Monday, January 27, 2014

A Conversation With John Vinnem

Did you see Viking’s interview with menswear designer John Vinnem in the January issue? Vinnem hails from Trondheim, Norway, and started a Scandinavian men’s fashion line in 2006 called JohnnyLove. Here's more from our interview.

Viking: Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
John Vinnem: From anything that I see around me that I find aesthetic or otherwise inspiring—architecture, cartoons, movies, materials, colors. The environments surrounding our business are also inspiring, I have always been drawn to the industrial areas, where I have had my studios. The industrial feeling of something rough and reliable is important, and the industrial and man-made is more interesting to me than nature. I find the grittiness in nature–not the idyllic and picturesque–to be more interesting. For the next winter collection I want to explore the colors in oil puddles.

V: How does it feel to have your designs available to people around the world?
JV: It feels pretty great, thank you! I'm happy with any success we can have, of course. We have come this far without paying for traditional marketing, and by letting the clothes speak for themselves. It has taken an insane amount of hard work for both my team and me, so it's gratifying to see people who use our clothes get hooked to the brand.

V:  What are a few must-have items a man should have in his closet?
JV: A good trench coat, raw denim jeans, a nice pair of leather Chelsea boots and a casual jersey or wool blazer that you can dress up or down with other items and accessories.

V: What does the JohnnyLove line have coming up this winter?

JV: We always have a huge selection of outerwear, of course. This winter we are expanding our collection with down parkas, which are pretty lightweight compared to traditional down parkas, yet really warm. Also, we're adding duffel coats with modern cuts. We are complementing our blazers with suit pants and a line of wool ties. We are also shipping heaps of our tube necks–made of baby alpaca wool–to the states. So you don't need to freeze this winter!

Anya Britzius is associate managing editor of Viking. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

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