Astrid Andersen Interview
As a major contributor to what most believed to be a fleeting trend in Menswear, at one point did you realize the fusion of luxury and sport was actually a symbol of a more enduring shift in the industry?
To me, the fusion of luxury and sport was always such an integral part of my life. Growing up in the 90s - when hip hop music really became mainstream and sports athletes became the true superstars - all of that created new aspirational codes within our generation. So for luxury and sport to become more than a trend I think was inherent to our generation and I’m happy to see how fashion is now ready for new interpretations and avenues.
How'd you come up with your logo?
I did the logo almost 10 years ago together with 2 amazing friends, Kristian Grove Møller and Simon Rasmussen. We all just jammed over how we felt the relevance of a high-low idea like, “what if Versace did a collab with Everlast?” Really we just had a lot of fun and it wasn’t over-thought in any way. Then of course, I wanted to reference basketball because that’s really the starting point of a lot my style references and a personal passion of mine. There’s also a double AA incorporated in it.
How has designing your eponymous Menswear line changed your personal aesthetic?
It keeps challenging me, and as I grow older it’s important that the line reflects that growth as well. The key element for me is to not stand still, to push the category of contemporary streetwear further, to keep elevating it, and most of all to make sure it doesn’t fall into the trend catalog.
Congratulations on your first FILA Fjeld collection. As the newly appointed creative director, how do you plan on emphasizing the iconic logo?
Thank you! It’s really exciting to work with them. The creative freedom I have to interpret what I see is a relevant step for a sports style brand to take if they wish to elevate their style. There’s so many collabs around and a deeper message beyond simple branding can seem a bit lost at times. I truly wanted to create a premium line through the eyes of my Scandinavian heritage, keeping the aesthetic about a subtle and powerful expression. Being understated and letting the quality of the garment speak its own language which I believe to be a strong path for the future of sportswear.
And how does your mentality and design process differ from that of your own brand?
For Fila Fjeld it becomes more about slowing things down and creating a wardrobe of essential pieces that you wear because the essence of yourself is the strongest branding needed. Whereas Astrid Andersen is a tribe of people and the branding is a connection to and an appreciation of a brand that is brave and creates stories for one to wear that are also an expression of your own personal style and branding.
Growing up in Denmark, was there a particular moment when you realized you wanted to design Menswear?
I always preferred wearing my older brothers’ old clothes and never felt comfortable in the girls’ section of any clothing shop. My mum would sew my clothes from as early as I remember because we just couldn’t find anything I felt ok in. Her commitment to honor my individual expression from so early on is a huge influence in my life and I’m so grateful for that. It meant that I never really thought about my own style as feminine nor masculine and thus when I started designing it was just more interesting for me to design for men as a starting point because I could exclude myself from the work and just make clothes.
Has it always been fashion for you?
Looking back yes, but growing up it was never about Vogue or the red carpet it was more about my own expression.
You've collaborated with artists such as M.I.A. and A$AP Ferg, so it seems safe to say you find inspiration in music. What's your favorite genre of music and how do you incorporate that into your design process?
I will always be a musical product of the ‘90s so hip hop and RNB is an integral part of my daily universe but I’m also fascinated by Music as an expression of culture. I actually wrote my master’s thesis from The Royal College of Art on how music is an influence on the creative process and in that I referenced a lot of Pink Floyd as my constant creative reference mood.
You've always been heavily focused on reimaging luxury and the new generation's ability to affect the dress code norms. From an outsider’s prescriptive, you seemed to have no trouble bursting the luxury bubble. How difficult was it for you, as a woman & a designer, to successfully (& lucratively) shift gender norms to that of quality through comfort?
I have had my own brand for 8 or 9 years now and was very determined from the beginning about the direction and it wasn’t always that easy. I used to do interviews defending why there were tracksuits in my catwalk shows, which seems a bit silly today. But to me it’s always been the expression that I found relevant and I’m very lucky that it launched before it became the norm because that will always keep me on my toes and try and understand how we push it further to prove that it’s a category that can evolve together with the luxury market and not just be a fun addition to it for just a few seasons.
Click here for the Xhibition x Astrid Andersen Collab.