Albin Granaas’ debut collection explores the stimulants of upcycling and scarcity
With a foot in the world of commercial fashion and the arts, the young designer Albin Granaas aims to create clothing to desire and to be desired in. We speak to Granaas on his debut collection for SS24.

Introduce us to Albin Granaas. Who is the person behind the brand?

— I’m originally from the western part of Sweden, a small city called Trollhättan. Fashion has always been a part of my life growing up and I decided early on that I wanted to work with clothes. After high school, I studied fashion and art for almost six years before I graduated with a BA in Fashion Design from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2021. After that, I came to Stockholm and did a few internships while establishing my own brand. 

What was your experience of the Norwegian view on fashion?

— I perceive Norwegian fashion as being either super-practical-function-wear or traditional and crafty. I am neither. Because of this, I sometimes felt frustrated and misunderstood in my point of view during my studies. For example, when my class was asked by a guest lecturer who wanted us to work in fashion after graduation, I was the only one who raised my hand. I believe this is because Norwegians are reluctant to use the word ”fashion” as they feel that it implies that their work is commercial. While I do see the value of taking a critical stance in today’s fashion industry, I still view ”fashion” as a very useful concept for a great part of our culture that involves much more than just clothes. However, I found that I was able to identify my own perspective of fashion when confronted with opposing ideas. 

Photography: Sanna Holm

Could you explain how this shoot came to be?

— It started with my stylist friend Amy Ta contacting me, as she had an idea to create a campaign for the bikini I launched earlier this summer. From there on the project grew and we decided to include more people and to shoot my whole SS24 collection. This is my debut collection under my own brand which I established earlier this year.  

What would you say stands at the core of the brand Albin Granaas?

— I believe fashion must always be beautiful. I don’t think that it is sustainable to have to convince customers to buy your clothes because they are produced in a certain way or from a certain material — I find that customers always buy what makes them feel comfortable and sexy, when offered the choice. That’s why I strive to create fashion that invokes desire and curiosity through interesting cuts and textile manipulation. I want someone to daydream about one of my pieces and to be waiting for their next paycheck to order it. 

Are your pieces ready-to-wear or mostly custom pieces?

— Since my background is in both art and commercial fashion, I’ve realised that I relate to both approaches to fashion. I have designs that could be mass-produced (like my swimwear and knits) as well as other pieces that are one-of-a-kind, either because they were created with a certain technique, or the material is limited. I find these different ways of creating garments valuable, as it keeps my work dynamic. 

Photography: Sanna Holm

How would you describe your design process working with recycled materials and upcycling?

— It’s very different from piece to piece. Some, like the shirt top and patchwork skirt, are made from garments from my own wardrobe while others, like the denim pieces, have been sourced as I wanted to work specifically with dyeing and bleaching. Sometimes garments have specific details that I find interesting, which leads to new ideas. Sometimes I have a finished garment in mind beforehand. Overall, I found that it was really inspiring to work with upcycling for this collection. 

Tell us about “THE SIGN”. what you will be presenting there?

THE SIGN is a group exhibition that I have organised together with six of my friends. We wanted to create a space where fashion and art could be showcased together to highlight the artistic tendencies in fashion and vice versa. We also wanted to create physical space for dialogue between ourselves and the audience in this digital era. I will exhibit a few pieces from my collection together with an editorial short film. 

And finally, what is the next step for Albin Granaas?

— Firstly, I’m going to enjoy the success of my SS24 collection! Then I will update my webshop with some of the pieces from the collection (keep an eye out!) and eventually start thinking about AW24 — the next season is never far away for a fashion designer. 

Photography: Sanna Holm