Tobias Birk Nielsen - a promising young designer for Denmark. Started his professional career at 2009, working as a design assistant at WOODWOOD. Graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and currently holds a position of a creative director at his own constantly evolving label. We had a conversation with Tobias about pressing problems of young designers.
From which perspective had you seen your future before you became a freshman?
I think my perspective hadn’t existed at that time. Cause, to be honest, I didn’t have one. I think I was too young to really reflect on it. I just wanted to do things, learn a lot, and create objects with my own hands. It was really all I cared about during that time. Fortunately, it has developed into an artistic vision, which I’ve only just begun to develop and disseminate.
What do you think is the most difficult part that young designers face in modern fashion?
For me now, and I think for a lot of young designer out there – the most difficult part is time. Because you simply don’t have enough time for doing everything by yourself. Patter making, sewing, sourcing, fitting, producing and later on making all presentation material – it is all something that need to come from your own hands to make it as distinct yours as possible, and also because it takes a lot of funds to outsource this. Funds which I don’t have. So, for me, and properly for many young designers, it’s the most difficult part.
If you had an opportunity to use any exotic material in your new collection (fabric, steel, etc), what would it be?
Hm, lava stones would be cool. I have some that I’ve found in Guatemala few years ago. They are super feather weighted and tactile livid as fuck.
What are your most vivid impressions after Copenhagen Fashion Week?
This last fashion week was quite intense. In three days I had two shows & one exhibition. Everything went well and came out almost like I wanted it to be like. The most vivid impressions that I have received during the fashion week time were somewhere between having a lot of fun and being really exhausted.
Does your family have an influence on you and your current work?
Not in a straight way with any visible and clear reference. It’s more about the way I’m pushing my work and the direction of it. I am pretty sure that comes from my family. My dad and two elder brothers have their own business too, but none of the is in an artistic field, though.
Imagine. Three days in Russia. Unlimited capabilities.
I would definitely go to look at the old communist architecture. For
years this cosmic communist construction genre of architecture has
been fascinating me, and obviously it is quite present in Russia as one of few places in the world.
Other that would be the classic touristy things –like getting drunk with vodka and fighting a bear.
Obviously, fashion is not the only tool that you use for your artistic expression. Could you tell us a bit more about the other fields you work in?
Yes, you’re right, that’s something I strive to keep on intergrating in my work. I’m quite positive that doing fashion for the rest of my life will be too exhausting, and also might become too repetitive at some point. So, yeah, it’s been an intentional decision for some years now, to add more and more artistic diversity, as I might use one of them as a safe way out one day.
A lot of designers started their sewing because they simply could not find the right clothes for themselves. And what is in you wardrobe?
I started to sew quite late. Actually, I’ve never really felt comfortable carrying on some of my own garments. I don’t exactly know why and probably that will change one day. Instead, my closet is mainly curated of pieces from the designers I admire the most, for example – Boris Bidjan Saberi and combine them with a few vintage pieces from all around the world that I have coped trips to another countries. The latest thing that I got was a warm long overcoat that I found in a Tokyo suburb store.
A boundless feeling of emptiness presents throughout the video and all the shots that you took for ‘Uniform of Great Hope’ collection. Have you ever had such moments in your life when you just had to stop your work because of the inner emptiness or spiritual crisis?
I can easily see why the campaign gave the feeling of emptiness, and this was all intentional. But the main feeling I wanted to create was sensibility. Because sensibility gets you closer to your most inner emotions while you are asking yourself questions about you existence. And there questions and feelings are something that comes to me all the time. Especially when I have stressful periods, get sensitive and a bit insecure.
Imagine. Three days in Russia. Unlimited capabilities. Actions?
I would definitely go to have a look at the old communist architecture. For years this cosmic communist architecture construction genre has been fascinating me. Obviously it is quite present in Russia, not like in any other place in the world. Other than that it would be a classic to black out from vodka and fight a bear.