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Style, innovation & equality

Ben Gorham: ”Functionality was my main priority”

We sit down with Byredo’s Creative Director at Paris Fashion Week to hear more about his multi-functional outdoor collab collection Possessions of My Soul with Swedish Peak Performance.

Olivia Palmqvist and Johan Magnusson

The collection is designed to cover all the elements that give people the confidence and security to deal with the uncontrollable forces of nature — the landscape and the everchanging weather conditions. The pieces are multipurpose, unisex and well-made, crafted from technical fabrics and pure merino wool with incredible capabilities.

How come that you joined Peak Performance for this collab?

— It was a lot thanks to personal reasons and my great interest in outdoor and outdoor activities. When they approached me I felt it would be great to work creatively and explore those outdoor experiences I’ve had.

A long hike in Riksgränsen, Sweden, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, inspired to the collection and its functionality. The colours and tones reflect the many shades of grey from the rock formations and mountains there. It represents the environment and the conditions the garments are designed to handle — 2 degrees below zero with heavy rain and wind that quickly changes to blue skies, sun and 15 degrees.

— It was a strong experience, says Gorham. We were exposed to different temperatures and weather conditions, such as rain, wind, sun, heat, and cold. That hike became important for how the collection would be and what elements we needed to include in it.

And what did you focus on?

— What went through my mind was that those different environments and changes of sceneries are something that you’re constantly exposed to. You need to take into consideration that the weather might shift fast. At the same time, the weight is vital and also making stuff packable. As you can see in the collection, most of it can be packed into small bags. The functionality was my main priority.

Gorham has also put a lot of attention to details, all the way from the colours down to the lacing, where the aesthetical aspects on the clothing is just as important as the functional.

What’s the main difference between creating fragrances and clothing?

— I believe that there is a certain intimacy in both. The world we’re living in today is very visual, and fragrances are an invisible part of it. Clothing, on the other hand, is very concrete. You know what it is, and it's mostly about adding that little extra in the silhouette, material, colour, and fabric. A lot of these ingredients are visible.

You are also launching sneakers with your own brand Byredo this week. Will you carry on working with clothing?

— I think so, it’s fun! It won’t be fashion, I’m more curious about active and functional wear. I’ve learned so much and it has opened my eyes to all the possibilities.

Possessions of My Soul is launching Spring/Summer 2020.