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BLK DNM: A BRAND WITH A VOICE. JOHAN LINDEBERG INTERVIEW.

September 19, 2014

1-BLK DNM, why did you choose this name and why an acronym?
I wanted a name to contrast me having my personal name on the label J. Lindeberg for 12 years. I wear black denim jeans everyday. I just looked at my own jeans and decided the name.. I took away the vowels as I wanted it simple and straight forward..

2- BLK DNM’s iconography is definitely rock and roll. I am thinking of such bands as the Ramones, or The Clash. Is this a merely aesthetic choice, or are you a fan of the genre?
I am.. I always listen to Led Zeppelin.. it’s classic, iconic.. But also band like Radiohead, Nick Cave etc.. It symbolizes an era when I grew up in the south of Sweden in a university town, which had a great rock and roll scene and a very political environment. I was always inspired by and fascinated with strong, independent women, whom I saw mostly wearing a combat or leather jacket.. But there is also the softer side, the chic, feminine twist of the silk scarves and white roses..

3- What is the inspiration behind this Fall Winter ’14 collection?
I do seasonable collections somehow, but I fight it to an extent. We are constantly launching new products. When I created BLK DNM I decided to do something different. I want to follow my own rhythm and not that of the fashion world. I don’t want to work with seasonal themes. It makes products feel contrived. I want to create things that are real.. Timeless pieces, but still with personality and attitude.

4- Photography is one of your passions. Does it have any influence in the creation of your collections? Is there any unreleased image or new project you would like to share with us?
It’s really a tool for me to understand more about the clothes, but even more so about the woman.. To go deeper.. To connect with a woman.. To study her character and try to portray her true strength and expression.. I’m very interested in trying to understand more.. To see how I can support someone to express their natural strength and to try and capture that truthfully.. It’s also really special to photograph a woman in clothes that I created.. To see it all come together through the lens.. And the more I learn about the woman, the more inspired I become to create things that compliment and build on her strength.. Things that support her expression of herself.. I have a lot of things going on.. I am trying to do approx 4 shoots a month..

5- What are the designers that you have been influenced by? Who are the emerging talents in fashion design, in your opinion?
I am obsessed with Alaia.. The master. I am always buying Alaia shoes, whether for photo shoots or as a gift for my girlfriend. It’s just my aesthetic. I also love Coco Chanel. She was such a strong woman.. And YSL for his amazing cut..

6- Collaborations among brands are quite common in fashion, how do you feel about them? Are you planning something similar for BLK DNM?
Yes.. I like collaborations with brands or people I get inspired by.. We are now doing an eyewear project with Moscot.. And also with different artists..

7- Streetwear has been influencing haute couture for a while, now: streetwear references are evident in the collections of such brands as Chanel, Prada, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs. Do you feel BLK DNM has been contaminated by streetwear as well?
Our men’s wear is inspired by my own wardrobe.. For the women’s collection I use the women as a reference.. The ones I admire.. NYC makes me be in the present.. It’s inspire me every minute.

8- BLK DNM is very popular among celebrities. I am thinking about Jay Z or Kanye West who are often pictured wearing your clothes. Can you tell us how do you get to reach these celebs?
It’s been really organic.. We are not chasing anyone.. I just follow my intuition and create what I love.. In an era of so many fashion brands, I think people can feel that raw voice.. And who likes it will come to us naturally.

9- 2014, the digital communication era, where most of the brands speak to their public using the web. BLK DNM chose to send its message through a flyposting campaign. Why so? How does BLK DNM define its below and above the line activities and which of them does it like better?
We are a digital brand.. I am very inspired about creating a brand through pictures.. We share our culture directly with consumers and instantly, on the BLK DNM blog, and through Tumblr and Instagram.. I take thousands of photos and I like that we aren’t too precious about it.. And the wildposter is more a guerrilla denim campaign around strong women, posted on the streets of NYC.. It doesn’t make sense to spend so much money on communication without using it as a platform for transmitting an inspiring message to the world.. This message is a woman choosing her own path.. The gesture of turning the back to the system or restraints, to show independence and strength.. I also really like to write the name on the poster.. To use the name to show the identity of the person, and not the face.. I wanted an inspiring and positive message of freedom on the streets of NYC.

10- We feel BLK DNM has no fear in expressing its opinion through a series of strong messages, often on serious matters across the world (free Weiwei, Bring Back Our Girls…). This doesn’t happen often in fashion, as everyone seems to be very cautious when it comes to running the risk of losing customers. Do you think this can somehow influence people?
The world is in a critical stage.. I love that people today are stepping out on the street and say what they really think.. My passion to build BLK DNM is to create energy and inspire people.. A brand can reach out around the world.. I want to create a brand with a strong voice.. Be who we are.. A brand with texture and depth.. It so important today to be conscious and care..

11- In closing, what do you think of these recent charity trends such as the #icebucketchallenge #ALS?
Charity is tricky. As a lot of people use it as self promotion..But in the end.. Done in the right way it creates awareness around an important cause..

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