Divino Man

2. Adam Zaka 1 With advertisements reminiscent of Kenzo and Michael Kors and an eye for vibrant, eye-catching hues, Adam Zaka, the head of Divino Man is starting to make waves in the fashion world. Turning against the current rave over minimalist aesthetic, he has strayed into the unknown territory of bright patterns and colors for menswear. His feminine fabrics and cuts blur the socially constructed lines of gender.

Growing up in Texas, Zaka considered himself a “complete social outcast.” Although popularity may have been the definition of success in high school, he knew that his knack and passion for the arts would lead him to something bigger than being on top of an institutionalized hierarchy. Fueled by the aspiration to do better, he moved to Los Angeles in hopes of finding an area of visual creativity, in which he could thrive. Modeling and film came first, and being in front of the camera taught him a thing or two about visual based industries. A comedy television pilot he produced and starred in, Christian Vain, humorously displayed his theatrical abilities and satirically foreshadowed the direction he was headed in next: fashion. Although the main character is a much shallower, narcissistic version of Zaka, their undeniable love for sartorial endeavors pull them together. However it is Zaka’s deep personal understanding of gender and fashion, and the sources he pulls his inspiration from, that pushes him over the line from being a good designer to a great one.

Influenced by Versailles and Rococo art and architecture, his designs use these classical art forms to accentuate the male physique. His collection consists of whimsical, silk charmeuse dress shirts whose patterns look like they’ve been painted on palace walls or taken from the ceilings of Late Baroque, royal edifices. But aside from these historical muses, one particular video stands out in Zaka’s mind, the turning point that really embodied how he wanted to present his company. It was a sensual and flashy ad campaign by Hype Williams and Dolce and Gabbana that sparked an immense amount of inspiration for him. With saturated hues and candy-coated music, Zaka’s ads now reflect the extent fashion can go visually. This blend of flamboyance and divine class make Divino Man unlike any other men’s label. Zaka’s ideas are forward-thinking and match the changes expected to occur in the fashion world in
the next decade.

2. Adam Zaka HEADSHOT_AdamZaka

The deep necklines and vivacious colors add an air of femininity, but this is intended. His brand’s name, Divino Man, comes from his aspiration to promote divinity and the essence of what a real, authentic man is to him. Although the name is seemingly antonymic from the feminine aesthetic of his line, his definition of masculinity doesn’t necessarily match society’s. “I was really tired of growing up, living in a society where you have to live with a mold around yourself. And while I walked around freely I still felt like I was caged, and trying to live this ideal of what it means to be a ‘macho man’ or masculine. The image that is out there is something I don’t relate with. I feel as if it is dispassionate, not connected, fake and not authentic, at least to me and how I express myself as a male.”

Much of his thinking comes from profound, philosophical teachings, especially that of Jung’s animus and anima. His line embodies the fluidity of this specific philosophy, which he describes as, “the masculine expression of the divine feminine.” His shirts are the stepping-stones to modernizing this viewpoint. “All men innately have a woman’s soul in them and all women innately have a man’s soul within them, this completes the balance between yin and yang… quit being so rigid. The rigid are easy to break, the soft and supple can always move and morph into a new form.” His dream is for his audience and the fashion industry to find their own story, rather than conforming to the common, repetitive gender roles and expectations.

Zaka’s main intent also differs from typical designers. “My whole life I’ve been looking for the love of someone else to complete me, but I think that’s complete shit. The number one thing I want to be in the spotlight for is to tell people that you can get yourself anywhere you want to be in this life because you already have your soul mate, it’s your soul and it’s in you and driving this body, that is all the power you need to be complete.”

Text by Melissa Epifano