Coming soon to CARTOCON is the debut collection from new Danish menswear brand, mfpen. mfpen sees its first collection hit retailers doors in the second half of 2016.
Headed up by creative director Sigurd Pantalone, the brand is following in the footsteps of the likes of Henrik Vibskov, Soulland, Astrid Anderson & Han Kjøbenhavn, in that it is part of the rapidly extending list of Danish designers & brands making a big impact in the UK.
Presenting a tight collection of 21 pieces, I asked Sigurd a handful of questions about himself & the brand.
How & when did you first get interested in fashion?
Growing up with 90's street culture, where it all began.
How did go from having an interest in fashion to actually working in the industry?
My mom is a musician and my dads an artist, so I had a "creative" upbringing.. After being some years in retail, i got interested in garments and specially in fabrics. Now i have degree in clothing production, doing design, production and consulting for different brands while having mfpen as my main thing.
When was mfpen first conceived?
I started working on the project in February 2015, the name came much later. But spent the time finding the factories, and sourcing the right mills and fabrics, working on the cuts and patterns etc. And a lot of traveling(!) ,then the sales season, going to Paris, London etc.. More traveling.
Do you work with a permanent team at mfpen, or is it just you?
Just me. But you can't say that, since I get influenced by my friends and colleagues, and getting help when in need. But I don't have a big team no. Sometimes I have an intern, but it's hard to have people working for me cause all of my traveling. With the way things are going, I will probably need an employee or two soon.
How would you explain mfpen & its debut ‘realist' collection?
I think it its easier to ask people that surrounds me to explain mfpen, It has always been hard for me to put words on my projects. But when starting a new company it is very important to be realistic, but I think this can be interpreted in different ways - and this collection was my idea of a realistic collection.
My emphasis is on the production, especially the fabrics. I wanna be creating garments that are made interesting only by the use of fabrics, details and the cut. The fits are always a bit off, I always like when garments are wide and cropped. If you want regular fit, there's plenty of other brands doing this. I spend a lot of time sourcing the fabrics, and I use fabrics from both Italy, Turkey, Japan and Portugal, and making a lot of protos experimenting and combining the fabrics* - and finding the correct fabric for the style. For example the Patch bomber: Italian water proof nylon, lambswool pockets with a teflon finish making them water repellent.
To what extent has your previous experience in design & starting a brand from scratch, such as your work from previous brands, informed and helped the development of mfpen?
Having a lot of experience within production I know my limits, but this also means I can try and push them. That also meant that I didn't feel like I was starting from scratch with, since a lot of beginner problems didn't occur. My workflow and communications with the factories is very good, which is crucial for a good production - And this ends up in good products.
_the mfpen debut collection will be released at CARTOCON in the UK in July/August