Bror August

  • Photography  Rosie Marks
  • Styling  Laura Vartiainen
  • Words  Maria-Edmée di Sambuy
They call us Generation Y. If you are born in the ‘80s and ‘90s you are part of the club. We are accused of being shallow, self-involved, and politically numb. But in a world of growing intolerance and inequality Generation Y is fast turning into Generation ‘Why?’ – and Bror August is the perfect example. He is the proof that new generations taking over the creative industry are not simply wallowing in pessimism and self-pity. Some are taking a proactive role by launching their own projects and bringing forth new perspectives. After interning for Vaquera and Telfar, Bror August started his line at only eighteen. His brand, based between New York and Oslo, puts forth personal narratives and questions traditional standards of identity and gender. In the light of the US election results his work appears all the more powerful.
PYLOT met with Bror August to talk about his role in the fashion industry as well as his hopes and fears for the sector.

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What is the inspiration behind your brand?

My inspiration varies from very concrete experiences from my life to more abstract mind sets. From what’s been happening recently [the US elections] I have been feeling a lot of anger and frustration but also hope and an urge to change things.

There are not many designers who can boast of starting their own brand at eighteen; what role does youth play in your work?
My work has a sense of vulnerability that comes from my youth. I think my work also varies so much and is in constant conflict with itself; I am still figuring out how I want to express myself.

A piece of advice you would give to young designers?
I think it’s important for everyone who tries express themselves creatively to question what they are trying to say and in what way they want to contribute and make changes in the world. I still question my work and the purpose of it so much. For instance, I ask myself all the time, how much time of my life will I spend on creating things for the rich and privileged?

Every item in your collections is detailed and unique. What importance you do give to craft?
A visible touch of hand is very important to me. It leaves a trail of history in the garment and I think it is something that creates a more emotional relationship to the clothing.

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From longing for boyfriends to guilty pleasures, your brand often examines questions of identity and self-doubt. How do you think these themes compare to the fashion industry as a whole?
I have a very ambivalent relationship to the fashion industry as every other creative and artistic industry is driven by big capitalistic forces. At the same time I think the fashion industry has been extremely discredited for its role as an art form that is constantly reflecting and challenging social norms. It’s a practice we go trough every day because fashion is the art form that is closest to us on our bodies.

The line between female and male collections is not strictly defined in Bror August. What value do you give to androgyny?
I don’t think clothing should be anything that limits people whether it’s by gender, gender roles, skin tone, body type, or age. Clothing should add to your identity not define it.


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Street casting is a significant part of your brand’s image. How do you choose your models?
My casting reflects the type of people I see in my life who excite me. I work with a lot of friends and people I admire.

You have spoken fondly about New York’s underground designer scene.  What is your relationship to it? And from you experience, how does it compare to London’s?
I love my friends working in New York! It’s a super positive community where everyone supports each other! I don’t know the scene in London very well but I think you really can find that type of community anywhere; it’s just about what type of community you create for yourself!

What do you think about the new trend of ‘see now, buy now’ as advocated by Tom Ford and Burberry for example? Do you think it will be the future of fashion?
I don’t know what the future of fashion will be but personally I really like a raw and simple way of trading products. My dream is to have a store where I can just sew up a dress and put it directly in to the store.


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