Danish designer Ellen Pedersen approaches menswear fashion with a pair of fresh eyes and a young heart. Her vision is heavily inspired by subculture movements such as Mod while her aesthetic features references from various sports. Prior to the launch of her eponymous label in 2015 Ellen worked for the designers Christopher Raeburn and Astrid Andersen as well as for the Japanese label UNIQLO – learning everything there is to be taught for her craft from the very best. Just a few days before we say goodbye to yet another year, we sat down with Ellen herself for a very interesting conversation which allowed us to get an honest glimpse of what goes in the head of a new gen designer determined to succeed.
While relatively new to the fashion scene you have already managed to turn quite a few heads with your simple yet very well thought and executed designs. Do you ever feel that things might be happening too fast for you?
No, I am a very impatient person and probably quite hard on myself, so I always want more and want to do better. But I am busy and I am working many hours to manage everything, which sometimes can be difficult.
You seem to have a very clear vision about what you like aesthetic-wise. Is that something organic or the result of many years of research?
I must say it has taken me many years of research and if you ask people I went to school with some might say I was completely different then. But I have found my path and it can still be developed and worked on, which is the joy of it.
Do you follow any particular patterns when it comes to the release of each collection?
I always struggle in the beginning when starting to work on the new collection; feeling that I might not come up with anything good– and then I sort of relax and try to look for some inspiration. Then I develop the collection, communicating it and selling it, and then I get a little down again– it is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I get frustrated every time and I always wonder when will I learn to relax and believe that everything will be fine.
Can you identify for us some things in specific that get your creativity going?
It is mainly clothes on the body, lines and fabrics– I look at books and pictures that give me a background mood and then I start working on the dummy with some garments and that often creates ideas for me.
Your SS17 offering showcases your fixation with athleisure in the most brilliant way. Which elements, in your opinion, have made this trend so popular with consumers and fashion houses alike?
It is easy to understand and to wear. Most boys just want cool clothes that are easy to wear and not too complicated. I think also many can relate to it and have a certain history with nylon from sport events in the ‘90s.
Do you feel that there is more for you to explore within this trend in the future?
I try to explore more and different, but I love all the new tech materials and how clever they’ve become. This is really important to menswear and in that sense, I am not done because fabric mills still develop interesting and impressive materials that I would love to explore.
You definitely seem to be very concerned with the image of your brand and that reflects a lot on your choice of models be it for runway or any campaigns. What influences these choices?
This is something I work on with stylist Oliver Fussing and good photographers like Marco Van Rijt and Matilde Søes Rasmussen. We create a mood about these boys, who we see around us in Copenhagen and elsewhere. They’re quite young, with an edge and care about their appearance. What influences me most are the people I work with. Oliver has been a great inspiration and has helped to create this mood and look.
Who would make the perfect poster boy for ELLEN PEDERSEN?
It is about attraction and how I feel about them, when wearing the clothes. I always imagine how I would feel in the garments (I am a very practical Dane, who likes easy pieces) but I also remember my senior tutor Ike Rust saying: “would you pick him up at the bus stop?” If not, there’s something wrong.
Give us an idea of what to expect from you in the near future.
I am just sending off SS17 to Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, the webstore will soon be updated with new items and next year I will work more product orientated and focus on smaller but better collections. I am also working on a new collaboration with a cool store in Copenhagen but at the moment I am mostly just looking forward to some time off!