We chatted with independent womenswear designer, Simon Ekrelius.
Born and raised in Sweden, Simon has made his mark in both the design and film industry. His designs are synonymous with architectural lines and reoccurring themes described by himself as ‘futuristic, bohemian and architecturally inspired’.
We found out about his passion for design, challenging obstacles, favourite film, the mafia and so much more. WE just LOVE him.
HUMBLE; Simon, thank you so much for doing this quick interview for HUMBLE magazine, first question, Where and when did you find your passion for design?
SIMON; I sew my own clothes as a teenager and I use to alter my clothes as a child with a scissor and thread, always been fascinated by the effect styling has to each individual, small cuts here and there makes a huge impact. And what fabric is used for what etc. I drew people, from the age of 4 to present, we are a very odd looking animal. So, to dress them in my imagination in the drawing from early age made my passion and the way I think.
HUMBLE; What was the transition like from graduation to finding yourself in the ‘real’ world of design and finally making it. Is there anything you would do different?
SIMON; Never regret anything but of course sometimes we compare ourselves with our colleagues and think ohh that would be nice but they probably do the same, grass is never greener, just different.
It was very tough to squeeze through the already crowded scene. But I was lucky in many ways. I met some amazing people that helped me to visualise my brand more understandably for buyers and private clients. I always been a yes person so that helps, if you are a no person with suspicious eyes you never go very far.
When graduating in Stockholm (90’s) I was active in competitions (big & small), and that helped me enormously, I never won but at least I created a buzz.
HUMBLE; What were the 3 most challenging obstacles that you had to overcome in the industry up until now?
SIMON; buyers, buyers and buyers £0£
They can be your best friend and your worst enemy, so and I have never acquired salesman style in my head. It is the most boring part of fashion but the most vital in order to survive, hence why I am having a break. They are under a huge pressure themselves so understandably they push it further.
HUMBLE; Was designing for films always the aim?
SIMON; I love working in film, (I don’t have to sell, yay) and the people are passionate and warm, mostly. Of course, you have idiots everywhere but at least I can sleep at night now and I get paid. There is very little money in fashion and if there is you must be careful of dodgy investors. (Dubai shippers,,, and The mafia is very keen to clean up their ‘income’)
HUMBLE; Do you have a favourite piece from the film ‘Love and other stuff’?
SIMON; Yes, love that short, my other favourite is ‘The Sound of Fear’ with Jonny Freeman (mi high) but soon there will be a film titled ‘The power of One Coin’ out, directed by Flaminia Graziadei, cast Katy Manning, Jacob Ifan and Carlotta Morelli which I think will be a beautiful piece, It’s about Love, dementia and loneliness.
HUMBLE; What was your first experience on a film set like? How nervous were you?
SIMON; The first film I did was in 1997 ‘Annica’ And yes it was nerve wrecking because I had to design and make a wedding costume for a very large dog, and there was a priest and many more characters outside my comfort zone of beautiful size 8 models. But I wasn’t nervous about being on set all though I did fell over on some of the important cables which is not popular,,, when being a stand by.
HUMBLE; What is the hardest thing about being on a film set?
SIMON; the hours, the food and to be so quiet that you must learn to breath like a snail does. Through the skin,,, ha-ha
HUMBLE; What is your favourite film?
SIMON; The Hours
HUMBLE; What advice would you give to students wanting to be film costume designers?
SIMON; Don’t be afraid to ask designers to assist to begin with, in that way you learn so much quicker. and when you assist make sure that you are quiet and useful, prepare and be a step ahead all the time,
HUMBLE; Simon, your last collection (AW15-16) and we saw some beautiful shapes and lines, where did you get your inspiration from for this collection?
SIMON; The X collection was inspired by my childhood memories, I’m a gen X and I where I grew up were people from all over the world, they were so friendly and interesting, always inviting me for dinner when my mum was working late. I learned a lot from them.
HUMBLE; Is there a particular person who has had a big influence on your design process?
SIMON; My grandma was a very particular person with an eagle eye for design and craft. She was striking as a person and she was a model in Sweden in the 1940’s, so she had a sharp look too.
HUMBLE; What film star would you love most to wear your designs?
SIMON; Silly question but I guess it would be fun to dress Cate Blanchett, Jonny Depp, and Margot Robbie
HUMBLE; Will we be seeing a new collection from you any time soon?
SIMON; Maybe 💋 or maybe not.
We at Humble can only hope so, take a look at more of Simon Ekrelius’ designs and work on his website here; https://www.simonekrelius.com .