Words: Linn Wiberg / Photography: Frida Vega Salomonsson
For Ida Klamborn, fashion is political. She was one of the first Swedish designers to cast unconventional models and her work still makes a statement – with endorsements from Seinabo Sey and live performances from Silvana Imam at her catwalk shows.
Throughout your career, you’ve taken a stand on political issues. What’s getting you all fired up at the moment?– I want us to tackle the racism that’s growing alarmingly fast here in Sweden.
How do you think your designs have changed over the years?– I’ve become more clear in what I want to communicate. But at the same time, my clothes are still very wearable. I think I’ve also been able to have more fun with every new collection.
What part of the creative process do you enjoy most?– When I’ve got through the tough part of questioning everything, realise I like what I’m doing and decide to just go with it.
Then I start to question all over again – but that’s another story...
If your designs were music, what genre would they be?– Something emotional and powerful. Perhaps some Tina Turner.
What songs have you played to death?– The song that springs to mind is Silvana Imam’s ‘I•m•a•m’. She played it live during my first catwalk show and it’s been deeply etched in me ever since. That show was one of my big milestones.
How do you choose music for your fashion shows?– The music is really important. Together with the clothes and models, it creates a certain atmosphere and helps express my concept. For my last show, it was a remix of Pipilotti Rist’s version of 'Wicked Game', then an acapella version of 'Believe' by Cher and then ABBA. A fantastic mix!
What music was played at home when you were growing up?– A lot of Gianna Naninni! Quite a lot of prog and country too. Plus the Beatles and the soundtrack to the film ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest’ [Gökboet].
Would you rather listen to nothing but Swedish music for the rest of your life, or never hear Swedish music again?– I’d probably want to listen to just Swedish music. When I feel a bit blue, I tend to listen to lots of Swedish music for some reason and it’s hard to change that.
How do you go about naming your playlists?– Haha, I’m the only one who sees them, so they usually end up with very simple names like “NAJS” [Swedish for ‘nice’].
What’s the weirdest thing that’s been written about you?– I’m still waiting for it!