, like something you could wear at a rave, but still look stylish. You can wear it with a little dress or at the countryside with hiking boots. We like clashing influences."


What do you consider to be three must-have wardrobe staples for this season?
"A coat with a shearling accent, a leather jacket, and of course the essential French touch — a beret and a baguette!"

Your men's line is so effortlessly cool (much like your own style). Do you have any advice for all the dudes out there who don't know where to start when it comes to fashion?
"Try and venture in different stores, rather than just shopping on High Street. Save up for better quality clothes, durable materials, and staple pieces with seasonal details to have that touch of being in the 'now.' Every guy, no matter what the season, should have a great jacket, a shawl sweater, and boots or derbies. But never try too hard if fashion is not your thing! Also, an honest truth, the right fit of jeans can make any guy look stylish. We have two fits at S2A that we've have perfected and kept for five years, Regular and Slim. If you can find that perfect-fitting jean, it can upgrade your sex appeal instantly."


S2A is so linked to the music and film industry — between collaborations with everyone from Kim Gordon and Kid Cudi to your short films. Why is it important to you to keep your brand connected to these mediums?
"Branching out and collaborating is important to keep things fresh and relevant, and we're lucky to be able to work with artists, photographers, and singers who we genuinely admire. We always have a new story and new creative universe to discover and share with our customers. We don’t want to restrict ourselves to fashion. Cinema is Jérémie’s passion (he’s directed videos for Justice, Chromeo, Louis Vuitton, etc.), so it's now become a tradition to make a video every season that embodies the essence of our new collection. We like to push the envelope, creatively speaking, and offer a full experience that encompasses our brand's identity. It’s not just fashion, it’s not just a T-shirt, it’s not just a simple print, it’s not just any leather jacket…there’s always a story or a history behind the pieces, which render them interesting and give them a reason to be coveted."

Inquiring minds want to know…what do you think is the most attractive thing a woman can wear?

Your collection is so well-balanced. If you could only pick one area of design (life or death!), which would it be? Shoes, accessories, outerwear, or apparel?
"Leather jackets! We’ll never tire of them. And we’re good at designing them."