Sofia Kullberg on her love of knits, her inspirations and passions.

After going to the “Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood” exhibition in the Fashion and Textile museum in London and gazing at the rather conceptual distressed unisex Comme des Garçons knitwear piece and delicate 1950s cocktail sweaters, I was keen to find out more about emerging designers and niche brands, that focus on knitwear.

This is why I find myself sitting in one of my favourite independent coffee shops in London, sipping coffee with Sofia Kullberg. Sofia, 24, is originally from Sweden (which makes me love her already), and studies fashion. She does modelling every now and again too, but what she really wants to do is something creative, something that she is passionate about. I am impatient to hear more about her plans to start her own knitwear brand, DKDNT LAINE (“decadent wool” in French) and wonder how she decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

Fashion is a hobby for a lot of girls, but what makes one dive into the professional world of fashion? I smile as she tells me that her grandmother was her inspiration as she grew up. “My grandmother was the one who used to take me shopping and make things for me and when I went to her place I always used to dress up in her high heels. “ She shares that her parents have always been supportive of her too. “I wanted to do something that I enjoyed for a living and guess I have always been quite creative and used to enjoy subjects like art in school. “  Even though she is currently in the final year of her Fashion Merchandising degree, Sofia admits that she has always had a strong interest in textiles and the way clothes are made. “ Going back I think I should have done a textiles based degree. It might have suited be better. “

Some of her inspirations

We talk about some of her creative projects as she humbly brushes off my compliments in a self-critical manner. She loves making things herself, and knitting is one of the things she has taken up in her free time. I have to be reminded that the reason we meet today is her love of knitwear and the knitwear brand that she is looking to develop. Why knitwear though, I wonder as she tells me how much she is into tailoring as well. “I just love knitwear. It’s cozy and it is warm.  I also love different textures, which I think you can get out of knitwear, using different fibers and yarns. And I also think knitwear is underestimated. ” I agree with her. Designers do not experiment enough with knitwear. I recall the exquisite pieces I saw at the exhibition and think about knitwear’s untapped potential.

I am curious to know why she has decided to focus on this niche category. After all there aren’t that many mainstream brands that come to mind who do knitwear only. She remembers being inspired by the Faroe Islands brand Gudrun Gudrun as she grew up. “ But I wouldn’t have that sort of aesthetic for my brand, my taste is quite minimal.” Typical Scandi. But I love it. So where does she find inspiration now? “ I guess I would always go back to Sweden, nature is also something that inspires me, as well as going back historically and looking at different cultures. And also, just looking at what other people are doing. “ 

Gudrun Gundrun AW15

As we laugh like schoolgirls talking about their crush, we delve into a more serious topic. One that has been the central issue of concern in the fashion world for the past couple of years.  “Something that drives me as well, is the ethical side of fashion. I have always been interested in that. “ She is against fast fashion and over-consumption, but admits that unfortunately she is part of it too. I don’t agree as she later on she tells me about how much she values quality garments, vintage pieces and enjoys second-hand shopping. “I really want to do something that is authentic; I want to create things that last. I also believe in using just natural materials that can be sourced locally and employ people locally that can produce those garments. “ 

I now can't wait until she develops her brand. Can we start the countdown?

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