The success story of former t-shirt-label 5PREVIEW began in 2008, when Emeli Mårtensson started to print her own graphics onto white premium shirts in her apartment in Rome, Italy. We used the opportunity to talk to the Swedish designer at her 'designer live performance' at the Pool Store in Munich. The topics: unisex, minimalism, success and being a female designer.
Emeli, we feel that Unisex and Transgender are really big topics at the moment. How do you respond to that trend?
That’s just natural for us. I don’t really like that feminine thing, it’s in our DNA to be unisex. And it’s actually going really well.
Do you think that unisex collections could replace the menswear and womenswear collections? If not, why is it still important to not only have unisex collections?
I think it’s still necessary to have both collections. Many buyers are kind of old school, although it would be really easy. See, our original idea was to launch a five piece-collection – no more shopping for the whole season! Now our latest collection contains more about 250 pieces, people often want too much.
What are the trends right now? Where do you find inspiration?
Stockholm based people are dressed so minimal right now, you actually don’t see them anymore - no prints and only monochrome colors. I kind of like it, but on the other hand, it is super boring as well. Instead, you see tattoos all over. Perhaps people now transfer their personality to their bodies instead of their clothes. Things are so connected – art, illustration, music, fashion. I just bought a record player at a local record store and looked at the covers and felt really inspired.
5Preview started as a t-shirt label with eye-catching prints – how did you manage to make it to what the brand is today?
At the beginning, it was a slow kind of extension of the shirts, they simply became longer. We don’t respect materials and experiment a lot – graphic elements are very important for us. We also have really good distributors supporting us, which helped a lot. Lately we also moved 60 percent of our production to Italy, the cost is the same but the quality is so much better.
Out of your own experience - is it more difficult to be successful as a female designer?
It has never been difficult for me being a female designer, I never felt anything like that. I think it’s always about finding nice people you like to work with.