Streetwear generations come together as Ellesse and WoodWood collaborate on a new capsule collection for Spring/Summer 2011. We spoke to Brian SS Jensen of WoodWood about the collection, its influences and how it fits in today’s fashion world.
SlamxHype: Ellesse might have started as a skiwear brand, but to me, my first memories are on the terraces of football games in England, what are your first memories of Ellesse?
Brian SS Jensen: Yes, people seem to have very different memories and perceptions of this brand. For me Ellesse was all about tennis; Boris Becker, Guillermo Vilas and those guys were always looking so fresh. I still have a few vintage pieces in my closet.
SlamxHype: In the 80’s and 90’s especially, Ellesse had street cred over almost any brand around, in your opinion what brings street cred to a brand?
Brian SS Jensen: It is important for all brands to stay true to their DNA and do what they do best. However in the end I guess it’s the people wearing the brand who gives it credibility. You mentioned the terraces where brands are worn with a pride and respect that is really very unique. A lot of brands work very hard to direct their product to certain group of people, but I think it’s a lot more interesting when a brand gets adopted by a crowd it was never supposed to be associated with.
SlamxHype: While Ellesse is steeped in history and at its core an athletic brand, Wood Wood is about minimal street fashion, how did you bring a Wood Wood touch to the brand with this collaboration?
Brian SS Jensen: Basically we wanted to add our aesthetics to some classic pieces while keeping it very Ellesse. We did not want this to be an Ellesse branded Wood Wood line. Although two very different brands, there are some definite overlaps in terms of style and we tried to focus and build on this.
We worked on the cuts, materials and colours but i think it is the detailing that really makes the collection distinctively Wood Wood.
SlamxHype: Did you consider the history of the brand when designing this collection? Were there any key reference points?
Brian SS Jensen: Definitely. Generally I try not to dwell too much on the past, but for a project like this you simply have to respect the heritage of the brand. Ellesse has an amazing archive of images and products and it was easy to get lost. Inspiration came very naturally from 80’s tennis outfits, Scandinavian street style and British casual culture.
SlamxHype: What do you see as Sportswear’s involvement in fashion in the coming years?
Brian SS Jensen: Sportswear, along with military clothing and workwear, will always be present in some form.
SlamxHype: With the world of mens fashion obsessed with the past and sartorial references, how do you feel your Brand, Wood Wood, can stay true to its core values and succeed throughout the media’s obsession with this reference? Likewise, how can a brand like Ellesse reinvent themselves throughout this era?
Brian SS Jensen: Good question. I can only speak for Wood Wood, but you sort of answer the question yourself; We just need to stray true to who we are. As a smaller company you have a few advantages and we try to push things forward and do our thing while maintaining a healthy business. I think there’s too many new brands doing old clothes right now.
See WoodWood x Ellesse Pool Party Video below by Katja Hentschel.
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