Simon Ekrelius is a womenswear label that is synonymous with asymmetrical tailoring, bold prints and provocative messages - always new and innovative design.
Continuity is an essential part of his design philosophy, with each collection evolving from the last, and new pieces complementing earlier ones. Genuine inspirations are based on architecture (Post-modernism, Art-deco, Bauhaus), modern painters (Russian constructivists Rodchenko, Malinch and Kandinsky), femme fatales (Bianca Jagger, Grace Jones, Rossy di Palma), alternative/electronic music, and films by Pedro Almodovar.
Simon Ekrelius was born in Stockholm, grew up both in the city and in the countryside of Sweden. It was Simon’s grandmother who really inspired him to start drawing and sewing his own clothes from a very early age which later translated into fashion design.
Before starting his own label he worked with local designers at their showroom where he learned the work of a designer, from small details to the major aspects of the business.
Simon Ekrelius has presented his collections in Paris, London, Toronto and Stockholm in both shows and exhibitions.
Any story about your early career that you would like to share?
I participated in the Canadian ‘’Fashion cares’’ when I lived in Toronto. My English husband and me were there for just 2 years, from 1999 to 2002, then we moved to London, UK.
We understand your grandmother played an important part in you becoming a fashion designer. Can you tell us about it?
In my eyes she was an Icon, she represented everything I liked, and she had a really good taste when it came to styling herself. She was intelligent and creative, and very funny. Her humour was sarcastic with style. I guess she became my role model, while my mom was nice too, but not at all in the same level.
Tell us about how architecture and art influence your collections.
My family, especially my dad and my grandmother talked about art, music and architecture daily, and when I moved away from home I rented a room from an artist in Stockholm and we became the exhibitions regulars. Both my friend and me became obsessed with the Russian constructivists Malevich, Tatlin and Rodchenko. I was studying art-history on a lower level then as well, and yes, my life would have been very boring without my study of the surrounding art, music and architecture. Buildings for me have one other elementary influence, it’s the 3 dimensional form of glass, wood and metal that really makes my blood flow quickly.
I admire Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Norman Foster and Geoffry Powell styles
How would you define the overall style and aesthetic of your designs?
It’s my own style, simply Simon Ekrelius style. I can’t copy nor repeat, but the style is my own, and when people ask me so what kind of style is it? I just say have a look at my web site and then you can name it however you want. But it is still my own ;-) I don’t know a word that fits it either.
How do you intend women to feel when wearing your designs?
I want them to feel special themselves, and I want them to feel that the people who look at them are the people they want to do anything for.
Who would you most like to dress in your designs?
Do your final designs reflect your original idea?
Sometimes, and sometimes not.
Do you have a fashion dream?
What is a fashion dream?
You presented your collections in major cities. Which one would you say is your favorite in the way they received your shows and exhibitions?
Do you like doing commissioned work?
Yes, depends on the client I guess, it’s all easier to work when clients are open-minded, trusting me, and when they know what they want too. It can be frustrating when people expect miracles without resources.
What are your goals in the next 5 years as a designer?
To stay alive, and hopefully being equally interested in fashion as I am today. I want to remain inspired and enthusiastic. My worst nightmare would be to be bored, so fingers crossed.
What else would you like people to know about you?
Lol. That it is sunny today, and that I’m smiling because I’m sitting in my centrally located garden with my twin cats Rasmus and Picasso, and answering your questions.
If you could do anything else, what would it be?
Sit in a beautifully designed private jet, drink champagne and smoke and fly around the earth visiting gorgeous places.
What would you ask yourself that we haven’t asked you in this interview?
Wow, nothing for now, ohh, just a few things I would like them to know, my label is limited production, all made in the UK, no slavery and no mafia slime involved, yet not too expensive, I sell to small boutiques that I feel have that extra something. And my prints are always done in small quantities to keep them exclusive. I refuse annoying department stores that make us designers feel like rubbish, if they would make us feel lovely, then I might do them. I’m one of those designers that would rather starve than slime up to the ‘’creepy’’ people, and that has made me the one I’m today. xxooxx