Fearless, he plays with proportions and shapes. Assured, he bravely interprets the capitalist surrounding and confronts it. Anders Haal might have just arrived to the fashion industry, but he definitely came to explode and spread his transgressive vision equally among the loners and the masses. With a smooth freedom craved in each piece, he is consciously writing his own charming sexy chapter. And what is coming next for HAAL? The World, reader, and everything in it.
You launched HAAL in 2013. Since that day until now, I’m sure a lot of things have changed. What can you tell us about that and about how you are dealing with all of it at the moment?
I launched my first collection in Masses magazine in early 2014. Since the beginning, I've had a focus on lifestyle and a changing wardrobe. The collection was picked up by Opening Ceremony and LN-CC, and later by Agender Selfridges. A lot has happened since then, and we have a lot of things planned for the upcoming season – I wish I could tell you more about it!
Do you want HAAL to be a codebreaker brand? In exactly which way?
For me, a codebreaker is someone who can find a new angle and penetrate the system, transcending a message. Codebreaker or not, my message is often about freedom and diversity.
You have a strong and outstanding imagery, being the billboards the most obvious example. Have you always wanted to communicate your brand in this way? Did you ever feel that it could be too aggressive?
Yes, I have always seen imagery and visuals as a part of what I want to say and do. And no, I've never actually seen the imagery as aggressive or too aggressive!
Is it possible for you to get some kind of inspiration outside of Sweden, specially outside of Stockholm?
Sure, traveling and seeing other things than your studio always brings new energy. That was how the Black Sea became the source of inspiration for the SS16 campaign "natural habitats." My denim production is made in Brasov, the home of Dracula, and that is how it all started, actually!
Speaking about your most recent collection – clothes for the loners and for the masses, the individual versus the crowd; how distant are these concepts? And how can one put them side by side in the fashion system?
I think it is possible. There is a gap between both and I try to bring them closer.
“Sunset, last kiss, sitting in a lap, the feeling of sand” are just some of the sensations mentioned for your SS16 campaign. Tell us more about it: the pieces, the contemporary movie inspirations, the shootings, the choice of Robi Rodriguez and the feelings that you wanted to evoke.
Sunsets and themes of romanticism are a simple answer to all the dark things happening in the world right now. Like a sequel to the previous season, the campaign takes place in a broken paradise at the Black Sea. And Robi Rodriguez documented the last days of the holiday season, amongst monuments from the Ceausescu regime next to the biggest outdoor nightclub in Europe…
You already said it: every new collection will be a continuation of the previous ones. But how do you understand progress?
Yes, in all the collections there is an ongoing evolution. You always have certain things you already know you want to develop. I am thinking in the same way I would build my own wardrobe – combining and trying to find something new.
Why did you decide to focus on eyeswear? Did you ever think about the possibility of expanding the collection to other accessories?
Sure, I have thought of it. I like working with aviators though, and it's the most obvious accessory the HAAL customer would wear. But for AW16 we are actually going to present a new product category…
FKA Twigs and Robyn were both spotted dressing HAAL pieces. What does it mean to you? Pride and pressure?
It’s great to see how people wear and translate my clothes, plus when I see people wear my things I understand more what I am about, so I really learn from it too.
Is the concept “niche market” a worry or a luxury pleasure for you?
Well, I think diversity and repetition is a part of the HAAL format. The collections have been tight and reoccurring in product range since the start, even though the range has been diverse within the groups. I really enjoy that tension.
What can we expect of HAAL’s next chapters?
Something more focused and explosive.