Byline: Michel Botbol
FREDERIC SANCHEZ’S SOUND GARDEN: Frederic Sanchez is the hottest fashion-show deejay of the moment. The Frenchman counts Vivienne Westwood, Jean Colonna, Lanvin and Véronique Leroy in Paris and Jil Sander in Milan as clients. And now he’s come to New York for his first season, where he’s spinning for Marc Jacobs, Badgley Mischka, Anna Sui, Richard Tyler and Miu Miu.
Sanchez began his career in public relations, working on the Martine Sitbon account. Sitbon introduced him to her husband, art director Marc Ascoli, who led him to work on the Sitbon and Sander shows. He met Martin Margiela, the two hit it off, and they have collaborated ever since. Sanchez calls Ascoli and Margiela “my fathers.” What sets Sanchez apart from other deejays is the fact that he likes to forge a relationship with a designer and familiarize himself with the fashion in order to personalize the music. “Like hair and makeup, it shows what you don’t see in the clothes,” Sanchez says. “It makes the collection more legible.”
He tries to brand designers with a “sound label” that becomes part of their signature. “Take Vivienne Westwood and her bustled silhouettes — we worked with classical music,” he says. “If you played disco, the whole thing could become tacky.” So Sanchez chose pieces from Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev and Borodin. “For Jil Sander, it was more about what a woman would listen to in her car,” Sanchez notes. “Making music for fashion shows is not unlike making music for movies. A fashion show is like a motion picture, where each model is a frame.
“In New York, I do things a little differently because the energy level is so high. With Marc Jacobs, we listened to his favorite records and made a soundtrack.” Jacobs’s show featured Iggy Pop, the Runaways and the Beastie Boys. “I never mix, but cut to each song, which is my trademark: to create a sound collage,” Sanchez adds. “When I’m working with my headphones in New York, the sounds of the street will infiltrate my work and inspire me.”