The clean Scandinavian look has become the forefront of men's fashion in many ways. From streetwear brands to contemporary men's fashion brands, the Scandinavians are setting the tone globally. We thought to ourselves, let's start speaking with some of our favourite brands worldwide and get the inside-scoop. Who better to start with than Danish brand Soulland - streetwear brand turned into a contemporary men's fashion label. In many ways, they were one of the first to make the transition, which so many across Europe are following. A clean brand, with clear roots in streetwear, while blurring the lines between streetwear's overlap with high-end men's fashion. We're very proud to say that they were willing to do a short interview with us:
Describe what the Soulland brand stands for, for you?
Soulland represents Scandinavian craftsmanship, mixing classic and simple designs with playful contemporary elements influenced by urban subcultures and skateboarding. We also care a lot about the mindset towards life and being creative with whatever we are doing.
Silas Adler (the founder) was initially inspired by urban subculture and skateboarding. Now Soulland has moved from being defined as streetwear to a contemporary men’s fashion label. Explain the transition, why this took place, where the brand wants to go and if the elements of subcultures and skateboarding will still be present moving forward?
Skateboarding will always be part of Soulland because it has influenced our upbringing and who we are as people. It has played a big part in the way Soulland was created but now we are also focusing on what is happening globally in terms of culture, art, politics, music and design.
How do you feel about Scandinavian fashion leading European trends when it comes to streetwear, but also other fashion? Why do you think this has happened? There are plenty of streetwear brands (for example) that aspire to have the Scandinavian look & feel.
Scandinavia is special because it values the minimalistic, no matter whether it is inspired by the old or modern. In the creative industry, and especially in fashion, the minimalistic mindset is combined with playful but classy elements. You can also apply this to Soulland in combination with our Scandinavian heritage. We don’t force ourselves to fit this definition; our cultural upbringing and the environment we operate in of course had this certain type of influence on how we perceive or do things. That is also probably the reason why many outside of Scandinavia value these aesthetics. However, we don’t really care about trends; we care more about what we like and not the speed we do it in.
What according you makes a real men’s fashion brand? What are the most important elements? Is this any different for streetwear? (Seeing that you’ve done both fields)
We don’t want to stereotype brands and how they should be. For us, a real men’s fashion brand is about pushing limits and, in doing so, moving men’s fashion forward. That is at least something we try to incorporate in the way we are doing business. Always look for new ways and test how things can be done better.
You recently did a collaboration with Lee jeans. Could you just run us through why this was such a good fit for the Soulland brand, and the inspiration behind the collaboration?
Following the success of the first collaboration with Lee as part of the SS15 collection we agreed on working together a second time because we had a lot of good feedback and it was a very good experience for everybody. We both value denim in the same way, that’s why we work so well together.
Do you have any advice for people starting brands today? (Imagine all the bedroom-headquartered brands)
We don’t wanna be like teachers, you should follow your heart, which means you’re gonna make mistakes along the way but with the right feeling. It’s important to do a mix of fun and serious stuff, while staying professional at all times of course.
What can we expect from Soulland in 2016?
We can feel that 2016 will be a crazy year for Soulland. A lot of interesting collaborations are coming up, which is just a natural development of the brand: the old mentality of Soulland has been combined with a new and more professional setup, meaning we are more at ease and focused now as a consequence of our private and working life. These days we are more aware of the flaws and weaknesses, which we have to when we have so many things going on. That wouldn’t exist if we were solely focused on making money. For 2016 you can expect a lot of different things happening, for example a outdoor collection and a furniture line.