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Mr Scott Sternberg
The founder of cult US label Band of Outsiders on the books, photography and design inspiring him right now
(Drag to navigate the desk, and click the objects to find out more)

the graphic design
of mr lou dorfsman

"This guy was the graphic designer for CBS for more than 40 years, designing its print and TV ads, as well as various promos and commercials. The spirit of these ads, from the scale of imagery, to the fonts, to the actual copy, was very modern for the time, and they still feel really fresh, funny and inspiring today."

the antoine doinel film series
by mr francois truffaut

"Jean-Pierre Léaud starred in five Truffaut films over 20 years, growing up in front of his camera as Antoine Doinel. Everything about these films provides inspiration and some sense of meditation - the characters, the set design, the cinematography, and of course Léaud's style. My favourites are Stolen Kisses, Love on the Run and The 400 Blows."

the paintings
of mr ed ruscha

"From his books (he made a bunch in the 1960s and 1970s, including Some Los Angeles Apartments), to his surreal word paintings, Ed Ruscha has defined the coolest version of LA that could possibly exist. We somehow convinced him to star in our ad campaign last spring."

the writing
of mr mikhail bulgakov

"I'm a sci-fi/ fantasy/ mythology geek, and this book takes all of that to the next level as a political and religious satire. The protagonists are the Devil and Pontius Pilate, but the book is hilarious and always lifts my brain out of the mundane."

Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn't so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other...

Exerpt from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

the music
of mr bob dylan

"I couldn't possibly identify a single, consistent musical inspiration - each season the Band of Outsiders collection ends up with its own soundtrack that helps set the tone and mood - but some perennials that I always go back to, and which tend to cleanse the palette, are Bob Dylan, the Magnetic Fields and Gillian Welch."

the photography
of mr stephen shore

"Stephen Shore has made so many memorable images, from the ones he took of Andy Warhol's factory when he was a teenager, to his pioneering colour photography documenting road trips and small towns across the US. The images are narratives in and of themselves; they document what's now the past, but never feel nostalgic."
  • Photography by Mr Michael Bodiam
  • Words by Mr Peter Henderson, Senior Fashion Writer, MR PORTER

Band of Outsiders is a renowned US fashion label based between Los Angeles and New York City, but its creation was almost accidental. The founder and designer, Mr Scott Sternberg, was working for the Hollywood talent agency CAA, when he encountered a problem that many of us can relate to: he couldn't find the perfect shirt for work. Instead of trawling the shops he decided to create his own, tweaking the fit and fabric of existing dress shirts to make something softer and less rigid. Before long, his clients at the agency started to notice and began requesting the shirt for themselves, with the actor Mr Jason Schwartzman among the first. From there, Band of Outsiders was born, and has since attracted a cult following for its preppy classics with a twist, which bring to mind vintage Americana in a contemporary way.

The name of the brand is significant because Band of Outsiders remains grounded ("I'm looking for something more honest and human in fashion," Mr Sternberg has said) and retains an offbeat edge: the New York showroom is disguised inside an old cookie factory, which still has the original store front, and a section of the Band of Outsiders website is dedicated to these sugary snacks ("Why cookies? You should be ashamed for even asking", the header informs us). And it's no coincidence that Mr Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave movie Bande à part lends its name to Mr Sternberg's company: while the film's title is usually translated as "Band of Outsiders", it comes from the French phrase faire bande à part, which means to do something different from the rest.

Navigate the interactive desk, above, and click the objects to discover more about what's inspiring Mr Sternberg.

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