We meet the designers behind the delightfully quirky new Scandinavian label as they launch their first UK standalone store on London's Carnaby Street this week
Having flown the Cheap Monday / Weekday nest where it was created, the quirky Gothenburg-based womenswear label, Monki, has since branched out of its native Sweden to countries like Norway, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong and now finally the UK. Set to land on London's renowned Carnaby Street this week, the brainchild of Adam Friberg, Linda Friberg & Lasse Karlsson counts this as its 52nd store in only a few years since its inception.
Focusing on forward-thinking yet wholly wearable pieces, the unique 'story-based' brand carefully strikes a balance between clean, modern shapes and attentive detailling on everyday wardrobe staples such as sheer shirts, quirky playsuits, oversized knits and maxi skirts. Whilst perhaps emanating a distinctly minimal Scandinavian feel, the collections also retain a quirky edge in line with their playful store designs.
Featuring cutesy characters in an imaginary otherworld created by their Interiors Designer Catherina Frankander across their conceptual boutiques, Monki have also enlisted their dream girls from across the world from illustrators, stylists, to DJs & bloggers like Susie Bubble for their creative outlets like Monki Magazine and even a Monki TV series.
This month, we flew out to their Gothenburg HQ, 'Fabricville' to find out more about Monki World and meet their Head of Design, Tallulah Topac and CEO, Henrik Aaen Kastberg...
Dazed Digital: Do you think the label retains a Scandinavian feel?
Henrik Aaen Kastberg: From the beginning it has always had a simple, basic and Scandinavian feel yes, but also extremely influenced by Asia - such as the characters, the cartoons. It has been a mixture and it will always be the colourful part that will speak out the most. But the Scandinavian touch is there, it's an important part of us - not everything should be colourful and graphic all the time.
DD: Where did the name come from?
Henrik Aaen Kastberg: The founders just grabbed from the air - all the 'Monki's' have different names as a composition of things that are partly real and also romantic things that don't exist.
DD: What is the most exciting part of the working process for you, personally?
Henrik Aaen Kastberg: The fun thing with my job is that I'm involved a little bit in everything. I can participate in anything regarding shop layouts to design and it's about a total balance. I get so inspired by the creativity, this artificial world of the designers and also the more structured business side. To build the whole package is what's important - we sell more than clothes, we sell a story and to be a part fo that is a blast!
DD: Based on that, with such a focus on design, will you be taking it away from being a fashion brand and branch out into other areas?
Henrik Aaen Kastberg: I agree that is a potential, there's so many things we could do with interiors, the potential is definitely there - but right now we're in eight markets and there's so many more to develop Monki in - so that's our focus now...
Monki, Carnaby Street, London opens February 24th 2012