Textual Conversation – Martin Andersson- Head of Menswear Design at COS

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As a child growing up in the small Swedish town of Olofström, Martin Andersson was inspired by iconic British Fashion Magazines such as I-D and The Face, “I wanted to create the style and look I was seeing in British magazines, but couldn’t buy anything right in Sweden so began sketching my own designs”. Martin’s passion for both British style and fashion design was only heightened by attending the preigious Fashion College Central St Martin’s in London. Where after graduating he was snapped up by classic British brand Hackett London; whilst here Andersson launched his own signature line. The label was greeted with an extremely warm welcome by the Fashion community and media and continued to grow organically in a global market.  

After a period at, another classic British brand, Aquascutum, Martin was offered a position which would blend his passion for British Fashion with his Swedish sensibilities and heritage as Head of Menswear Design at COS. The Swedish retailer who pride themselves on offering good quality, understated classics and wardrobe essentials at affordable prices. Since it’s launch in London in 2007 COS (Collection of Style)  are now located in over 30 countries throughout Europe, North Amercia, The Middle East and Asia Pacific.

For Autumn Martin was inspired by the work of Berlin based artist Lev Khesin (see below), the emphasis on Khesin’s work is reflected in both the collection’s rich colour palette and layered silhouette.
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Best piece of advise you’ve ever been given and by whom?
“ God is in the detail” by German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, This wasn’t a piece of advice that was given to me directly but it is something which I have lived by throughout my career, to always pay attention to the finer details.

What track would always get you on the dance floor?
Good question, it would have to be “no one gets the prize” by Dianna Ross but it must be the 12 inch version.

What are you most excited about at the moment?
I am super excited to be travelling to New York this week for the opening of the Agnes Martin retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, COS is sponsoring the retrospective. Martin’s work is a continual source of inspiration for COS so it will be a memorable and honorable moment.

Best present you’ve ever received ?
I am obsessed by the book “The Hyena & Other Men” by Pieter Hugo and one year for my birthday I received a photographic print of one of the images taken from the book, it is one of my most treasured possessions.

If you could collaborate with one brand who would it be ?
I would ask Helmut Lang to come out of retirement and start designing again that way we could collaborate .

Favourite hotel in the world?
I once stayed in the Ammankila resort on the East coast of Bali; it was the most understated, serene place overlooking the sea, everything from the food to the service, it was simply paradise.

If you could live anywhere where would it be?
To be honest it would be London, it really is one of the greatest cities in the world. The infusion of different cultures and the juxtaposition between the old and new creates such an eclectic city.

If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?
I would have perhaps told myself to experiment with style more, have fun with it and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Who would your ideal dinner guests ?
If I had to choose a mix of people I would start with Donald Judd after visiting his house in New York I have so many questions that I would want to ask him, Franz Klien I would want to know how his first figurative paintings from the 40’s later provoked the abstract expression movement. Thirdly, Cormac McCarthy to pick at his literary brain and lastly to inject some fun ( and hula hopping) Grace Jones to provide some entertainment to finish the evening.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe?
A white shirt, it is one of the most versatile garments; it transcends age, dress sense and occasion.

What piece of style advice do you live by?
A very common one but very personal to me “less is more”.

Who is your style icon?
It’s not so much an icon but more an admiration for Colin Firth in “A Single Man” the sharp, sleek suiting really honors the craft of tailoring.

What’s your favourite piece of clothing?
I have a wool trench coat from our AW09 collection; it’s the first coat I reach for when the autumn chill comes. It’s a timeless piece which will always remain in my wardrobe.

COS Menswear Autumn 2016

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