This May issue of the Japanese men's fashion magazine HUgE has a great feature on many Scandinavian designers, including a handful which are carried here at Blackbird. Below is a translation of the ones we have at the store. As usual, these are rough translations so the designers' words should not be taken literally.

The first section, "about a Scandinavian's Movement" gives six designers a set of six questions to answer. Below are the questions followed by the answers from the designers carried at Blackbird.

"1.What is the brand's concept?
2.What is the theme of the 08S/S collection? What was the image of the collection? What is the most recommended item in the collection?
3. What is the most important concept for making your design?
4. What inspires you when you design?
5. In Japan, fashion from Scandinavia is very trendy now. What is the most admirable thing about Scandinavian fashion?
6. What kind of idea do you have about Japan as fashion market and style?"

Acne Jeans
"Advertisement company "Acne Creative" made one hundred denim jeans for their clients and friends. The popularity was immediately apparent and lead creative director Jonny Johanson to launch the brand officially in 1997. Since the beginning, they have won all the major Swedish fashion awards.

1. Acne Jeans is for someone who wears clothing and represents the characteristics and style of the brand. All of the items of the collection has a specific concept but the wearer can comfortably mix the items with other brands.
2. In this season, we are took inspiration from the English adventurer of the African savanna in the great photographer Peter Beard's creation" Hunter with a camera for a gun."
3. We think quality, material, design, comfort, and stability are most important.
4. Subculture that is different from fashion. We have to identify subculture as new fashion so we always have an interest in it.
5. We are a growing brand in this Scandinavian fashion boom so I don't think we are supposed to answer, however, all of the Scandinavian brands have succeeded to mix design and comfort.
6. I like Japanese fashion such as Yohji Yamamoto, Commes des Garcon, Undercover and Number (N)ine. We consider the Japanese market as a big challenge for us to overcome."

Julian Red
"In 2002, Mattias Lind started the brand in Gotenborg, Sweden. They started to make jeans and in 2003, the collection finally started officially. They named the brand after a character in Bret Easton Ellis's novel "Less Than Zero."

1. Our concept is a psychological design balanced with futuristic looks when you actually wear our clothing. Our brand is avant-garde and tends to be very sensitive for fashion movements. We try to improve our quality of material and tailoring techniques.
2. For the 08S/S collection, the main inspiration is Amedee Ozenfant, Le Corbusier and the starting of purism. We needed to find a way to back to the basic concepts of clothing such as they were working.
3. To illustrate the confusion on one's mind.
4. We think inspiration is to find a very nuance from life, art, society, music and fashion and to illustrate, or make a comparison. Our work is very conceptual. Our work comes from a development of emotions and objections.
5. First, we are good at making visual concepts to present ourselves. Also, like Japanese brands, we care very small details that contribute to the overall fit and design.
6. We have respect for Yohji Yamamoto. Japansese consumers are much more motivated about fashion than consumers in Europe or America."

Following the question section is "departure from Scandinavia" which goes on to give brief bios for eleven more brands, including Blackbird old time favourite Filippa K and one of the newer brands to the store, Pudel.

Filippa K
"This brand has been leading the Scandinavian fashion scene for a very long time. For 08S/S they took inspiration from American army classic styles after the WW2. The collection has a masculine look which mixes good old American trad style with relaxed elegance."

"The designer Lina Osterman graduated from London's Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Pudel started in 2005A/W and took base in London. Unlike other Scandinavians brands, this brand provides genderless clothing with a minimal and clean style. Its very original concept is attracting many buyers from London and Japan."