- As a fresh face to Taiwan’s market and Taiwanese fashion followers, can you please briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Silas Adler. I am founder and creative director of Danish menswear brand Soulland. Born and raised in the North of Europe, Copenhagen to be exact.
- What is your growing background and how did it influence who are you today?
I grew up in the skateboarding scene. It was a very influential and important part of my life. I still try to be active in the community and I still skate a little bit, whenever I can find the time for it.
- What obstacles and challenges have you faced along the way? Please briefly describe the most significant one.
Starting a brand is definitely not an easy thing and if your project is devoid of hard work and determination, you shouldn’t do it. I think that a big obstacle for me was the way people did not respect me in the beginning. I was 17 years when I started doing this, you know, so people in the business did not think much of me.
- What inspired you to become a designer or an owner of a brand?
Initially, it came from not wanting to go to school. I mean, I don’t function very well in the school system. I quitted and started making t-shirts, so it was, in a way, my only option. Then as I progressed further, I started to really understand what menswear could do and my interest in it simply grows everyday.
- Please use one sentence to describe your brand’s identity and aesthetics.
Inspired by the past, in the present, towards the future.
- Since AW14 collection is the first season for this brand to be in a store in Taiwan, can you briefly talk about the inspiration and focus for the AW14 collection?
The collection is titled “Space For Everyone” and is, of course, inspired by space travel. I find it extremely fascinating, that Virgin Galactic is actually on track to being the world’s first commercial spaceline and that humans actually might be able to live in outer space. I’m both intrigued as well as captivated by the devotion to a cause based on curiosity and courage combined with an incredibly high degree of scientific knowledge and technical skills. The collection is, in particular, inspired by Herman Potočnik’s book, ‘The Problem of Space Travel – The Rocket Motor’ alongside Stanley Kubrick’s film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. We’ve also worked with some new fabrics for the collection, including a bomber jacket and trench coat in a jacquard-woven camouflage made by Limonta, Italy and a suit in a jacquard-woven fabric, developed exclusively for Soulland by Teviz, Portugal.
- Within the AW14 collection, what is your favorite garment that you think customers should definitely have it in their wardrobe?
The all-over printed coat. That tone is something you don´t get from anyone else. For sure!
- For AW14, what styling advices would you give for readers and fashion followers in Taiwan?
I would give the same advice to anybody everywhere. Wear it in a way where you feel comfortable. I’m a fan of combining a casual look with a hint of crazy. So if you have a printed shirt, the rest of your outfit should be low key. Personally, that´s how I dress.
- As a designer, you know that creating a collection is not only about constructing individual garments, but also having a vision for the entire look and style for the season. What is your own style and where is it mostly influenced from?
I mix a lot. On a personal level, I’m inspired by so many different styles and scenes that I end up mixing everything. I love mixing in a way, that is untraditional. Like a suit with a beanie, a hoodie on top of a silk shirt. High-end fashion mixed with Vans etc.
- Nowadays, a lot of brands are creating similar fits and just crowning their owns as “essentials.” In your opinion, what are some real essential garments that can survive through trends?
- Everyone knows that fashion industry is getting very saturated and industrialized, how do you separate yourself/your brand from the crowd?
The only way I can. By doing it my way. We strive to keep it as local as possible with all our production based in Europe and our hats handmade here in Copenhagen; it’s something we take quite a bit of pride in. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, while always moving forward at the same time.
- With the explosion of social media’s power (tumblr and instagram) for people to share their inspiration and ideas, do you think it’s a bonus for designers to find more inspirations or do you think it’s a limitation for designers to come up with unique and creative ideas for developing his/her own identity? In other words, is social media a plus or minus to designers?
As with anything, it depends on how you use it. It’s a great tool for offering an insight into your own identity and inspirations, but it can also come to a point, where so much content is being shared, that it becomes pointless. It’s a very thin line.
- The fine line between streetwear and high-end fashion is blurring. Do you agree with this on-going movement? In your opinion, Is this trend/movement a good or bad thing for fashion industry?
I don’t necessarily think you can say whether it’s a bad or a good thing right of the bat. Indeed, the lines have gotten blurrier, but it can also lead to a greater outcome, an example of this being our Adler fedora, where we combined the classic fedora with the visor from a baseball cap. Combining different aesthetics offers many new possibilities.
- After this successful AW14 collection, what can we expect from the brand moving into next season and next year?
I can’t reveal much yet, but I’m looking forward to presenting our SS15 collection later this year and we’ll probably introduce some new and exciting collaborations in then nearby future as well.
- Ne.Sense, short for Necessity Sense, is a boutique store which has vision to raise appreciations toward art, design, and fashion in Taiwan. To you, what is necessity sense? In other words, what kind of sense do you think is necessary to live a high-quality life?
It can come off as a cliché, but I think it’s key to always remain curious towards life.
- Any last words for Taiwanese fashion followers?
Take care and stay curious.
Interview : Steve F. Hsieh / Photography : Soulland