Together with partner Brian SS Jensen, Wood Wood’s creative director Karl-Oskar Olsen co-founded the Danish streetwear brand back in 2002. After being somewhat the epitome of underground Copenhagen cool for a decade or so, the streetwear pieces with the striking reverse double A logo have received their well-deserved (and needed) commercial push over the past few years, especially since the arrival of CEO Per Gasseholm in the middle of 2014. Although it’s a lot more widely distributed these days, the brand has lost none of its neighborhoody spirit and signature design language, often drawing inspiration from workwear and reinterpreting sportswear classics such as the polyester tracksuit. We recently had a chat with Olsen about organic growth, London runways and teenage feelings.
Overall it worked out the way we hoped and expected. I believe our brand is even stronger now than when we were in a smaller distribution. Wood Wood was never intended to be in a small distribution but we have organically grown into a position now where we can deal and act in larger scales.
In October, your new Double A collection (a line of branded basics in classic and seasonal colors all bearing the classic WW-logo patch) hit stores. Has it been well received by retail and consumers so far?
I don’t think we could ever imagine a better start. The first drop sold out almost immediately. The collection is performing and all aspects of our distribution which I see as a sign of health for our brand.
The Double A products are being entirely made in Europe. Are you going to transfer this idea to your main collection, too?
This is part of a bigger 2025 plan yes, but there is a lot to be learned about CSR and it needs to be done in the right way and in accordance with our brand and growth plans–not only internally but also communicationwise toward our consumers. But I think this is the only way all brands most go eventually as we all have a responsibility.
Earlier this year, you showcased your fall/winter ’18 collection during London Fashion Week for the first time, after returning to the show scene last season in Milan. Why are fashion shows important for Wood Wood? And why did you choose London this time?
It’s important to us not only internally but also externally to set a scene and highlight the core products of the collection; this is a way for us to tell the story and inspiration of the collection but also to be in control of what our brand should look like, how we style it and what type of people we use as muses. When that is said our sales department is very happy that they have material early in the season to use proactively for their clients. We chose to relocate from Milan to London because we wanted to support the UK the same way we did with two appearances in Milan. London and England are also where a lot of our inspiration comes from, with many really interesting subcultures and indie scenes so I felt more at ease there than in Milan.
What’s the idea behind the fall/winter ’18 collection? Are there any new product groups or collaborations coming up for the new season?
The collection is in many ways a traditional streetwear collection as the main inspiration is built upon American classics reflecting collegiate sport, army surplus, workwear and denim. We looked into movies like St. Elmo’s Fire and The Breakfast Club as these are movies we all loved as teens and there are so many great style elements in there that we wanted to reflect within the collection. The key graphic stories are built upon the state of mind a teenager has going towards adulthood. “Leave Me Alone With Your Attention” is my personal favorite and this is used throughout the collection in different expressions.
Which fashion (week) showground do you find the most exciting/inspiring right now?
Paris will always be the most important.
What are your personal aims for the new year (businesswise or privately)?
Work less and be around my kids more!