Astrid Andersen has very quickly carved a lane for herself that cuts across numerous realms of menswear without losing sight of her vision to play with silhouette, materials, and athletically-inclined menswear. Her fanbase is passionate, but has remained pretty niche. But with strong collections making waves season after season, it was only a matter of time before an opportunity came along that would give her the widespread recognition she and her designs deserve.
On June 12, the Astrid Andersen for Topman collaboration will drop, bringing 17 pieces of luxe streetwear that combines the latter's distribution with the former's signature oversized sportswear. We sat down with Andersen to ask about how this dope collab came to be, along with questions on the general scope of the project as well as specific details. Read on to learn what you need to know about this collaboration, and check out exclusive photos of A$AP Ferg rocking standout pieces from the project.
How did the collaboration come about between you and Topman?
Topman has been supporting me through sponsorships in London, from NEWGEN all the way to Fashion East. For the past six seasons they've supported me, so this happened pretty naturally. I was really grateful when they approached me with the project.
Was today the first time you worked with A$AP Ferg?
What was it like?
[Laughs] It was amazing! I’m really blown away by him. The energy he brings is something you can’t really expect people to bring and then when they do it's like, “Wow." Seeing your clothes in that context is such a rare experience.
It was a very natural interaction between you two. He clearly gravitated to the clothes.
He looked comfortable enough to do his thing and that’s what I want more than anything.
That says a lot. You get this guy in the collection, who looks amazing in it, and then, of course, the customers are going to gravitate towards it as well.
Yeah, I think it’s going to be a strong message. Sometimes, you get an artist or a supermodel for a campaign and you think, “But, that didn’t really make sense.” With this collection it’s believable. I’m sure he’s going to wear all of that.
Because your brand's logo is synonymous with your main collection, how were you able to take elements of that and incorporate it, or remix it, into something for a bigger audience?
It’s a really tough balance when you commercialize something that you still want to, in a sense, keep sacred, but I think it worked out well. You always see a little bit of the logo throughout the collection, and then you’ll get the “A” on top of it to kind of signal that it is something else. My own collection is all about belonging to some kind of tribe and I think the kids that can now buy the Topman collaboration are a part of that same tribe. It’s not about having money. I want kids to be able to buy it and still have the same sense of identity with the look.
In terms of coloring, the palette is mostly black and white, but then there’s pops of bronze and a magenta, or hot pink, that come out of nowhere. Is that the first time you’ve worked with these colors?
Actually, I used pink in my graduate collection and my spring/summer '12 collection. In the beginning I always did stuff in pink, but then I kind of strayed away from it. And then, for this project that was what I wanted to do.
Let's talk about the specific pieces. Why did you chose these silhouettes, over others?
A challenge for me was knowing that you’re working within a certain framework. When I create my own shapes we have a different approach because of how our production works. It was also clear from the beginning that these had to be easier pieces to produce to get the top result. My key pieces are the oversized T-shirt, the basketball tank, the basketball shorts, and tracksuits. There’s no reason within this project to really go beyond that. I felt if we did something like a close, intricate bomber jacket the chances of it coming out looking how we wanted it, probably wouldn't meet the standards that Topman and I both held.
There were some details on some outerwear pieces, like the zip-off pockets, that are usually hard to pull off and still look good without looking cheap.
The zippers are a big part of my aesthetic as well. I’ve never done the copper versions, so I felt like that was a really good way to bring in an element that I wouldn’t do in my own work. I would never do anything that wasn’t functional. I wouldn’t include a zip if it wasn’t functional.
Is your mission “sport-function?”
Well, it’s not meant to be performance wear. But, menswear without function for me is just pointless. For example, trousers without pockets—I would never do that for a man because I want him to be able to travel and carry his essentials.
What kind of guy do you design for?
[Laughs] It’s very specific. It’s not about always being the flashiest guy. It's about confidence.