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An Interview with Boris Stainoff, Founder of NYC clothing brand, "Faust"

What is Faust and where does it come from?

Faust is a clothing label initiated in Chelsea. It draws conceptual inspiration from a 16th century German Renaissance fable called the Legend of Faust. The Legend of Faust is an allegorical template. Its main character is a highly successful scholar, Dr. Faustus, who believes that theology is medicine and ambition is only surmounted by an infinite amount of sensory pleasures. Faustus enters a pact with the devil in which he allows his soul to become eternally damned in exchange for lifelong fulfillment. Faustus enhanced, relishes in hedonism, seduces the eternal feminine, and lives without moral ambiguity. Towards the end of his life, Faustus still feels pain although promised that there would be no limits to his pleasure. He realizes that even permanent fulfillment is a falsehood. In the legend’s most popular ending, Faustus’ soul is saved by his tireless devotion to achieve and his newfound love for creation. Regardless, his experience of the world only confirms his desire for the unattainable.

What are the contemporary implications of the Legend of Faust and how is it embodied in Faust’s design?

Faust interprets The Legend of Faust as primarily a repudiation of both duality and morality. And is catered to a demographic living in an age of hypersensitivity but overstimulation, whom rejects and rebels in the form of drugs and decadence. I know that’s a pill-full. So, the promised fulfillment either exercised by the devil’s bestowment of worldly pleasure depicted in the LOF or dopamine/serotonin stimulation from the recreational use of drugs in contemporary society, is illusory. Right? And the promise of the afterlife as incentive for fulfillment in the present life, a concept deeply embedded in the LOF, or the overmedication of civilians adopted by the current biopharmaceutical industry in our present day, is illusory as well. So, the only difference between the two is society’s fascination with duality.

I will be the first to admit that these concepts are haphazardly strewn across Faust pieces. Many people have come up to me and remarked that either the print and consequently the logo is a blatant promotion of drug consumption or absolutely confide in the image’s perceived extremity and believe in cultivating a group that would understand the complicated ecosystem of drugs and society in their adolescent years.

Well, what are some features of the design and print that implement Faustian concepts?

For starters, every piece will have a custom made prescription pad tag with the pieces name–usually distinguished by a prescribed drug and a specific dosage. The prescription pad tag will be stitched on the inseam on the back collar/cut of all topwear. Faust’s logo is a sketch of an anguished humanoid face midway through swallowing a spectrum of coloured pills. Finally, the fabric decisions, in particular the ribbed cotton/poly fleecing and white scuba neoprene of the Xanax 2mg Pullover, reflect a stoic hospital room that has just barely subdued the many psychiatric disorders of its patients. Yeah, again, I’ll be the first to admit that the embodiment of these concepts needs more clarification. Look... it’s a brand that intends to open a forum, albeit. through suggestive messaging.

What brands are Faust inspired by?

Mainly, the Legend occupies the bulk of creative inspiration. The remaining design inspiration comes from really any successful, tactful, streetwear brand that has made it to every NYC kid’s fashion peripheral.

What can we expect to see in the future of the brand?

Faust is going to evolve through feedback from customers. I think it’s an extremely viable idea that needs even more forethought and strategy than previously envisioned. I see Faust going more simplistic and less staccato-y with the implementation of different subtleties in the design and concepts in its founding fable. I see some reflective pleated pants and our logo patterned across the pockets. I see prescription pads made out of Tyvek on the back of boxy pill-shaped hoodies. And I see tattooed arm sleeves with a convoluted account of the role of contemporary drugs, decadence, duality, philosophy, and pharmacy sprawled across in space-gothic handwriting.

Huge thanks to Boris for taking the time to do the interview.

Check out Faust's site at

Or you can swing by the brand's Instagram

#Fashion #NYC