After a brief fashion show hiatus (he last showed on the runway for Fall 2019), Danish designer Martin Asbjorn made an emphatic return during Copenhagen Fashion Week last night inside the city's Bella Arena.
"I'm just as nervous as I was for my very first show," Asbjorn told PAPER a few days prior to the outing. "I feel like this collection is kind of like a rebirth of the brand."
Indeed, not only was Fall 2022 a return to the big stage, but he would also officially be introducing womenswear, though he hesitates to use that term. Having only used male models up to this point, the expansion reaffirms Absjorn's fluid viewpoint and "for every gender and body" ethos. (He says women have been buying into his suits for a long time.)
"Basically I made a collection that could be worn by whoever and however, that's kind of the concept for the new collection," he says. Among the more "women's focused" pieces he introduced are mini skirts in metallic leather, slip dresses and flowy sequins. His signature androgynous energy is still there, as seen on the tailored suits with bursts of asymmetrical pleats and exposed linings protruding from sleeves and hems. (He titled the collection "Progressive Mix.")
The concept came to Asbjorn during the brief hiatus where he meditated on where he wanted to take his brand next. "I didn't do a big mood board. I wasn't inspired by art or something like that," he said. "It was more about seeing the new generation today, how being different and authentic is celebrated. It's about dressing how you want, how clothes can empower how you feel about yourself because that's how I've been using clothes my entire life."
SSENSE is among the brand's biggest stockists, and they're also carried by Boon The Shop and Tom Greyhound. Though it launched in 2014 (he started the label after studying at the Design and Technical Tailoring Academy), he considers 2016 where it really started since that's when he started getting picked up by retailers. He sees the brand as constantly evolving, and that one thing he's learned is that he should listen to himself more.
"I think it's easy when you're a smaller designer, you have clients that you need to have in mind whenever you design a collection," he says. "And I think that can be good, but it can also work a little bit against you. I feel like whenever I just trust my gut feeling, I get further in the direction that I want to go in and I get the best response as well."
Photos courtesy of Martin Asbjørn