Astrid Andersen

-Tell us a bit about you and your brand

My name is Astrid Andersen and I am from Denmark. I like to dress men to look and feel powerfull and sexy using strong references from street- and sportswear. To me it is important for a man to look masculine but also to try and play with the boundaries of this concept. I love to use color, proportion and fabrics/surfaces in order to push these boundaries of what is perceived as masculine clothes.

-Tell us about your graduate collection in RCA

The collection is inspired by Spanish matadors and American hip hop culture and the similarities within their ways of portraying power and masculinity. The collection holds leopard print, pink sheepskin, devore techniques, fur, beadwork and gold chain embroidery as very feminine features – but influenced by the extreme attitude of matadors and hip hop culture it becomes a cool and fresh menswear collection.

-What pushed you to make the decision to study in London? How was like studying in RCA compare with the university you attended in Denmark?

The RCA is the best school in the world for doing menswear so the choise was not so difficult. I had already met my senor tutor Ike Rust at my college in Denmark, Teko, so I knew he was able to help me develop as a menswear designer.
My BA from Teko, DK was different in the sense that it was a very technical school and it was very much about manufacturing and making, whereas RCA is more about the design development and creating a strong individual look. Combined I believe to have a very strong education.

-What does London mean to you and what sort of influence has it had on your creations?

I think being in London has definitely allowed me to be bolder with my designs and given me some creative courage that I would not have found in Denmark.

-What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?

Fur and basketball shorts. To me it is the ultimate combination.

-Why did you choose menswear design?

It just comes more naturally. I find it more fun and exiting as there is a lot more to explore within menswear today.

-Is there any designers or person that had a strong influence of your work?

Not one in particular. Throughout the development of the collection I have had so many different people having different opinions about my work and I am sure they have all influenced it more than I probably even imagine.

-How do you describe characteristic of your style which makes it difference from others?

I like to think of it as comfortable clothes with a very young and fresh attitude. It is bold and fun but with extreme consideration into detailing and manufacturing, which makes even basketball shorts a luxury item.

-What are the most important factors when you approach your work?

To enjoy what I do. I sometimes tend to forget this very important point as I get very anal about my work but it is an important factor, also because I want my clothes to have an easiness and enjoyable feel to them, which can only be achieved if that’s the approach I take towards my work.

-Did you become a designer by accident or was it something that you always wanted?

I have always wanted to be creative in some sense – designing clothes has somehow happened quit organically along the way.

-What are the difficulties faced being a designer today?

That there are SO many good designers everywhere compared to the amount of work.

-How do you see your brand developing over the next couple of years?

I would love for it to become recognizable to people and for it to remain bold and fresh whilst taking on a commercial form. I am already getting some attention from very high end retailers in London which is truly amazing and funny because I always thought of my clothes as not very London appealing and more pointing towards Paris or Japan. But that is the amazing part about London as well that it surprises you. So I will stay here – but to be able to maybe show in Paris in some years time would be the ultimate development of my brand.

Interview:Masaki Takida Photo:copyright © 2010 Christopher Moore Limited

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