Denim is as ingrained in the Whyred universe as it is in the Swedish psyche. To celebrate the product category, the label launched a jeanswear line inspired by “beautiful outsiders” for AW16. Here, Roland Hjort, Whyred’s creative director and one of Sweden’s most respected industry figures, reveals what’s behind the move.
Tell us about Whyred Denim. What inspired you to develop a separate jeans line?
Denim has formed an integral part of Whyred’s collections since the start in 1998, but we felt it was time to refine the category by developing a standalone range for men and women designed in an indie-rock vein. It’s a straight-forward concept, based around the garments one associates with the music-inspired jeanswear wardrobe… you’ll find the classic biker jacket, the tee and the slim fit black jeans at the core, but there are also additional jean styles, such as the SS17 women’s fit based on the classic 501 but with added volume. Though the jeans are classic, we’ve added features such as tailored waistbands to some styles. We’ve used Isko stretch denim throughout to achieve that soft, comfortable feel of a pair of lived-in jeans, but with great recovery – we’re talking proper denim but without the restrictive bulkiness.
Sweden is often used as a test market for denim. How would you summarize the nation’s love of jeans?
You could say jeans are part of the Swedish psyche, particularly the clean look advocated by the influential Swedish denim retailer Gul & Blå in the ’70s/ ’80s. It was in essence a refined version of the American look, resulting in a cleaner and decidedly Scandinavian silhouette. I’d say those style references still prevail; it’s almost become part of the Swedish uniform.
What’s the modern way of wearing denim in your opinion and which fits will make it big next?
You can wear slim black jeans with anything, from tailoring to casualwear, and that goes for men and women. It’s a wardrobe staple and I’m certain it will remain so for a long time, despite the predictions that baggy jeans will take its place. Having said that, there is so much variety today so there’s room for a range of different fits. We also find that men and women borrow from one another, particularly so in Sweden, without making a big deal about the “no-gender” trend. It’s not necessarily a new thing.