It’s not secret that Scandinavian design – whether fashion, interiors or even food – has been having a moment for quite some time. In fact, scarp that, this ‘moment’ has turned into a full blown design phenomenon. As Kristian Andersen the design director of CIFF, Copenhagen’s equivalent to Fashion Week, puts it: “It’s just very natural, a kind of unpretentiousness – things are what they are – and in many ways timeless. [This aesthetic] is very desirable. And one brand that encapsulates this effortless chic is Tonsure, the menswear label headed up by former Maison Margiela designer Malte Flagstad. Their debut collection was launched for AW14 and in June last year Tonsure won the International Woolmark prize. All signs point to a brand that is gearing up for big things, with their collections so far only scratching the surface of what designer Flagstad is capable of. We catch up with him to talk through his design process and get his rather candid take on fast fashion.
What is your earliest memory of fashion?
A Public Enemy t-shirt and a ruffled silk shirt worn together with vintage 501s. It’s probably not my earliest memory of fashion itself but definitely my earliest memory of being part of some kind of fashion, whatever fashion it was… I grew up with the iconic ROGER vintage shop in Copenhagen just around the corner which was an amazing shop that had an emphasis on army surplus clothes, heavy boots, and vintage jeans. An amazing selection and very affordable pieces but sadly it’s not around anymore.
What are the design principles that you follow at Tonsure?
The clothes I design are a reflection of who I am or who I would like to be. Clothes that carry a certain statement however subdued and toned down that may be. At the end of day, I am designing clothes to be worn and used, so I try to follow that principle without losing out on the fun at the same time.
How has the brand evolved from the beginning to now, and where do you see it moving in the future?
We have moved quite naturally from one retailer in Japan to almost 40 retailers for AW17. Naturally the collection has grown in size and offering, but the content and the aesthetic is the same, it has just been made available to more people. For the future I hope we can meet more interesting people through Tonsure, see new places and do new collaborations. I like to push things forward at a steady but fast pace, and so far it’s been great fun doing it.