I grew up in a relatively small city, and always wanted to work with my creativity. I loved arts, music and fashion, but it was hard to figure out where to begin. When I finished high school I went to Florence 3 weeks later, with no plan, but ended up staying there for a year, working and doing some fashion courses at the Polimoda Fashion Institute. After that I travelled around for 2 more years, doing nothing related to fashion, so in the end I just missed it too much, and moved to Copenhagen to study more. I started the label quite by accident because I was offered a booth at a fair, during my 1st year in fashion school – my original plan was to wait a few years and gain some experience working for other labels, but I have never regretted it.
I have always been very unsentimental about most things, and I believe that to be a good thing when designing. I try to avoid too many clear references, although it is of course very hard to get rid off completely. Also I have always travelled and lived in many different countries, and I think that has meant a lot as to how I perceive things, cultures and aesthetics.
My philosophy is basically not to have one, but always experimenting and trying new things. My inspirations change constantly, and I prefer not to dwell too much with what I did last season, but instead start fresh. Of course there should be a recognition factor, but I don’t ever want to become afraid of doing something new with my label. The same with my typical client, I prefer not to define her too much, except she probably likes to express herself through her wardrobe – I have had stylish ladies in their seventies buy the same outfits as teenage girls. I appreciate this fact very much.
Duality is not a thing that I work with consciously, but when I drape and create new pieces, I always try to see the possibilities, and maybe create more than one way to wear the item. I pretty much work in the same way with each collection, which is a very frustrating process in the beginning, because I try to start fresh and try to avoid too many emerging trends, and I focus first on finding the perfect materials, which I experiment with for a while before deciding on silhouettes, colours and so on. For a month I do nothing but sketch and look at fabrics – I do thousands of sketches for every collection, and gradually cut that down to the 40-50 pieces I need. I keep changing small things and adding and removing items until the last minute before the photo shoot, which is where I can finally let the collection go and have a holiday.
Yes, the city and urban life is probably my biggest inspiration – I cannot ever imagine not living in the city!
I prefer experimenting with shapes and forms, rather than colour and I do feel that sometimes too much colour can disturb the overall impression, and take away focus from the tailoring and silhouettes I like to work with. I am always attracted to the black and darker pieces when I do my own shopping, and almost never wear any colour myself. It is not so much a statement, it has just happened like that slowly. That said I have really challenged myself and put a lot of colour into my new SS11 collection.
I have been obsessed with deconstruction in both architecture and literature/music for a long time. I love the idea of combining aspects that don’t naturally match, and try to make something new and beautiful from old inspirations mixed up in new ways. The most inspirational music for me is when the artist breaks all the rules and mixes different genres like black metal, cabaret, jazz or rock, but still makes it beautiful. I am always searching for new music, and listens to music whenever I work. The fascination with draping comes simply, from the freedom it provides – there are no rules and everything is possible, and all types of fabric create different shapes.
I don’t think of commercial fashion design as art – but of course there are some aspects of the fashion design world that cross over into the art world – and I find this very inspiring. But I do prefer making pieces that can be part of someone’s wardrobe. That is more satisfying I think, always trying to walk the line between avant-garde and wear ability.
Vibe Johansson’s clothes offer the rare combination of beautiful everyday wear that turns into cool evening wear as night falls and surroundings change.
What sets Vibe Johansson apart is her unique understanding of creating avant-garde yet wearable clothing.
She focuses on enhancing femininity through interpreting draping in a new form each season, which is known as her key signature. The fabrics for SS11 range from floating silks and luxurious thin jerseys to leather and cotton knitwear, perfect for the summer. Colours are as always toned down black, sand and grey, this season with hints of curry and dusty lilac.
Vibe Johansson’s collections never fail to maintain a strong identity and high recognition factor.
Having obtained a strong Danish presence, the brand is now entering new markets such as Germany, Italy, USA, Japan and Hong Kong.