Line Sander Johansen, a Danish clothing designer talks about soul, purpose and espadrilles.



Part 01.




Line Sander Johansen and Caroline Jurovic, Los Angeles — 2014



Morning ...
Hot water with lemon, notes and new eyes … some days I wish it could be morning all day long


Noon ...  
Curiously becoming


Night...
Coming closer


Perfect happiness ...
In Los Angeles - remembering the breezy afternoons during my first artist in residence stay in March of 2014. It was in a big, beautiful open space across from the Eastern Building on 6th. Facing the United Artist theater in DTLA - the light and breeze coming in through the windows at this point in the day was and is priceless. 


Preposterous ...
Politics

Fear ...
Is tough.


Love ... 
Is it.


Extravagance ...
Is understated.


Comedy...
 I
s a word I rarely use.



Prayer Papers in Nara © Line Sander Johansen — 2008



Work ... 
Is really love made visible


Our time ...
Feels precious and unlimited


The future ...
Always seems to find its surprising way with me


The past ...
Is past


Part 02.




The Replica Collection © Line Sander Johansen — 2013


Most interesting thing in your wallet ...
$ 6. I always carry dollars in my wallet because it makes me feel worldly. And I decided it means that I’m then returning to the US again. I never leave California without $ 6 in my wallet. The last time I arrived in LA I tipped the first driver all of them, I just always have fun with this, seeing who I meet first, because he or she will be the lucky one, getting my sometimes year-old $ 6 ( plus I lost my heart to California when I was little, traveling with my Mom and Dad, a yogi and an architect) where I dream about living and working from permanently some day.


In another life, you’d be …
Really exited about one more life ! Then perhaps an affluent, worldly archeologist with a home like a museum – hosting artists like my own mentors are doing in this life, for residencies.. This is such a q, isn’t it… I grew up wanting to be an archeologist.


Your lucky charm ... 
Wild and crazy


Words to live by ...
I recently found an interesting note in one of my old sketchbooks saying “It’s a longing for adventure, and the tendency to dress with a purpose of freedom” – something I wrote for my collection ‘The Traveler’ 2013. This, at the moment, seems to resonate with me in many ways …


Prized possession ...
My family and friends 


One wish ...
To live and work in Los Angeles in a perfect way for perfect pay some perfect day. I have a note at my desk saying ‘I am really committed to dreaming about my ideal life.’


A dream dinner party would be made up of who (dead or alive)...
Some kind of a banquet… of all the sensual female legends that have ever lived… we could learn so much from these women, in a modern world like our times.



Grace Kelly, Los Angeles — 1952

 
Favorite shoes...
Espadrilles, thank god for that trend. Well and heels of course. In particular - and for the last five years - my favorite shoes have been a pair of APC Boots. I wear them all the time when in Denmark. Dark blue suede. No need for anything else. Goes well with anything.




Le Bon Marché; APC, Rue Madame — Unknown


Favorite store ...
Aphoteke’s, farmers markets and anywhere where you can collect good essentials and inspiring, practical things. I love cookbook in LA, APC on Rue Madame (I use to work in one), Manufactum and the lingerie department at Le Bon Marché in Paris. I can continue for days on this one…


Favorite friend ...
All my friends are my favorite.


Big Sur © Line Sander Johansen — 2014


Favorite place ...
Big Sur and my Father’s wood house in my childhood city, he drew and built the house from scratch above the tree tops and the small city, facing the sea highland. The entire façade is glass, making it such an experience to be inside the house because you are able to watch the weather changing, the seasons and everything. The forest surrounding it becomes an intimate part of the living inside the house. I love that. Plus I grew up next to it before he built this place.


Favorite color ...
white reflects light and is composed of all the colors of the spectrum and I find that extremely fascinating. If I pick white, I feel like I’m being clever because secretly it has all the colors, right? Then comes pink. All kinds of pink. Bleu royal, indigo, Navy. Natural pigments.



Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery — 2014


Favorite book ...
Le Petit Prince, Illusions, Siddhartha and everything Murakami, I can never just say one.

Favorite website ...

Google Translate



Los Angeles © Line Sander Johansen — 2014


A favorite photo that you've taken ...
A picture of a Winter Ivy, I took on a walk around DTLA for the very first time in January 2010. This was way before it changed into what it is today and I remember feeling like it was all some kind of an abandoned movie scene, walking on Broadway…  

I was seeing someone working in the movie industry and spending a good amount of time alone around Los Angeles. It was the time during my MA in fashion and textiles. And it struck me the other day, just what a great memory the look of this Winter Ivy really is to me.. I’d never seen an Ivy anywhere else like this.

It reminds me of the first time I fell in love with LA and got to experience what an inspiring place Downtown is (changed so rapidly now), a place I’d never pursued before. Creatively, Los Angeles became the place to be for me. Every time I go there I feel such pull, like I’m being stretched to my fullest, in a really positive way - like the Ivy filling out that entire wall, because no one else is there taking up that particular spot..


A favorite photo that someone else has taken ...
One in particular that just means a lot to me, is one my friend Sara Bro Joergensen - a knitwear designer for Burberry Prorsum and I think most recently at Calvin Klein.

We became friends when I was 18 and she was 23. In many ways she had a great influence on me, as I was pretty young and we were in drawing school and later on design school together. When she gifted me this picture from her exhibit, what moved me, I think, was the whole period of me trying to find my identity as a young woman, and what struck me then (and still does) was the feeling of surrender in this photograph. I remember my Dad looking at it at some point, finding it rather…. Cheeky. But to me it’s the surrender and pleasure that she’s radiating I just find really beautiful and rare.


Part 03.




One-Of Quilt from the Scrapwork Series © Line Sander Johansen — 2014


You live in Copenhagen. How has that informed your work ...

I feel like the concept of ‘togetherness’ plays a big role for me here – being that Copenhagen is so small – and in that way also very intimate - it has taught me to prioritize daily. Authentic things and routines that works as a very comforting base for me and as a creative person.

Copenhagen is a small city and Denmark is a small country.. and therefore very much based on faith, I feel. There’s a certain amount of transparency between people who live here, as a result of this I think, which I feel really grateful for.  

Then of course the fact that Copenhagen is such a mix of both an urban, old-school, classic and modern nordic city, bursting with great creators, inspires me a lot. I’ve found out that it’s also a very emotional city, one day you may be feeling blue all of a sudden because it started raining, or you find out it’s because it’s been overcast for 7 days in a row… I like this change. But sometimes it all gets a bit heavy and serious for me. That’s about when I’m halfway on my way over sea to LA, he he.

Then the tradition for craftsmanship. It’s in the form of the aesthetics that you surround your self with, it is just so important for my well being, perhaps because we spend so much time in our homes … Almost everyone aims to sit around the table at 6.30 with their kids in the evening, because it’s important. I’ve learned to love the dictation of Danish weather, appreciate the cold months as well as the warm. The light and the dark.


The Replica Collection © Line Sander Johansen — 2013


You have an interest in abandoned textiles. Tell me about this ...

Yes, it’s exactly what it is, an interest and curiosity for the abandoned, or for the ‘process’. I feel like it was born out of the time before and during the finance crises. I had just finished an MA in fashion and textile, and for many years felt, so responsible for what I was going to add to the industry, I felt this for many years prior to the (outside) crises. So as I was starting on my Masters degree in 2012 I decided I was going to use what I had.

Instead of the tendency in fashion around Europe, to go to London or Paris and find the next strong statement/print/material and so on, I decided to look the other way and use what I already had. I later on learned that this was how Martin Margiela did his graduation collection – out of toilet paper. Coco Chanel with her ‘poor look’ in jersey and flannel, creating the understated luxury look with raw smagragds and her ‘little black nothing’ secretary look…. I could go on about this, but I’m just mentioning this because I was very surprised and intriqued when I found out about it.

My tutor told me afterwards that to her The Traveler Collection 2013 was ‘a poetic riot’ – some newspaper wrote an article about it presenting it like ‘Clothes with soul in’. And that’s exactly what I had been missing in the industry. Soul, radical responsibility and purpose. I’m not into fashion, I like the foolishness of fashion (sometimes) and mostly, I like good clothes.

I most often find the unfinished things more interesting than the finished products or objects. I can be in my studio all day long, just organizing abandoned things/textiles/colors/quotes and new techniques. I think this comes from a really open state of mind, and my idea of using what I already have, which is why my work changes so much – sometimes it’s small selections of handmade clothes, graphic design, hand drawn prints, exhibitions, constellations etc. I like that frame.




The Replica Collection © Line Sander Johansen — 2013


Talk about sustainability as it relates to your work ...

Sustainability to me and in the way that I think of it, relating to my work, is that on a very deep and pretty complex level, what matters the most to me, is how I make people feel. What kind of ‘marks’ and what kind of feeling I leave my clients with in the end. My aim is always to make my customers feel seen, understood and somehow taken care of, from the choice of fabric, yarns and subtle or bright clean colors to the way the light gets in through a Scrapwork curtain – it all has to comfort, calm and bring happy sensations. For me this takes time. It takes time to create. I make everything in my own studio at the moment located in Copenhagen, and everything by hand. Sustainability is not something I mention in my work directly. My hope is that people sense what my things are made of, and gets an experience or inspiration that resonates with them.

Sustainability to me is also about creating a business I love running, that sustains me in a positive way, and every way, the amount of fun projects I want to take on, free time, travels and adventure. At the moment I am just a one-woman company, offering creative consultation, collaborations aiming to create shared values, brand development and sometimes designing my own collections. Now is the time to focus on creating shared values, that goes beyond sustainability for me.  



Silver Lake, California © Line Sander Johansen — 2013


You just finished a residency in Los Angeles. Tell me about it ...

In my business, It’s important for me to spend good amounts of concentrated periods in my studio, not traveling all the time.

I feel so fortunate when I think about this question. Some of my most inspiring friends, memories and places are located in California and have been so since I was little, traveling there with my family.

Spending a month long residence was something I hadn’t even dared dream about. Nothing was arranged prior to my arrival, everything came into place within just a few days of my stay, at one of my good friends, Caroline Juruvic’s home, who is a dear friend of the Architect Lindon Schultz. I was introduced to and offered a workplace on his loft in Downtown, which then turned out to be a month long residence for me. Working in historic DTLA was heaven for me. I used to come here when the area was very different, the Ace Hotel hadn’t found it’s location yet, there were no fancy shops around, as there are now. Visiting this time was really interesting and amazed me a lot. Los Angeles is my home, creatively, there’s no doubt about that. I feel really fortunate to have found such a place. It’s a place that’s not the center of the world, you know, you can be both anonymous and social, which is why I like it, compared to Europe.



Copenhagen Studio, Line Sander Johansen


Describe a day in the life of Line. How would it begin? What would you do? Where would you go? What time would you be in bed ...

I wake up really early, listen to my morning meditation while still lying in bed. Get up and boil water, mix with lemon, sip and run around some, I sometimes wonder where all the time goes in the morning, I spend it so well. Theres so many lovely things to do at this time of the day. Sometimes a bit of soft yoga. Good mornings to me, last all day. I then make my cold pressed organic green juice (I’m not making this up – I make them every day all year), of cucumber, sunflower and pea sprouts, celery and fennel.

At some point I run out the door, jump on my bike and go to my studio that’s located near the northern harbour in Copenhagen. I work here everyday, often til way too late in the night, but I love it. I work with the sweetest most thoughtful clients around the world, who support me and see my work very clearly. My morning routines are my base and my anchor, during lunch I’m flying, in the afternoon aiming to get it all sorted, in the evening often being so absorbed in my work, that I forget I need food and all that, I must get better at this...





talk about future projects ...

I don’t concentrate so much on the future, but more on present projects things in my studio, as they tend to show me the future while working with it… no idea if this makes sense. At the moment I am planning a three month long Artist in Residence in Los Angeles in 2015 that I’m really exited about.



Travel CharmsLine Sander Johansen — 2014


talk about a dream project ...

I started on a possible project during my graduation in 2012 - ‘ The Traveler’ - with a series of scents from places I’ve visited that I would like to develop more with a natural scent maker in Los Angeles. I really have something with scents and memories, which I feel very compelled by. Or the absence of it, things I love translating and working with.