Designer interview

Zandra Rhodes on how colours are more important now than ever

We speak to the Dame, design icon, and ”Queen of Colour”, who just teamed up with Happy Socks for a — you guessed it — colourful collab.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
April 16, 2021

The collection, Rhodes shares, is made up of three totally different designs — all adapted from her key archive prints.

— Right at the beginning of my career I designed the twisting serpents, they were designed for stick-on tattoos and now they have become exotic blue and pink snakes that criss-cross up your leg. Then we have the Wiggle design which is on a sparkle lurex sock. I can’t wait to wear this piece with a gorgeous open-toe mule, why wouldn’t I want them to be part of my outfit? They are so chic! The third design is my Button Flower sock — it’s a classic and this print was originally designed after my trip to Paris with Karl Lagerfeld in the ’70s.

What’s your impression when it comes to Scandinavian design? And, from an outside perspective, how do you believe it has progressed over the years?

— Scandinavian design is world-class, Rhodes states. I feel very privileged to have been able to contribute and to have been invited to design for Happy Socks. We share similar values and brand ethos, I suppose you can say we both believe in more colour, more print, more fun! I love that they don’t take themselves too seriously. The quality of Scandinavian design is second to none. The socks in my collection are beautifully knitted, not printed so the pattern is actually knitted into the sock. So the design stays and wears very well. I believe that Scandinavian design has cleverly understood world needs and managed to produce the right answers, whilst staying inherently chic and stylish.

Zandra Rhodes for Happy Socks

Over these 50 years you’ve been active, how has the way we look at colours when dressing ourselves, decorating our homes, or in any other way using colours changed?

— In the last few years, people have realized that colour is something to enjoy and make life more interesting and lively. Happy Socks are such a good expression piece! For those who want to add their finishing touch to their already bold outfit, or for the shy and reserved dresser who wants to start incorporating colour into their wardrobe more. What better than with a fabulous, funky sock!

And in these times we’re in, are colours more important than ever before?

— Colours have become very important especially in this time of COVID. They brighten our lives in the darkest of times! 

How do you handle ”trendy colours”?

— I just use colours, I don’t follow trends! I have had my pink hair since 1980! When Happy Socks came to me and when I met their team in Stockholm I was given completely free reign to create lovely patterns that I hope everyone will love and that we can love so much that we shorten our trousers for to show them off. We use certain colours and put together colourways we love and that are wearable, not what is hot that season. Trends come and go but style remains timeless — and I like to think so does colour!

Do you have any other special projects coming up?

— I have been busy trying to live up to my name of Queen of Colour and hosting virtual tea parties to celebrate our monumental launch with Happy Socks. I have recently also launched a fabulous bed with Savoir Beds and am working up to my KARISMATISK collection with IKEA, which launches globally this Autumn.

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