SVA Magazine sat down with designer Jone Nielsen to discuss studying in Denmark, daydreams and his latest achievement; being chosen to show his collection at Gallery NYC.
Jone Nielsen is a 30 year old designer from Norway. After seven years in Oslo and a BA in hand, Jone packed up and left for Copenhagen where a Masters Degree at The Danish Academy of Fine Arts awaited. There he was employed at Henrik Vibskov for two seasons, but currently works for Acne Studios in Copenhagen.
SVA: Let’s re-visit 2011; you won The Cocoon Project?
JN: The Cocoon Project is a competition for BA students enrolling in their final year at one of the three design schools in Oslo. Three students from each school was selected and I happened to win. It was super exciting, and it became an elongation of my final bachelors collection.
SVA: You lived in Oslo for 7 years, why did you leave for Copenhagen?
JN: I needed a change. A new city and new scenery. I love traveling and to assimilate everything around me. A MA degree in Copenhagen is considered more international, in a way. Especially with creativity, you can get quite enclosed if you stay in one place for a long period of time.
SVA: Has your creative sense of style changed from moving residence?
JN: Yes I think so, at least in the way I work. The design process is much more precise. People are a bit more free spirited in Copenhagen. In Norway there are a lot of systems and rules. Everything is more liberal in Denmark.
SVA: Who is your usual client?
JN: We worked a lot on that subject when I studied in Oslo. In Copenhagen they try to maintain your creative sense to the max, while not worrying about
sales training and marketing. It’s all about conserving that creativity and honestly I don’t like putting labels on things. My style changes and so will my clients, but overall I see a young crowd in my designs.
SVA: How do you survive as a Scandinavian designer?
JN: I think you need to be in-tune with your concept. Believe in your own work. Gain awareness and experience from the world beyond Scandinavia. The fashion business has worked better in other parts of the world, so seeking inspiration beyond Scandinavia is crucial.
SVA: Gallery NYC – how did this happen?
JN: I’ll tell you the whole story. I was at school, it was a really nice day but I was having a little life-crisis. Whereas I was slightly panicking about my choice of career, my product, my creativity I think it’s something creative people go through often. Then my phone rang, and it was this super long number. I decided not to answer. Then it rang again, but his time I took the call. The man on the other line introduced himself as an agent from NYC. I suspected a prank call, but he told me he had seen my designs and wanted me to come and do a show in NYC during fashion week. They told me the reason why they picked me was that my style was incredibly unique and not so much present in New York at the moment. I had a very unorthodox approach to menswear and they really liked my stuff. And that’s what lead me to get booked for Gallery during New York Fashion Week.
SVA: Finally, what do you daydream about now?
JN: Definitely getting a job and I also hope to hire a PR agency in NYC after the show. I won’t be staying in Copenhagen after graduation, I know that for sure. I need something new. The dream has always been NYC. Hopefully it’s not too far away!
Written by Madeleine Holth for SVA Magazine