Reborn in the USA: we head upstate with the existentialist t-shirt don, talking life lessons and reinvention
Nineteen eighty-two; David Lindwall, birth, 3950 grams, 50cm. Since then the Swedish creative, based in New York has dabbled in a number of disciplines from band booker and denim rep to cutting his teeth as a model in Paris, djing, styling and designing. Since 2009, however, Lindwall's focus has been his label David Lindwall. Reborn. 1982, a heavy existentialist t-shirt line picked up by Dover Street Market that, somehow, even found its way onto David Beckham's back – the pap shots prove it. Our universe, like lightning, is recondite.
Expanding his collection to include outwear, hand knits and jeans for AW12, and his life from Brooklyn to upstate New York, we caught up with Lindwall to talk more.
Dazed Digital: Tell us about the AW12 collection. How has your label expanded?
David Lindwall: This year I decided to do a small collection for winter with the essentials, basically what I would like to wear instead of getting locked into design concepts for the collection. I knew I wanted to make amazing-cut designs in the best possible fabrics I could get my hands on. All made here in New York to support our local businesses. I ended up with a long boiled wool coat, a black leather biker jacket and a bomber jacket in a light boiled wool, working a lot with the details and inside of the jacket, something I hope you notice every time you put them on.
Also new this season is a few knitwear pieces – a hoodie in 100% ecological Alpaca (yarn is spun and knitted in Sweden) and a round neck jumper in 100% ecological wool. They're hand knitted, with no machines involved at all. A project that I’m super happy with the outcome of.
The design of the shirts is a play on the first 100% genetically modified human created in our Reborn. 1982 Laboratories and the general waste of resources in the world today, such as the USELESS (using less since 1982) t-shirt.
DD: What’s the moment your creative journey began? Has it been an incidental trip?
David Lindwall: It all started in my childhood, my father always let me use his tools and I was always making things in wood and welding at 12 years old. Then growing up into a 6’4” teenager my mum got tired of altering my clothes and said, "the sewing machine is there, feel free to find out how it works." I did. After working for some houses in Europe as senior designer (I have no formal fashion education whatsoever) I decided that the only way to do what you believe in is to do it on your own.
I remember the day when the brand actually began for real (more than in my head). I was in Paris doing the shows and I got talking to Adrian Joffe at the Comme offices in Place Vendôme. I showed him some prints I’d done for a small t-shirt collection and he said, “these are great, you should make them and we could buy them for Dover Street Market.” That was the birth of David Lindwall. Reborn. 1982. Just like that on a sunny day in France. So to answer your question I guess you could say it was incidental.
DD: What have you learned along the way?
David Lindwall: I think the best thing I’ve learnt is that the fashion industry is a lot of smoke and mirrors. I had a good fashion education from modelling, seeing business that close with fittings and getting a understanding for what you actually need to have and the things that people perceive you to have made a big impact when I set up the structure of my own business. Getting to know the big designers in person and talking to them about their business and creative journeys, ups and downs, seeing shows both backstage and sitting in the crowd has been very helpful. Another thing that has been a big help is working for someone else when you make mistakes. Everything has a learning curve. My highlight is waking up everyday next to my wife and working on something that I truly in my heart of hearts love.
DD: You’ve lived across Europe and both sides of the US coast. Where feels most like home?
David Lindwall: New York, no question about it. Though I do at times miss living in Tokyo, a place I could see myself going back to again for a longer period of time. Our flat here in Brooklyn is really my first home, since I've travelled so much in previous years. About a year ago we bought a old Victorian farmhouse (that needs a lot of work) in upstate New York, on lots of land with a barn separate from the house. That’s where I’m starting to set up the new Reborn 1982 office and I can’t wait to get it all done. Just being up there amongst nature is amazing; fishing, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, it’s a dream come true.
DD: Do we all have a capacity for rebirth?
David Lindwall: I would like to think so. Some might be closer than others.
DD: What would you like to be reborn as next?
David Lindwall: I’d like to be a shadow.
DD: Tell us something we wouldn’t expect of you...
David Lindwall: My bone marrow is dying and I have holes the size of ping pong balls in both my legs. Add to that some 300 stitches in my stomach and being 5 minutes from instant death on a operating table in my 20s.
DD: What else?
David Lindwall: I’m currently working with the brilliant talented photographer Mr. Brett Lloyd on a new project that will present itself at some point next year. Though we could also talk about how productivity and profit is enslaving mankind and destroying our planet at the same time...
Photography Brett Lloyd
AW12 images courtesy of David Lindwall