Some people just see the world differently. But it's only those with the drive to make an impact who manifest their ideas into reality. Meet three mavericks using avant-garde methods to bring something exciting to classic formats – in a way that only they can. From using heritage to create modern clothing to designing physics-bending art or inventing new flavors to enliven old recipes, these people take tradition and give it a unique twist.
Ryan Chetiyawardana is wearing the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph, smoked blue lacquered dial with sunburst pattern.
Ryan Chetiyawardana's awards are as numerous as they are varied. When he's not being awarded Person of the Decade, Innovator of the Year, or International Bartender of the Year, he goes by Mr. Lyan; an enigmatic flavor enthusiast who has made his mark on the global bar scene. But what guides him isn't infamy; it's the exploration of flavor, through subverting expectations of traditional favorites and using zero-waste principles to invent brand new ingredients.
Being taught that waste was avoidable from a young age, he brought this ethos into his career while he was working in the bar industry, and his team began looking for ways to minimize their impact. "I started experimenting with turning our old citrus husks into liqueurs and making tinctures from our organic waste," says Chetiyawardana. "Over the years, we continued to address the problems we faced and tried to find more innovative ways to create a positive impact on the industry."
Now, this way of thinking has become a defining feature of his bars, and fuels to the unexpected joy he aims to cultivate in guests – whether they enter his establishments expecting a traditional cocktail bar experience or not.
"I think we make classic cocktails! But everything to me is about time, place, the idiosyncrasies and the details, so we do these classic cocktails in our own way that suits the situation," says Chetiyawardana. "But we try and make sure that it feels welcoming and warm. We always work to an idea of 'accessible innovation,' and our aim is not a dish or a drink per se, but more that we use these as part of a suite of tools that help us bring people together in a more meaningful or fun way."
Sabine Marcelis is wearing the
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph, grey lacquered dial with sunburst pattern.
For Sabine Marcelis, the world is a magical place. Finding inspiration everywhere, she isn't afraid to get stuck into the fray and blend artistic and industrial techniques with her team in her studio. But what truly galvanizes her creativity is experimenting with her favorite materials; light, glass, and resin. "I work as a designer of materials, objects, and spaces," says Marcelis. "Each project starts with a fascination for a certain material effect that I want to exploit and showcase. I work a lot with materials like glass and cast resins as they allow me to play with transparency and reflection."
A purist at heart, she approaches her work with a clarity that showcases her chosen materials in extraordinary and unexpected ways. "I am 100% against decorative elements, which is why most of my work is very simple in its form language," she says. "Stripped back to the essentials to highlight the material properties and have that be the focus instead. The relationship between light and these materials can create some magical moments."
Simple, elegant executions of carefully selected materials can transform anything into an instant classic. This materiality is what sets her pieces apart, as opposed to innovating the form – this is her point of distinction. "Of course, I am very much inspired by those who have come before me… But it's important to have your own design language and approach," says Marcelis. "My vision or my goal is to always strive for something very new. To create work that you have not seen before. To push the boundaries of production and materiality."
Adrien Sauvage is wearing the
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding, smoked burgundy lacquered dial with sunburst pattern.
Adrien Sauvage, designer and founder of House of Sauvage, walks a delicate line between past and present. He enriches his designs with the easy confidence and unburdened wearability that comes from having a total understanding of one's purpose and aesthetic. After all, he wants those who engage with his clothing to feel that the pieces are "a celebration, not validation."
Sauvage’s influences are varied, but his personal and cultural heritage runs deep within them. "My ancestral lineage is the foundation of the house," he says and quotes a distant relative, Victor Adedapo Kayode, who sheds light on the origins of his self-actualizing brand. "If you do not learn and continue to remind yourself of your history as a person, as a family, as a people, as a nationality, as a tribe, and as a nation, the likelihood is that a historical fact gradually pales into an intangible and unlikely legend and then it eventually turns into nothing but an ephemeral myth."
The materials Sauvage selects, and the people who create them are part of his legend, vetted with knowledge of ancient family relationships between trailblazing traders and generations of trained artisans, goldsmiths, and silk weavers. The same people now supply him with the most crucial facet of his designer's toolbox: "The materials dictate the shape and form of the garments - a designer is nothing without material."
Whether clothes make the man or not, Sauvage knows that his approach and the bespoke nature of his process sets him apart and imbues the wearer with an easy and effortless style. "Bespoke garments create a light of confidence and invoke a loucheness that it is hard to obtain from civilian clothing," says Sauvage. "This is not a suit; it's a lifestyle."