In the Stockholm offices of fashion label HOPE, conflict is of interest.
Frida Bard, head of design at Swedish fashion brand HOPE, thrives on conflict. Whether it’s a unisex collection that challenges the distinction between menswear and womenswear, or a workspace that welcomes trash and treasure, discord is a welcome part of her routine. Here, she describes a typical day at her office.
Do you have any rituals when getting dressed for work?
My ritual is trying to feel my current mood and letting that dictate what I wear. I usually end up with a shirt and some sort of trouser though.
What does power dressing mean to you?
Kind of the same—to dress according to one’s mood or state of mind. I don’t think that power lies in the garment itself but rather in the relationship between the wearer and the piece.
What is your ideal workspace like?
A space where I can move, breathe and play music as loudly as I want. A place that allows me to be both clean and messy, where I can keep precious things next to garbage.
What’s your favorite part of the day?
The morning, when every thought is still fresh and your mind is open. I like to be up when most people are asleep.
How would you describe your design philosophy?
My vision as a designer is to reflect and act upon society and its movements. My philosophy lies therein—to create clothes that start and develop a relevant dialogue, whether it’s around a collection, a silhouette or a specific garment.
Many of your collections are gender fluid. What’s the biggest challenge when designing clothes that work for everyone?
Avoiding the traps of convention, both ways. We’ve had a very clear idea of how a man or a woman should dress for such a long time, and sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in those traditional ideas. The opposite is also true. It’s easy to get stuck thinking that you should work with something entirely different, even though you might want to do just a traditionally “male” or “female” shirt or blazer.
How do you overcome creative block?
If I’m completely empty, I usually try to do something entirely different or go in the opposite direction. That usually kick starts my thoughts again.
What makes you feel most accomplished at the end of the workday?
When I’ve had time to work with my team on new ideas. Some days are spent mostly on administrative things like emails and manager meetings. That’s great too, but it’s the shared creativity with my design team that gives me a kick.
Do you have any tips for dressing for Swedish winters?
Layers! And warm, well-selected materials. Mix wools and technical materials for a smart contemporary look. Keep your feet warm.
This story originally appeared on Skandiastyle.com