Jordan Gogos, the Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist, fashion designer and creative brain behind the Iordanes Spyridon Gogos (ISG) label, has a confession. “I hate mornings,” he says. “That’s why coffee’s so important for me. I’m literally that stereotypical person that has that mug that says, ‘Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee’.”
He also has a mug with colourful Trojan Horses all over it – thanks to himself. Gogos recently partnered with coffee brand Vittoria to create a limited edition fashion series of coffee cups. In use during Australian Fashion Week, the cups were emblazoned with Gogos’s signature splashes of colour and playful motifs.
“I wanted to create fun little moments around coffee dialogue,” says Gogos of the playful illustration. “So when people are having a serious business meeting they can’t keep a serious face. It's like, ‘Oh, how cute is that?’ It breaks up the dialogue and distracts them a little bit – puts a bit of colour in their day. It’s very toy-like, it feels like you just want to squish [the horses] and take them out of the cups.”
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The design echoes the ethos Gogos applies to his art – whether it’s with coffee cups, sculptures or his luminous fashion label (which is yet to hit shops). “The way I design is mix and match colours and just letting myself kind of fail, then rebuild and playing again,” says Gogos. “The end result feels serious, but to get there it’s overlaying chaos and madness and colour.”
That chaos is tempered by – of course – coffee. Gogos has his morning routine down to a fine art. After a 9am wake-up, he only “starts functioning” around 10am when the coffee kicks in. Using his Espressotoria Piccolo machine, he pours two Vittoria capsules of coffee over ice and adds a splash of oat milk. “My whole coffee routine is about big ice cubes,” he says. “Not the small tray ones. It’s the perfect ratio because it doesn’t melt straight away.”
With his workday sometimes stretching to a long 15 hours, Gogos’s morning is about setting up for a productive day. “When you work by yourself, you have to motivate yourself,” he says. “There’s no boss telling me I have to come in.” After coffee, Gogos checks emails and makes “a thousand” phone calls. “I check in with people I work with and debrief on what happened yesterday,” he says.
These morning conversations set the tone for Gogos. “I really bounce off other people’s energy – that’s where I find my inspiration. You find that starting point – are we going to go full-steam-hectic-caffeinated and bust out all this work, or are we going to sit down and recuperate?”
In the lead-up to his recent show at Australian Fashion Week, Gogos used the mornings to curate his runway playlist. A big fan of Eurotrash pop, some of the more left-field bangers to make the cut were King of My Castle, a Britney Spears cover of a ‘90s club hit, and Gummy Bear – “one of those Crazy Frog songs” but with a Greek producer. “I had a rule – if the song didn’t make me excited about the day, I would take it off the list,” he says.
While on morning calls, Gogos sketches and flicks through old journals to find inspiration. “In the mornings, I tend to look back at my work from [when I lived in] New York and started making [things] in a bathroom and had no space,” he says. “Really trying to connect with freedom in making, which can get lost when you’re putting stuff out into the mainstream in such a short period of time.”
Most mornings, Gogos stops by a local cafe for breakfast and orders avo on a toasted bagel with two hash browns, before heading to his studio in the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. He’s currently working on his first solo art show: an upcoming exhibition of distinctive aluminium furniture designs and textile art at Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert in Rushcutters Bay.
Until then, Gogos’ Trojan Horse motif will do the infiltrating. “[Since] I haven't sold my clothing [yet], I want people to be able to have a piece of the brand in their home,” says Gogos. “And for those who don't know the brand, I love [the idea of the] Trojan Horses breaking into the industry and ushering in new ideas. Seeing it appear in all these different settings – and now a Vittoria coffee cup – is really exciting for me. It's like those people who have random coffee cups with quirky little slogans. This is my quirky little slogan but with my name on it. It's surreal.”
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Vittoria Coffee.