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CMMN SWDN Autumn/Winter 2018 show at Bastille Design Center in Paris
After several seasons at the official schedule of London Fashion Week Men’s, Swedish London-based CMMN SWDN debuts at the Paris catwalk. To see the brand move forward showing at such a big arena marks a new chapter for the duo, they explain, presenting a new collection as a reflective view of the past.
Emma Hedlund and Saif Bakir met while studying in London back in 2004. After graduation, Emma was picked up by Kanye West and spent her time between London and Los Angeles, while Saif started his career at newly created COS before moving to Paris to join Emma and Kanye’s as head of menswear.
– After setting up Kanye’s atelier there and just after finishing the first collection we felt that it was time for us to do our own thing, Saif says. It was something we had wanted for some time and after helping Kanye achieve his dreams, we decided to move back to Malmö in Sweden where we set up CMMN SWDN in 2012.
– The brand was born out of the idea of changing peoples perspective of Swedish and Scandinavian fashion as a whole, Emma says. We wanted to break the monochrome image and create something that was more colourful and rich in texture and materials rather than simple and clean. At the time menswear seemed like just the place to start.
After a few seasons in Malmö, CMMN caught the attention of the British Fashion Council.
– We were offered a NEWGEN sponsorship and a place on London Fashion Week Men’s to showcase the collections, so we decided to set up a studio in London to be closer to the industry.
And after a few seasons there you now showed in Paris for the first time, why was that?
– We decided to move as we wanted to be part of a bigger fashion scene, the big arena. We started off by showing in London which was a great launching pad for us and the brand but our goal was always Paris so this was like a graduation for us and an achievement. It was very nerve-racking as it was our first time but the collection was so well received and the feedback from press and buyers has been amazing.
Tell us about the AW18 collection.
– It is very personal to us, Saif Bakir explains, as we are starting a new chapter with CMMN SWDN in Paris. To see our brand move forward, we felt nostalgic and have built the collection around a reflective view of the past. We return to our own adolescence in the 90s and the garments tell stories about the complexities of coming-of-age, exploring both the physical and psychological changes of adolescence. You know that awkward feeling when you are stuck in between childhood and adulthood. – Generously proportioned silhouettes represent that oversized confidence of a teenager, Emma Hedlund says, whilst large shoe shapes suggest the heavy load of growing up and the expectations of having “big shoes to fill”. Our shirting takes inspiration from tensions between youth and adulthood – conventional business stripes were offset with jersey hoods and track collars. The camouflage represents that feeling of hiding your insecurity or trying to blend in. – Our favourite pieces, Saif says, are the technical moto jackets, the big car coats, the double breast coats, and of course the shoes.
What’s the most important thing for CMMN coming in 2018?
– We really just want to continue on the success from this AW18 season. We look forward to continuing developing and working on the coming Spring/Summer collection and to plan the next show. We are very excited and can’t wait to see you guys there in June.CMMN SWDNBastilleParis