P.L.N. Is Bringing a Dark and Raw Energy to Danish Fashion

P.L.N. Is Bringing a Dark and Raw Energy to Danish Fashion

At this year's BET Awards, Kanye West's viral onstage look was a coup for Peter Lundvald Nielsen of P.L.N. The rapper wore an oilskin cap from the emerging Danish designer's namesake label that complemented Ye's post-apocalyptic outfit.

"He's been very supportive, which is it's quite surreal," Nielsen tells PAPER. "He and his team have a lot of questions in terms of how we do the process for our clothes and bags that we do. It's so nice."

It's easy to see why West was drawn to Nielsen's work. The designer brings a dark, gritty energy to his clothes, which exude a raw, almost industrial quality. Most of his pieces are upcycled, and all of them are black. If that aesthetic seems at odds with Copenhagen's image of carefree, happy bohemia, well, that's sort of the point.

In challenging the city's feminine, bubbly stereotype, P.L.N. provides an alternative look at what kind of creatives and talent can be based there. Nielsen's inspirations run from old British techno bands to '90s American skate culture, filtered through a dark and gloomy punk lens.

Last week, Nielsen debuted his first runway show during Copenhagen Fashion Week as part of the organization's new incubator program NEWTALENT. (His show was supported by the Swedish Fashion Council and produced by inter.agcy.) Tom Heyes, aka Blackhaine, who choreographed West's Donda listening parties, gave a chilling performance piece at the show with bleak lines about life and death.

"Collection II," as it's called (the first one launched last summer without a show), features materials like oilskin canvas and reworked denim, raw hems and frayed edges, with references to workwear, goth and antique religious attire — all made with the intention of challenging Copenhagen's "polished" image, Nielsen says. He adds that P.L.N. is not limited to a particular gender or sexuality.

Nielsen got his start in fashion by designing t-shirts and caps in high school as a hobby, and some friends of Demna, the founder of Vetements and current creative director of Balenciaga, started buying his stuff. Demna eventually took notice and bought some for himself, before hiring Nielsen at Vetements and then at Balenciaga, where he stayed on for a few years.

"I had so many conversations with [Demna] about my next step," he says. At that point, most of Nielsen's contributions were ideas and concept, but he wanted to learn about the actual process of design and fabrics. "So then he said, 'It's time to part ways, and then you can study and then we take it from there'," he recalls. After completing university, he moved to Berlin and worked at Ottolinger, the final step in his journey before launching P.L.N during the pandemic.

"I hadn't seen my family in a long time," he says. "I had another job opportunity in Berlin, but I just really wanted to go back to Denmark and spend time with my family. i had so many ideas and then it just was just a natural thing for me to start the creative process of doing my own thing."

Still riding high from his debut show, Nielsen was grateful for the collaborative nature of his first outing. “It was really important to me that the show was a collective experience," he says. "I wanted it to be an experience that people leave taking something with them, senses stimulated and activated.”

Photos courtesy of P.L.N.