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Astrid Andersen: Getting to Know the Luxe Streetwear Savant

Astrid Andersen
Courtesy of Astrid Andersen

The Danish-born, London-based designer reflects on her background. 

Danish-born and London-based, Astrid Andersen's eponymous luxury brand has given classic sportswear a subversive, street-ready edge--the perfect intersection of both of her worlds. This elevated and accessible mix has made her the go-to designer for the likes of Drake and A$AP Rocky, and she most recently collaborated with M.I.A. on an exclusive line of merch. Here, Andersen reflects on her background and its lasting impact on her label.

OUT: How has Danish design inspired your brand?

Astrid Andersen: My heritage comes through in my dedication to detail and quality. It's in our blood to be obsessed over perfection, and it provided me with a very humble nature. But I have always struggled with the Scandinavian obsession over good taste, which makes us less able to challenge conventions. London opened my eyes to having an individual style without worrying about everyone else.

You move between Copenhagen and London for work. What keeps you tied to Denmark?

I love the lifestyle here. I love riding my bike to work, eating healthy food, and breathing clean air. I like to distance myself from the fashion scene a bit, and here I have all my old true friends and family close by.

How has your upbringing affected your point of view?

I often think about the relationship with American culture that's so deeply rooted in my generation, because everything we saw on TV or listened to on the radio was from America. Even though I grew up in a small town in Denmark, I knew all the TLC and Dr. Dre lyrics when I was 14 years old.

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How would you define the Danish aesthetic?

Danish fashion is polite. We are very good at commercializing good taste, but that never really caught my interest. As a designer, I identify more with my generation globally than with the land beneath my feet, because everyone is connected today through the internet.

You approach designing menswear and womenswear in the same manner. Why is genderless style so important to you?

I was always drawn to menswear because I could identify with the style codes. To me, it's really about regarding everyone as equals. I want men to feel and look powerful, but I want exactly the same for women.

What is your idea of "luxury"?

Luxury is being reinterpreted these days, which is amazing because it's demanded by a new generation that doesn't identify with the luxury their parents went by. A man in a suit is classic, but not necessarily a sign of success. A guy in the correct tracksuit can look more powerful because he shows confidence and individuality. This is luxury to me.

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