Woodwood is without a doubt one of the most forward moving brands in Street Fashion today, with their latest collection released this week, with their lookbook available to view and also some items available online, and also their involvement in the Highmath exhibition and latest Arkitip issue, we decided to catch up with Karl of the Danish brand to find out a little more about the company make such strong moves. This recent collection featured within this interview is one of my favourite yet from the brand and also my pick as one of the best collections for this coming season.
Tell us about the beginnings of the brand, did the store of brand come first? and what was the initial philosophy behind starting? who was involved?
Magnus, Brian and myself have known each other since we were children. When we started this up in 2002 we honestly didn’t have the smallest idea of what we were doing. As many others do we went to New York and got very inspired by the legendary Alife store, the people behind it and the whole vibe around limited products thing that was just taking off at the time. I remember I took photo’s of kids sleeping outside the Supreme store just waiting to go in and spend money on these things. With us we had a bag of screen printed t-shirt designs we had done, and we went into some stores and asked if it would be possible to sell them and the people were stoked about our style and a new door suddenly opened up. Then we had a client in New York, our first client ever and there I think we knew what we wanted to create.
The store carries a large array of brands, and your own brand manages to also find a line between fashion and streetwear, how do you see the two linking together? do you see them as different cultures?
The Wood Wood brand was actually meant to reflect all the brands in the store, not just the clothing, but the books, toys and artwork. In doing so we think we found a genuine niche between street and fashion.
The scene in europe is very different to the states, in your experience what do you feel are the biggest differences and the driving factors behind the differences?
I think its very important for us that we until now we haven’t had a design manual or well thought out business plan. We have been taiking advantage of having the opportunity to do both edgy and romantic pieces for the girls and more streety thing for the boys or vice versa. As Europeans are great travellers I think we are well aware of trends in music, design and art from all over the world and by reflecting all these impressions, and using them randomly accross various projects we are capable to reveal a new form of nergy or style.
Wood Wood has been involved in a few big colaborations over the years, what have been some of your favourite?
Basically I’m happy about all the collabs we have done so far. Piece by piece we got the most out of each product but ofcourse it meant a great deal for us to be part of the Adicolor project. At the time it was a result of 3 years hard work and to be recognized and invited among so many important peoplethat we admired and looked up to ourselves obviously was a big thing. Coming from Denmark, no one had done that beforeus so we got almost too much exposier with national TV and other crazy stuff… most important for us is to work with the people we like. We just worked together with Scott from Arkitip on the exhibition Highmath in Berlin, which he curated. Highmath will show work from Evan Hecox, Kaws, Ed Templeton, Geoff McFetridge and many other. We have designed Artikip issue no. 44 which also serves as the catalogue.
Tell us about the upcoming shoe you have designed with New Balance?
We wanted to make a shoe with nice colours, just a shoe you would want to rock on a daily basis. Nothing fancy or crazy, and the NB670 seemed perfect for that mood and those colours and materials.
Can you tell us about your cycling team?
The team based on former professional Danish profile riders who all have made great achievements in Belgium Classics, Tour De France and other pro tour races. Together with other former A-class riders and people from the community the team meets up at 9am in the Gladsaxe in the outskirts of Copenhagen to ride for a few hours. Normally there will be a few sprints and usually it ends with Caffe Latte and killer stories about old battles and chases of the past. A good story can never be told enough times, I sometimes ride with the team so Brian and I made the design with references to the 80’s legendary team Cafe Columbia, which one of the riders used to ride for. Actually we did it because we wanted to comment on the hyped trend of biking and fixed gear bikes in particular. We wanted to create and show something that had a real value for us. Biking is the second most important thing to me after my kids and I was born into the tradition with my brother being former pro’s and my father riding class-A in Denmark. In every trend you always try to find the source or its origin at a certain time, and by doing this we evealed some of the true values of cycling and presented some of Denmarks proudest riders of the 80’s and 90’s.
As designers where do you find most your inspiration?
Whatever we find to be natural to be inspired off. I can’t say there is a certain source of inspiration to the collection although the silhoutte of the styles may have been defined, we still try to open new doors. In our graohics we are always very attracted by contrasts in various forms and sayings, black and white never goes out of fashion.
How do you feel Wood Wood the clothing brand has progressed, do you think you’ve gotten better as time has passed, where do you see the line heading?
Right now we are trying to get hold of this big snowball that is rolling faster and faster and getting bigger and bigger. As the whole thing has progressed relatively fast there is a lot of things we need to work on to get better and more effective. I think that we have hit the right vain of what we are doing, and it seems like people like what we are trying to pull. The collection itself is getting very interesting I think, and a bit more edgy and a bit more playfull.
What’s next for you guys?
We are in progress of new and very interesting projects, unfortunatly I can’t reveal the plans here.
You can view the latest Wood Wood collection here at their site and even buy online. Expect to see more from the discussed Highmath exhibition over the coming days. Thanks to Karl and the Wood Wood crew for their time.