Lars Wallin – The Odd Man out in Swedish Fashion

Lars Wallin is something of the odd man out on the Swedish design scene with his very international creative expression and high end products that are so dissimilar to Scandinavian simplicity. At the moment there is a travelling exhibition in Sweden that shows Lars Wallin’s life work. An exhibition that is a show of creative freedom and technical skill and that is in itself a tribute to a craft which knowledge is starting to get lost in Sweden.

When you seek for information about the boy from Västerås you only find the bare minimum. After a lunch with Lars Wallin at the restaurant Sturehof I had a clearer picture of his views on social Medias and the digitalised world. He spoke of the importance of being a private person, about having a vision with your brand and company and the importance of always putting the client first.

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When asked what digital Medias have meant for him as a person and as an entrepreneur Lars Wallin answers that he is fully aware of the strong impact the Internet has when it comes to getting a message across and create knowledge about a brand. He thinks that new designers today have it easier when it comes to reaching their consumers due the simplicity and the speed of the Internet. Due to the fact that they can get in contact with people in for instance Japan they can more easily maintain their individual expression instead of being forced into a conformed style as many Swedish chains do, where it then is hard to distinguish one brand from the other. Lars Wallin feels that he needs to become more comfortable with the new technology and work more with the company’s webpage to elevate the brand to new heights. Ever since he studied fashion at Beckmans he has sketched his models by hand and admits to having prejudices against the design software that is used today.

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After a collaboration with Carpe Diem where he got to familiarise himself with the software he saw the advantages in the speed where you could see how a garment would look like and the technical gadgetry. Lars Wallin says that he will start use new technology more and thinks that his lust for experimenting will increase.

Lars Wallin does not have Twitter or Instagram and he feels that it is very nice to shut down the computer and other gadgets when he has time off. He emphasises the importance of avoiding negative stress. He doesn’t follow any fashion blogs and feels that the people who run the blogs lack sufficient knowledge about the fashion industry and that their blogs essentially are only about consumption.

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When speaking of consumption the conversation turns to how we as consumers need to reassess our behaviour and what it does to our planet. Lars Wallin wants to highlight the handicraft and the importance of quality and that quality must be allowed to cost. He continues by saying that when we put a large amount of money on a piece of garment we should be paying for quality and not an inflated brand.

Lars Wallin feels that there is a certain risk that designers who share too much of their personal life in digital media and that it will take away focus from the handicraft and from what is the most important thing for each company, the consumer. Even so he thinks that the importance of digital media will only grow but you should avoid unnecessary stress and use the tools in a proper way.

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When asked about what new designers should think about before they start a new business Lars Wallin feels that they should create a message and a vision that should run through the whole venture. It is important that they have faith in themselves, their concept and that it takes a dose of courage to handle the competition that the fashion industry poses.

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