Southern Sweden Creatives: Introducing Naemi Gustavsson

Southern Sweden’s next generation of design talent has been brought together for a unique exhibition at Dutch Design Week, called What’s Your DNA?. Here, the designers share the stories and inspirations behind their work, revealing the common threads running through this young, local design scene.

What’s Your DNA? is taking place during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven at Klokgebouw 50 from 21st to 29th October. For opening hours and directions visit the website here.

Establishing connections between clothing and wearer is the running theme in experimental menswear designer Naemi Gustavsson’s work. With nods to sportswear and functional items, she also explores sustainability – both in the production processes and in the fabrics she uses, which are developed to wear and weather uniquely over time.

How has living and working in Malmö influenced your work?
It means that I can be part of the Swedish design scene, but because I have some distance from Stockholm, it’s easier to do my own thing.

What led you to design menswear?
While studying fashion at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Copenhagen, I realised that, as it’s a more structured genre, there are boundaries in menswear that are interesting to push.

How is your brand shaping your discipline in a new direction?
Material value, function and technology are what men connect with – that’s more a conceptual idea for me. My pieces create connections through surface treatments that continue to develop with use. I also design sustainably by making garments that last longer, and by working locally and with waste. I’m currently reusing the waste remnants from a weaver in Borås (a city in western Sweden), who makes functional Gore-Tex-type material.

How does your upbringing play into your designs?
First, I was raised in a small town where people dressed for function. Second, there’s a strong macho culture in these small towns that I can be provoked by and want to deconstruct – yet I also find it inspiring from a sustainability perspective, because that culture is about doing it yourself and living close to nature.

Continue reading in Oak volume Eight