I first met this monster 7 years ago when I first moved to San Francisco. He was a co-worker and friend of my friend Russ, who I moved out to San Francisco with, well a year later but never the less. Anyway, Agustin and I became the best of friends and room mates. I couldn’t be happier or prouder of the dude, he’s accomplished a lot so far and it’s just the beginning.
Agustin lived in Mexico City until he was 20. His first design job was working as a set designer for a big deal Mexico City fashion photographer when he was just 19. Soon after, he moved to San Francisco to enroll in the BFA program at the Academy of Art University. In 2009 he designed the school’s Urban Knights Cafe. They must have liked the results because they signed him up to design five more spaces at the university, including Cafe Rodin. Plus, the university recently hired him to teach interior design and write their design blog, Interior Design School Daily. On top of that he recently launched his website Apartment415, which fuses the glamour of the fashion world with the lustrous realm of Interior Design.
He’s such a success story that I wanted to share him with you all.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I recently started teaching commercial space design and writing the interior design blog, Interior Design School Daily, for the Academy of Art University. I’m also working with the Academy of Art on designing a few more spaces: the International House dorms cafeteria, the New Media and Wen Design Gallery and reception area, the School of Fashion cafeteria “cafe Dior,” and the School of Interior Design student lounge and cafe and reception areas. I’ve also launched my website Apartment415.com
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get my inspiration from everything around me: art, music, fashion even from talking to my friends and family.
What’s your dream job?
I would love to own my own restaurant and hotel design company. Also I would love to work at some point with my mother in Mexico City — she is an interior designer.
I know you have a lot of siblings… can you tell the readers a little bit about your family and upbringing? Did your family life have an influence on your career choice or aesthetic?
I do have a lot of siblings: I have four sisters and two brothers. Half of my family is in Mexico City and the other half is in San Diego, so its pretty hard to get everyone together, but we try to at least once a year. I grew up in a very artsy environment. My grandfather was a well-known Mexican painter, Guillermo Sanders, my mom is an interior designer, and all of my sisters are very into fashion. So all that combined had a great influence in my career choice and who I am.
Who do you admire most in your field?
What’s the biggest mistake people tend to make when decorating their homes? And what’s the easiest thing people can do to improve their space?
I think the easiest way to improve your space is by reusing unconditional items around your home as furniture or decorative items. I spend hours in antique stores and find items that could be reused and make them into something beautiful for the home. I think the biggest mistake people tend to do is spend a lot of money in renovating their homes when it could be done with much less.
‘Death to Paulina’ is the first solo collection from the line Dextrose, created by the very talented bay area designer Dexter Simmons. There’s something sinister about these photos shot by Kristen Cofer, which is beautifully juxtaposed against the warmth of a hazy daydream. I caught up with Dexter and asked him about his current collection:
Give me a little information on the man behind Dextrose?
My name is Dexter Simmons. I was born and raised in the bay area. Urban living, nightlife, and San Francisco are what inspired me to become involved in art and fashion. I have always worked in some facet of fashion; styling bands, editorial, catalog, hair, makeup, fashion shows and art instillations. Music is what really drives me, styling bands is probably one of my favorite things to do. Besides that I am a power dork, comic books, fashion magazines, horror films, and concerts keep me percolated. Don’t get me wrong though, I still like to go out to clubs and drop it like it’s hot.
How did Dextrose come about?
Dextrose is a manifestation of all the skills I have acquired while working in different facets of fashion. I always wanted to work on my own solo project, but I never had the time. I was propelled forward by a bad break-up/heartbreak. Forces in my life fueled me to express what I was experiencing and it just felt right. I remember waking up at 5:00 in the morning night after night like a zombie, sketching and draping to keep my mind right. I have always used fashion as a way to express what I am feeling. This collection is the most personal piece of fashion and performance art I have ever put together, I left my heart and soul with this one.
You started out designing clothes with your best friend Lauren Rassel and created the line Flawk, what is the most challenging obstacles about showing a solo collection?
The most challenging part about starting this solo collection after Flawk is expectations. We really set the bar high and hit the ground running. What I have been doing on my own is just so different than Flawk; it really is a lot darker. This really gave me a good chance to get in my own head and figure out who I am as a designer.
Why “Death to Paulina”? Is there Paulina?
Death to Paulina is a Pans Labyrinth version of my own personal heartbreak. It combines dark spooky classic American Mickey shapes with the occult. Its a story of a cult of women who believe the end of the world is coming and the only way to fix it and save humanity is to sacrifice Paulina. “We are not a cult, we are a cure, Death to Paulina”.
Who or what inspires you?
I get a lot of inspiration from horror movies, 70’s cult, religion, American classics and really just my emotional state. I love to watch John Waters’s films; they remind that beauty can be found in the most insane places.
If you could dress anyone in Dextrose who would it be and why?
Grace Jones because she is one of the most inspiring performance artists of my time. She takes all of the right risks, and isn’t afraid to make ugly beautiful.
When he’s not creating one of a kind fashions Dexter can be found bar tending special events and parties at Project One Art Gallery, http://p1sf.com/