Richard Soderberg’s Obscur line, although early in its lifespan, has managed to capture and truly push the boundaries of garment creation. Following the simple principle of “a garment’s true value can only be fully recognized when it is being worn.” Richard has challenged the principles of classic silhouettes with his collections filled with seemingly extreme couture, yet seemingly has been able to maintain an sense of flow, classical, and almost balance. In light of his upcoming spring collection Narratif we caught up with the young Swedish designer and he graciously provided us with great insight into his creative thoughts.
SLAMXHYPE / What is your background and how has it influenced your work with Obscur?
Richard Soderberg / OBSCUR has always been a very personal project, close to my own world, view and philosophy. Growing up in a creative family, both in business and art, further pushed me to find ways to combine creativity and starting a label. In a way, the combination of this, was what sparked a very natural process of working with Obscur. Silence, calmth and the sullen base of our studio in Southern Sweden, also allows me to focus on my work, without global distractions.
SLAMXHYPE / Being such a young designer what has been some of your greatest obstacles you have had to overcome with the progression of Obscur?
Richard Soderberg / On of the biggest obstacles as a new designer, is finding yourself as a designer. It is something that can be an obstacle but its also very healthy and rewarding. In addition to this, I believe, I am somewhere in between finding myself and the continuous process of exploring and taking on new things new things. Nonetheless, I believe I am getting closer to where I wish to be, each day. OBSCUR is a sincere project, where challenges remain, but we have a strong international team, that devotes much time to our cause, and believe thoroughly in what it is, I stand for.
SLAMXHYPE / What is your personal sense of style and how has it lended its hand informing Obscur?
Richard Soderberg / From time to time, it has been confronting to wear my own garments. They have almost been put into this world, directly from my mind, and not necessarily from my personal taste / or style. I believe that when one is getting older, (sometimes unfortunately) one’s taste can be narrowed down into a small hemisphere and palette. I, for one, hope that I can still explore my mind, yet creating wearable pieces, that please my personal taste and high aesthetics. Henceforth, it can be difficult to define the Aesthetics of OBSCUR, I would like to refrain from doing so, since it has
such an unpredictable feel.
SLAMXHYPE / Obscur as an label provokes a strong emotional reaction almost uneasiness with its pieces. What has inspired you the most to create such a dark yet resounding beautiful line?
Richard Soderberg / The images most people, press and buyers, get to see are our developed lookbook/campaign pictures. The garments and pictures are styled into a certain image, that might provoke, challenge or confront the beholder. Nonetheless, OBSCUR also works with clean and wearable pieces in our collections. For me, it is important, to place clothes into a context like this. However, sometimes the clothes will suffer from being presented accordingly, and not in their natural physical state. In addition to this, what we prefer to picture are mostly heavy, highly constructed and inspirational pieces, which are the results from various sources of inspiration and explain OBSCUR best.
SLAMXHYPE / Although dark Obscur has a very naturally technical feel and approach to its pieces. How have you managed to capture such technical silhouettes and features within your designs?
Richard Soderberg / OBSCUR is a label, that does not want to compromise on skill, quality, materials and durability. One of the key-assets of working in such a devoted manner, is that I pay so much attention to details, construction and the fit of my garments. The technical construction, takes place in my solemn studio, where I work around the clock to get it right, from drawing board to actual presentation. Each garment undergoes a unique process, thus incapsulation an intricate history, which add to the complex feel and look of each collection.
SLAMXHYPE / How has the aesthetic of Obscur progressed as an label since its introduction?
Richard Soderberg / As I indicated before, we strive to work toward excellence in tailoring, construction and design. OBSCUR has constantly evolved its production sites, selection of materials and international team. My aesthetics have changed over time, but the progress lies in the fact, that each collection can stand on its own, bearing a signature history and complex feel.
SLAMXHYPE / What do you consider the biggest achievement you have accomplished with the line to date?
Richard Soderberg / This must be the feeling of Reaching out to so many people for the short period of time we’ve been presenting ourselves as a label.
SLAMXHYPE / What is imperative to yourself to continue to progress the line?
Richard Soderberg / As any designer, I am aware of the challenges that we can encounter in this business. Next to the creative part, the main characteristic, I adhere, is that of feeling failures, yet rising and developing after these, to keep on building OBSCUR accordingly. This rise and fall, circle, is one we are able to break through constantly, allowing for me to focus on the creative process more intensively.
SLAMXHYPE / What do you have planned for the future of the label?
Richard Soderberg / Next to the obvious goal of spreading the word, and the label even more, I constantly pry on the quality of my garments, the larger OBSCUR becomes, the more we can focus on exclusivity, high quality contruction and opulent materials. To keep growing, I remain closely to myself, and aware of the processes in place, to take us further and further.