ASTRID ANDERSEN INTERVIEW (LOGO.EC 27.02.12)
Denmark-born menswear designer Astrid Andersen has been climbing from strength to strength since graduating from RCA in 2010, having shown collections for the last three seasons on the prestigious MAN catwalk, scored stocking space in Selfridges and Opening Ceremony, and gained the likes of NAS and A$AP Rocky as fans. With an aesthetic that combines tough streetwear shapes with a luxe attitude, Astrid talks to LOGO about the concept of the modern man, and why she’d love to style Andre3000…
LOGO: You recently showed your Autumn/Winter 2013 collection at LCM – how do you feel it went?
ASTRID: I was very pleased with the show. It was my last MAN show with Topman and Fashion East so I really wanted it to somehow sum up what my label is about – strong attitude, sexy clothes and confident looks. The response has been amazing this season!
LOGO: The collection is themed around ‘vanity as an extreme sport’ – what inspired that concept? Is the ‘vanity’ slant a reflection of today’s modern man?
ASTRID: I’m always fascinated with how young men perceive themselves as individuals and as a group and how this reflect a certain vanity code.
LOGO: The concept of what it means to be a woman in the post-Noughties climate is often discussed in the media – but not so much for men. What do you think, is the idea of modern masculinity changing?
ASTRID: I don’t know so much about the sociological terms, but from my point of view it’s just about men dressing to feel and look sexy. They have done this in the past through suits, and now, above all, it’s more about attitude. Its just time for men – there’s been so much focus on women’s fashion and how to define female sexiness, it’s only natural the boys want the same attention now.
LOGO: You shot into the limelight pretty quickly upon graduating from RCA (not to mention all those awards you’ve scooped) – have you ever felt pressure to live up to that hype?
ASTRID: Yes, of course. Each season I feel pressure to deliver, but I think it’s mostly just from my own personal ambition’s point of view. It’s only human to want other people to like what you do, but it also gets easier with experience to distance your persona from your work.
LOGO: You’ve created pieces for River Island before – would you ever venture into commercial/high street design again?
ASTRID: River Island was when I was still studying, but you also see these collaborations at very high end with [brands like] Topman, and I wouldn’t mind this at all. It can be done in very clever ways, and I learnt a lot about the commercial side with the River Island project that is still of great value to me today.
LOGO: And leading on from that, what do you think about celebrities who design collections for high street brands? Rihanna x River Island showed at LFW this season – do you see that as a natural progression for the industry, or a cheap distraction from the hard work of real designers?
ASTRI: I’m happy Rihanna just did River Island as well – made me feel way cooler! Haha! I think it’s absolutely fine. The high street and high fashion both need to somehow have their place within the same industry. I don’t think the Rihanna x River Island collaboration tried to be anything that it wasn’t – it felt like a natural progression for the high street, and to me that makes sense.
LOGO: For me, your designs seem to display a sense of tongue-in-cheek contradiction – on the one hand you have these tough, assured streetwear shapes, but then at the same time you’re playing with bright pinks and textures like silk and velvet. Is that a fair comment?
ASTRID: Yes, I think it is. It’s what I try to balance – I feel that things become more interesting when there’s a danger of it going wrong a bit.
LOGO: What first prompted you to focus on menswear, rather than womenswear design? Do you ever see yourself branching out into womenswear, or maybe something like accessories?
ASTRID: I just prefer it. To me, it’s more interesting and natural. More and more girls want to wear the label, but I want it to be a menswear brand.
LOGO: Would you say there’s a central philosophy or ethos that drives your work?
ASTRID: I simply just want to make men look hot and feel confident, because that’s the ultimate attraction to me.
LOGO: As your label gets bigger, do you see yourself potentially ever taking on a creative director role at a larger brand? Say, if Riccardo Tisci stepped down tomorrow and offered you the job…
ASTRID: It’s too early for me to even think about these things… Although I have had that dream where he casually says, “Hey, you wanna do this thing called Givenchy…?” and then I wake up! Talk about pressure though, no one wants to follow Tisci surely – what he has already accomplished is insane.
LOGO: A$AP Rocky is a big fan of your designs – who else would you like to see wearing them?
ASTRID: Yes, that’s amazing. I saw a photo of NAS in one of my T-shirts and this was huge for me, because I remember buying his CD when I was like 15! I have always wanted to also dress Andre3000, just because it looks fun.
LOGO: You’re based in both London and Copenhagen – how does the Danish attitude to menswear differ to that in Britain? Is your work received any differently over there?
ASTRID: The Danish attitude is much more strict and conventional; there’s not as much room to play around as there is in the British attitude. What I take from Denmark is a legacy of attention to the craftsmanship (I hope).
LOGO: And finally – what will you be wearing this Spring/Summer?
ASTRID: It’s funny, I never wear labels at all – but I’m all about branding my man…
Interview: Charlotte McManus
Posted on 10/06/2013, in Fashion and tagged andre3000, asap rocky, astrid andersen, astrid andersen aw13, charlotte mcmanus, designer interview, fashion east, LCM, logo branded culture, logo.ec, menswear, Nas, rihanna, River Island, sportswear, Topman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.