Archives: June 2012

Jet Korine

Snoop-Around interviews fashion designer Jet Korine for the Reykjavík Grapevine,
issue #8 15.6.2012
Part of this interview originally appeared in The Reykjavík Grapevine

When you walk up Skólavörðustígur, you might notice a little shop on number 17a, which bears the name of its owner and designer, Jet Korine. Jet has a strong ethos behind everything she does, from the hand-dyed socks to the versatile ´life coat´; all is made with a conscious effort to leave a little less imprint on the world. The garments could be from the closet of a modern nomad, ready for whatever. The style is above trends and fads, and even though the clothes might look light and delicate,they are made to last.

Tell us a bit about the shop.

It has been open for three years in this location but the brand is a little bit older. It started like many other brands, in a workshop, tucked away on the second floor with no public appearance. We opened the shop in Skólavörðustígur when the crisis loomed over Iceland and to outrule the danger of going bankrupt, we collected both the workshop and the shop in one location.

You retail a variety of accessories as well?

The golden rule is that, what we can´t make ourselves, we can retail. For example our socks are made in the USA from recycled materials and when they arrive in Iceland, we hand dye and print them here. For all the accessories that we retail, we want things to have some connection to the policy for our own clothing.

“I didn´t want to feel responsible for putting
more crap out into the world”

Is the handmade quality and sustainability important to your own work as well?

It is. But at the same time it´s not the biggest selling point. I want people first and foremost to fall in love with what they see and feel more beautiful by wearing my clothes. The second part of it that all my fabrics are organic and my dyes are natural. It was my choice to work from that source, because I didn´t want to feel responsible for putting more crap out into the world. It´s already filled up with enough crap.

However it has, gladly enough, affected the overall look of my clothing. For example, by not having synthetic material in my store, it´s very hard to get bright colours, since they are in general done with either synthetic dye or synthetic materials. The pastels that we are known for are because of the natural dye behaves like that, it´s its characteristics. These two things together have become the look for the brand.

Is there a single concept behind every collection?

There is not a particular concept that rules every single collection, the overall concept is that we are planning to stay natural and minimizing peoples consuming behaviour. And to make sure that whatever is bought here, can be used as much as possible and that people might actually buy less. So in a way it´s the worst business plan ever, promoting buying less! For a store that would be a suicidal business plan, however it works really well for us. I feel that our customers are aware of what they are buying, it´s not a moment of impulse.

What is your new collection based on?

The summer collection, Dans-Dans-Dans, was very much inspired by professional dancers. We have a lot of jersey layering, which is easy to build up and build down. Catsuits make the first layer that cover the whole body, the next layer is very open and would actually show everything if there wasn´t a catsuit underneath. We are in a dance theme this summer and it suits this beautiful weather that we´ve been having!


Interview: Erla Björk Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís


Sig Vicious

Snoop-Around interviews Siggeir Hafsteinsson – Sig Vicious for the Reykjavík Grapevine,
issue #6 18.5.2012Part of this interview originally appeared in The Reykjavík Grapevine

The graphic designer Sig Vicious started out with a computer and a vision, making his ideas comes true through visual mediums. He started out fifteen years ago and has since then run his own advertising agency, worked freelance and for various companies and agencies. His unique style in digital graphic shows often in his intense works, explosion on the canvas, which he often blends with popular culture icons, politics or humour, all blended in with his colour palette that is very artistic and authored by many means.
We got to visit Sig on a musky Sunday morning, greeted by home-made delicacies.

Did you take interest in design at an early age?

Well, when I was thirteen I had an Atari computer and was a part of a computer clique. I started drawing in a program where the resolution was 480×320 and you could choose from 16 colors. I didn’t do well in school, so I spent a couple of years working at a bakery and the shipyard, but I took interest in design again in my early twenties.

“The first thing I made was a flyer for a fashion show at Hótel Borg; it was epically ugly”

Did you wind up studying graphic design?

No, I’m completely self-taught. I wanted to become a graphic designer and I knew that I had to learn how to use Freehand, a program that some designers used back then. I went to Siberia for three months in 1997 and used my time there to master Macromedia Freehand completely. When I returned, I got a job and started working on brochures and stuff like that. Lets just say I have grown to what I am today; you are always learning and developing as an artist. Some of my early work isn’t very good when I look at it now. The first thing I made was a flyer for a fashion show at Hótel Borg; it was epically ugly. I made it in Photoshop and used something called difference clouds. I was very happy with it at the time.

Are you influenced by other people’s work?

Well, I’m inspired by a lot of things, but it doesn’t play directly into my own work. I take a lot of interest in street and graffiti culture, even though I’m not doing it myself. One of my favorite artist is Jose Parla, a calligrapher, he mixes calligraphy and graffiti together, and I think that is very great. You’ve recently designed some EVE-online artwork. We can see the digital attacks right here on your wall! Yeah, so first I took a couple of old photographs from Reykjavík and superimposed them with spaceships from Star Wars. Then I wanted to develop the idea further using more original material, so I got my friend Oscar Bjarnason to take photos and used ships from the EVE-online game as models. I have actually received a bit of feedback from the EVE community; they say that the scale of the ships is incorrect. However, they should know that this is art, not EVE reality!

So, you always worked for others or what can you tell me?

No, I owned my own company for a while with my partner Snorri Barón and we had a lot of kids asking for jobs, and I always asked about their portfolios and was not interested in their educational background. The work speaks for itself in my opinion. We did a lot of different things back then, Egils Orka if you remember that with Friðrik 2000. We worked on things for Vífilfell, Sprite, Fanta and we did all the commercials for Rautt, Íslandssími. Actually one of them got banned for television screening, the competition was doing commercials with the good kids with pink ribbons while our commercial was about how it is in reality, being a teenager, all the ugly stuff and tryouts. But I’ve done it all if that was your question, worked for others, myself and done various projects and so on.

“I like to ask for two or three keywords, but other than that
I can do whatever”

What do you find most fun about being a designer?

I most love making vinyl covers because I am typically given a lot of artistic freedom. I like to ask for two or three keywords, but other than that I can do whatever. The last cover I did was a single sided vinyl one with Goldie, the song is on one side, and on the other side the lyrics are carved in to the vinyl. I think its an epic one, its number 100 from Metalheads, and is signed by Goldie himself. I usually do two or three covers per month, and I really like doing it. I have also designed books and such.

How does one approach you?

The best way is to send me an email. And if you want to buy my stuff you just send me an email.

Has the foreign press shown you interest?

I’ve been interviewed couple of times. But I don’t like if they ask me about the Icelandic influence and if they are always connecting my designs or art standpoint to something that has to do with Iceland. I think it’s a silly approach to designers.

What are you doing now and what does the future hold?

Well I’m working for a commercial agency. Of course I like to work at a small company, as an artist, but you cannot live exclusively by making flyers and vinyl covers. I’ve done projects for big companies like HP and Nike in the past, and this kind of work is very different in terms of project size and pay. I think I will be doing this as long as I have the freedom to create.

We left Sig Vicious apartment, munching on home baked muffins that he had offered us during the visit, thinking about those digital attacks he creates in Reykjavík, online, as music artworks and in so many other places. We wish him a great future, in his creation of digital worlds.

Interview: Ása Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís


Snoop-Around interviews fashion designer Eygló Margrét Lárusdóttir – EYGLO for the Reykjavík Grapevine,
issue #7 1.6.2012
This interview originally appeared in The Reykjavík Grapevine

We met fashion designer Eygló Margrét Lárusdóttir at her studio on a sunny afternoon in downtown Reykjavík. Eygló is the brain behind the label EYGLO, which she started in 2006 after graduation from the Iceland Academy of the Arts. She has been busy since then, cofounding the cooperative design shop Kiosk in 2010, which carries her work as well as that of nine other Icelandic designers. Eygló just received a grant from the Aurora Design Fund to expand her brand, which features strong feminine collections with humorous undertones. Not to mention the newly crowned Eurovision winner Loreen from Sweden was also recently spotted sporting one of Eygló’s new swimsuits. Eygló was yawning when we first arrived, but it didn’t take her long to wake up as soon as she started talking about her work.

How did you wind up becoming a fashion designer?

Well, I kind of just woke up one day and wanted to become one and then there was just no turning back.

What is the concept behind your current spring/summer line?

I started with a book about dinosaurs that my son brought back from the library; I was inspired by the interesting patterns. I also scanned my hair, and then I combined them. So the collection is based on a natural look, but it’s also weird because obviously I don’t have green hair and we don’t know what dinosaurs looked like; it’s all just speculation. I try to make practical cuts that work. It thought there was a lack of swimwear, so I made two types of swimsuits that I’m really pleased with. A specialist in Estonia manufactures them, and I am actually on my way to visit them to see the winter collection as well as to make prototypes for next summer.

I’ll also be going to the opening of a new shop in Copenhagen called Karrusel, and later this summer I’m participating in the DottirDottir project in Berlin which is a month long pop-up shop and showroom.

How do opportunities for fashion designers abroad compare to opportunities in Iceland?

Well, the consumer group is ridiculously small here. If you can make it work here, you can make it work elsewhere. If you get into a few shops, you’re doing ok. There is so much cost involved with all of this; things that you forget to calculate. You don’t really even pay yourself in the beginning. I never recommend this job to anyone unless they are 100% sure that they want to do this and nothing else. But I would just be depressed if I weren’t doing it. It’s a mental rollercoaster.

What is the ethos behind EYGLO as a whole?

I use a lot of print, at least in my latest collections. My customer base is very broad; the designs seem to appeal to a wide audience. There is a sporty element; maybe it’s just the zeitgeist, but it always sneaks up on me. I’m not romantic at all.

You prefer stronger forms?

Yes and a bit of power dressing. Well, next summer I’m going to be really cliché. I went to Þingvellir and took pictures of rocks. I’m not joking! I’m making an Icelandic camouflage; it will be insane! I was just like, ‘fuck, what am I doing, organising some rocks in Photoshop,’ but I like doing something taboo and attempting to do it well. This idea could totally fail in Iceland, because these natural patterns are so close to us, but then it might work somewhere else. It’s a delicate balance to strike

Interview: Erla Björk Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís