During the Tumblr era, I made a good deal of friends through the #menswear pipeline. There were only so many of us interested in a subject that felt extremely insular and unique at the time. Today—and I think I can speak for some of my Internet friends—that sense of community is a bit harder to come by. But sometimes, Instagram brings people together, and that’s how I met this week’s subject, Frederik Darre, a creative director and photographer based in Copenhagen. I don’t fully remember how I stumbled on Frederik’s page—maybe through Danish brand Another Aspect, or perhaps just through the algorithm—but I really admired his look and attitude. When Frederik told me he was going to be in New York, I figured it would be a brilliant opportunity to shine some light on his sense of style, grab a few glasses of wine, and learn more about him.
Below, Frederik and I discuss buying Margiela sneakers in Berlin, the perpetual influence of the elderly, his cherished Seiko watch, and plenty more.
Where are you from, and what do you currently do for a living? Tell me a little bit about your work history as well.
I’m from Copenhagen, Denmark, and I work as a photographer and a creative producer. I studied landscape architecture and figured out that couldn't work for me. I had to do something else, not sitting in front of the computer all day. So, I started producing—lots of photo shoots and fashion shows. Then it just evolved into shooting on my own. Now I do a little bit of both.
How did you develop your own style?
I grew up in a little town called Lyngby, just 10 kilometers north of Copenhagen. I played a lot of sports there, which had a pretty huge impact on my style. I also had a big interest in design and architecture, and I think it just evolved from those interests. Back in the day I used to watch a lot of skate and ski videos and found that interesting. I didn’t skate myself, but I loved the vibes. I just wasn’t as cool as a teenager. Now, whenever I see a bunch of high school kids walking around Copenhagen, I get really nostalgic. They look way cooler than I did, for sure, but a lot of stuff we used to wear back then is back into the cycle now. Later in life I did follow some Tumblr pages for inspiration, back when that was a thing. Bring Tumblr back!
Did Copenhagen have any influence on your style?
I feel like Copenhagen has evolved so much the past 15 years. Back in the day, it was just a small town. We had a few cool stores which meant everybody was wearing the same things. You had to travel a lot to shop specific brands. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t find any Rick Owens items in Copenhagen in 2010, for example. Once I bought a pair of sneakers from Margiela in Berlin, just because I never had seen anything from Margiela in real life before. When I got into this industry back in 2015, I did my first fashion week. Before that, fashion didn't really interest me. But I always found clothing interesting. I knew nothing about who was designing for who and facts like that. One of the first jobs I did was a U.S. Vogue production with Gigi Hadid and Imaan Hammam. I didn’t know who they were.
Growing up, I just followed the trends. I had a period when I just wore Rick Owens and that kind of clothing. Then I changed into another phase of my life when I actually got a job at the Acne store in Copenhagen, and then that meant something as well.
Has fatherhood changed your style?
Definitely. After I had kids, I started dressing a lot more comfortably. I've been wearing hiking boots for the last two years. When you are out walking with the stroller all day, you don't want to be cold and uncomfortable. You just want to be nice and comfy and warm. And Denmark is a cold place, especially in the wintertime.
Can you remember the first moment you fell in love with fashion?
When I met Gigi and Imaan. Nah, I’m not in love with fashion. I remember during that same production I showed in a white T-shirt and was told by the executive producer that I couldn’t show up like that. I had to find the closest H&M to buy a black t-shirt. That’s apparently what you need. Very important shit. I remember thinking, “This is stupid but also pretty fascinating.” So, I wouldn’t say that I am in love with fashion but I do like style and clothing. You know the difference? I like how you can express something about yourself without using words. Of course, you can have a haircut and you can get some tattoos as well. But clothing is a big part of telling who you are.
What do you think makes someone stylish?
Confidence and the ability to mix and match shapes, colors, and materials, for sure. That’s probably why some many old gentlemen look so cool. You get more confident the older you get. I love to sit around in [New York’s] Chinatown just to watch the elderly on their daily errands. That’s very inspiring. Actually, old people in general are a huge inspiration when it comes to style. The page @gramparents delivers some good content in that regard. I was recently given my grandfather’s old Seiko watch from my grandmother and it’s already very special to me. The watch itself is nothing fancy, but the way it makes me remember him and his calm and happy nature is so important to me. My grandparents were a huge part of my upbringing and he was a very influential figure in my life. Unfortunately, he died from dementia in 2019 and it makes me sad to think about that he never got to meet my children. On the very same date last year, my youngest son was born. It’s kind of weird how life works. My son was named Ole, after his great grandfather, and they are already kind of similar in their nature.
Do you have any favorite brands, and why?
Our Legacy. You can tell from the photos, I think. They are brilliant with materials and only use deadstock fabrics for their WorkShop line. They’ve created a brand that's just right down my alley and I feel I could wear almost everything they make. It's a Scandinavian feel without that boring Scandinavian minimalism. They draw a lot of inspiration from music and movies and urban culture as well. Another Aspect is another of my favorite brands. They’re Danish and they’re creating some of the best everyday items you can find. They don’t follow the season of the fashion calendar. I would describe it more as a lifestyle brand. I also love sports brands in general. I always skied a lot, so I love these kinds of mountaineering brands, like Klättermusen. District Vision is doing great as well.
How old are you?
Has that changed things for you? As I've gotten older, I'm starting to stay more constant.
Absolutely. I’m way more consistent now than I used to be. My interest in stuff in general changes every third year. I had a period where I was totally into road biking for three years. I go all in. Have to have the best gear, coolest clothing, and read everything about aerodynamics and all kinds of stuff that doesn’t matter at my level. Now it’s more running and climbing that does it for me, with all that follows. I still take the bike for a ride every now and then, and still love it, but just don’t obsess about any more.
If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would be the items?
It would probably just be Levi’s jeans, light or blue wash, and not too tight, not too baggy. Like the 501 or 505. Then just a blue shirt, like the one I’m wearing now. Probably I would wear black leather boots or black loafers.
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