Finding Hygge

The Levis collection bringing comfort to Iceland’s extreme elements
By Thalia Chin | Fashion | 17 August 2017

Levis Made & Crafted FW17

“We were charmed by the attitude of hygge with Iceland capturing our imagination with its mystical and otherworldly essence which we poured into the collection,” said Nick Rendic, Menswear Design Director for Levis Made & Crafted – a premium line from the iconic denim brand.

For their FW17 collection, Levis Made & Crafted designers Nick Rendic and Nicolle Arbour found inspiration in the stark contrast between hygge – a Danish concept meaning to enjoy life’s simple pleasures: a feeling of utter satisfaction and comfort – and Iceland’s extreme climate. Translated to clothing, this results in luxe and durable fabrics, wools you could live in, and a colour palette inspired by Iceland’s incredibly natural scenery.

Whilst their latest collection may showcase modern materials and the newest techniques in clothes craft, Made & Crafted stay true to the Levi’s heritage, their use of nature as inspiration reflecting the outdoors workwear origins of the brand.

Here we chat to Nick and Nicolle about working for a brand with such a renowned legacy and how their trip to Iceland shaped their collection.


Thalia Chin: What was the inspiration for this collection?
Nicolle Arbour: This is ‘Iceland’. It started with the initial inspiration from the idea of hygge, the nordic expression, it means to be cosy and comfortable, a feeling of contentment. It’s kind of everywhere lately which is really funny. We just loved that idea of celebration and the idea of coziness in amongst the elements, so we chose to go to Iceland because it has one of the most extreme elements in the world. We went in January last year when it was just frigid cold and snowing. It was an incredible experience and as you can see we really played up all of the textures and the wools.

Thalia: It just looks so comfy!
Nicolle: Yes exactly! Comfy is the goal.


Thalia: And this is what you’re talking about with the embellishments.
Nicolle: Yes exactly, there is the kind of snow flower detail that you’ll see throughout the line. We use a lot of leather and a lot of just beautiful, soft, plush textures.
Nick Rendic: Also the imagery is a little bit more contemporary. There are visual codes which are slightly different from our mainstream collection which is still kind of cloaked around rock ‘n’ roll and Californian vibes. It’s very exciting that we have something new for the brand which is more of a creative expression.

Thalia: Are you inspired by San Francisco?
Nicolle: Definitely.
Nick: Yeah San Francisco is very much part of the whole DNA of denim as denim was invented there essentially. It was back in the 1840s – when they discovered gold – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patented this jean and that’s where it all started.
Nicolle: We have an archive in our office in San Francisco. It’s crazy, they have the oldest pair of jeans and they can tell what each jean was used for based on the wear pattern of the indigo. Like if somebody was leaning and how they were using them: as they were a proper work pant that you wore over your clothes, it’s really interesting and strange. There is so much for us to play with, there is a proper library downstairs.
Nick: I guess what’s fascinating is that we’ve not only created a blueprint of what the jean looks like but there is also so much about social history that comes with it.

Thalia: Yeah that is what I find really interesting, the cultural and social side of it.
Nick: I mean that’s why I love working here to be honest, that dedication to all the social issues – and its not a new thing, it was from the very beginning. The company has always been about taking care of its workers and doing the right thing.

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