Around The World: Whyred's Roland Hjort
Meet Roland Hjort, the Creative Director and founder of Whyred.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I like eating out with friends and discovering new music, traveling and finding inspiration in books, and architecture and art.
Where do you live?
Södermalm in Stockholm.
Where do you live?
Södermalm in Stockholm.
If we were visiting Södermalm, what would you recommend we do?
I would recommend you to do some shopping around Biblioteksgatan and of course visit the Whyred flagship store. The area around Götgatsbacken and Nytorget in Södermalm has lots of nice boutiques and cafés. Have lunch at Urban Deli just next to Nytorget and take a drink at Riche Lilla Baren downtown or Babylon in the south. Eat your dinner at Matbaren, Djuret, Pubologi, Teatergrillen, PA & Co or KB. The day after I would visit Rosendals Trädgård at Djurgården for a brunch in the central flower market garden.
How did the idea to start Whyred come about?
Jonas Clason, Lena Patriksson, and I all have a long experience in the fashion and PR business. We longed for a brand of our own which took good tailoring, contemporary music, and the art world as its point of departure. The Whyred essence is simple. We were inspired by beatniks, the mod culture’s street-smart elegance, and we quoted Peter Meaden’s famous phrase, ”Clean living under difficult circumstances.” The Whyred look is an identity, though individual from person to person. The interest in details and the love for art and music brings these different customers together.
Who are the people you design for?
The man is music interested, between 25-45, has an urban lifestyle, likes the environment around bars and nightclubs, and often works with something creative. He likes to be well dressed but never over dressed. With Whyred, we can look smart but still a bit casual. The woman is more an uptown girl with an offhand kind of luxe but with a darker twist to her. She is picky about her details and materials and likes the exclusive feeling. She wants to feel comfortable yet fierce.
How does living in Södermalm inspire you?
The people around me from the music and art scene are the ones who inspire me with their lifestyles. To connect with them more officially, Whyred has made collaborations together with a lot of our friends. The artist Jockum Nordström made a pattern for us, Roger Anderson made embossed leather bags, the director Igor Zimmermann made a film inspired by a certain collection, and the design duo Folkform made a candleholder, lamps, and a cabinet among many other art projects. We also work closely with our favorite musicians (Kriget, Forest, Taxi Taxi, Victoria Bergsman and Markus Krunegård) who have played live at our events and created custom made music for our shows. We have also custom made clothes for artist like The Hives and Sahara Hotnights when playing live. It is all like a symbiosis.
What was the inspiration behind the S/S 2012 Collection?
The Russian constructivist propaganda painter Alexander Rodchenko reduced painting to its logical conclusion (according to him) and exhibited three canvases in red, blue, and yellow. This was the inspiration for our monochrome color scheme in the collection. We also found great inspiration in the architectural style extremes of Russian “cosmo” communistic architecture, which meets old traditions of Dacha houses, which were the Tsar’s country estate gift to loyal vassals. By combining the two extremes of something very old, dirty, and picturesque with the futuristic and minimalistic silhouette, you get the picture of the Whyred S/S 2012 collection.
What are your favorite pieces from the collection?
I love the colorful chaos print in the women’s collection and the maxi pantsuit. In the men’s collection I’m proud of our jackets, which we always are very good at.
What do you think makes something a classic?
We have a conceptual capsule collection called Heroes where we put all styles we think are Whyred classics into—the parka, the dessert boot, the chino. The military knit, for example, has the original purpose to serve in the military but has been worn to define the mod culture, the skins, and the indie scene. Musicians like Paul Weller, Ian Curtis, and Morrissey have imbued the garments with meaning and sexiness, and defined them as timeless and classic because they are. A classic item has the ability to be desirable because you know who you become when you wear it. You have to have an interest of knowing what you mean by wearing a classical item. What are you expressing? The garment is empty if you don’t understand how to express the garment and how to give it a look.