Knowing that our Arvid bomber jacket can evoke this kind of feeling is blessing on blessings on blessings… as Big Sean would say ;)
Nowhere: I once saw a guy open an iPhone carton and lick the screen of his new phone. It appeared to be an immediate reaction, an act of instinct. Afterwards he looked around, surprised, somewhat puzzled over what he’d just done. It was a very interesting observation of a human phenomenon – the subconscious desire to physically consume an inanimate object, to somewhat become it. I wondered if that would ever happen to me, and it did, several years later, when I for the first time saw your SS15 white neoprene bomber (a black version here).
Emma: Naturally the ultimate satisfaction and recognition as a designer is to see people wear your clothes. Knowing that our Arvid bomber jacket can evoke this kind of feeling is blessing on blessings on blessings… as Big Sean would say ;) I think we’ve all been all been there… I myself remember the first time I opened the box of a CK One perfume when it first came out in 1994 and just wanted to devour it..
Nowhere: The bomber jacket, or the flight jacket as it was originally called, is a piece of garment with some interesting cultural narratives and references. Obviously first worn, in leather, by American fighter pilots during the 1st World War, later morphing into the MA1 design in the 50s (that’s the design your bomber is referencing I assume), from the 70s being picked up by skinheads and scooterboys and in the 2000s becoming part of the hip-hop uniform. Some US police departments are also using it these days. What is your relationship to the bomber and what’s your own bomber story?
Emma: Being a teenager in the 90’s the MA1 has always been a staple in our own wardrobes and is very much part of our brand aesthetic. When designing our first collection it was a natural garment to include and has now become part of our DNA. As designers we do not want to replicate but draw inspiration. We wanted to give our bomber a modern feel and shape and therefore our choice of materials has always been contemporary such as neoprene, memory metallic fabric and heavy matt finished zips. Our classic Arvid is the matt black memory polyester bomber with matt heavy metallic zip. It’s the Batmobile of bombers. For SS15 we whitewashed the collection and to include a matt all white version of Arvid was a natural choice.
Nowhere: You are becoming quite famous for your outerwear – and for your very specific re-interpretation of some classic, iconic designs. Was that the plan all along?
Emma: Innovation and re-interpretation are part of our brands DNA. We are fascinated by the power and cultural messages clothes can hold. Classic iconic design is a constant source of inspiration and excitement for us. However we often don’t start out with a classic design in mind, it is more as if the classic inspiration appears while designing a piece.
Nowhere: A word that keeps popping up in relation to your clothes is Progressive. One aspect of this word is forward-thinking and another is that of a gradual acceleration. What’s your own idea of progressive and how does it influence your work?
Emma: We think of progressive as forward thinking design. We constantly thrive to create something new and innovative. It’s really challenging to innovate and push boundaries and it is that challenge that we enjoy and believe make CMMN into a progressive label.
Nowhere: You just moved into the same London studio complex as Alan Taylor. How is being in London influencing your work?
Emma: Having both studied and lived in London for years, the diverse style of the city is a huge influence and very much part of our identity as a label. We have collaborated with a London based photographer and stylist since day one and are always looking for new interesting collaborators. London is the centre of emerging design talent in the world and is a perfect place to be for a designer label as CMMN.
Nowhere: Thanks for chatting to us Emma.