INTERVIEW WITH MFPEN
Sigurd Bank, 33 years.
Sigurd Bank (SB): Educated and specialised in textile production and sourcing with work experience from various commercial brands handling design as well as product developing and production processes. This beca- me the starting point for wanting to create a more responsible and less wasteful practice in an industry that is more often driven by finan- cial reasoning. Following mfpen was established in 2016.
SB: My design philosophy is to create honest and ready-to-wear collec- tions centered around luxurious deadstock fabrics with a Modernist approach to details. Shapes are inspired by iconic garments, classic basics and pre-loved items, always focussing on wearability and longevity. The pieces are meant to be worn and made to last. Therefore, consistently made with an emphasis on good craftsmanship and relaxed silhouettes as the core aesthetic anchor for mfpen. Even though most garments are based on traditional men’s tailoring, I don’t consider our clothing to be gendered, hence our choice in styling to include women.
Undeniably, the sincere aesthetic of mfpen is also distinguished by our production structure due to limitation in fabric availability. I make a big effort to find luxurious deadstock textiles. Woven gar- ments, such as coats, shirts and trousers, are cut from the finest Italian and Portuguese fabrics and sewn within Europe to minimize transportation and make potential visits for QC and CSR easier.
SB: To be frank, the lack of voluminous silhouettes with a clean aesthetic in Danish menswear brands along with the desire for clothing with proper values, which has evolved into the current and perhaps obsessive seeking of luxurious surplus fabrics, in order to utilize the resources that already exist.
SB: First and foremost, as I also mentioned above, the designs are highly influenced by the deadstock fabrics we find. It is a symbiotic process where one impacts the other. We produce all our garments in Europe and all our woven fabrics are Italian or Portuguese deadstock. A minimal part of our col- lection is made from GOTS certified cotton or Tencel fibers, where deadstock is not available to us yet. Within a few seasons, our goal is to use 100% deadstock fabrics for our collections.
Our use of deadstock fabrics as an ethos, challenges me to work within the limits of what I can source. This defines the collection but also gives a wide diversity of fabrics within the collection.
INTERVIEW WITH MFPEN
Could you please describe your studio?
Sigurd Bank (SB): Based in outer Nørrebro, It is in the extension of the artist Simon Starling’s studio. I rent the backspace of the studio space.
A bit messy, fabric swatches everywhere as I constantly source and buy deadstock fabrics.
Good atmosphere and great music.
How would the daily routine look like at your studio?
SB: Come in at 10, listen to the Do you! Breakfast show on NTS radio, lunch around 12:30 with the whole studio, going home between 5 and 6.
Do you have a guilty pleasure (snack, music, etc)?
SB: I like to drink a can of coca cola in the afternoon.
There is always music playing in the office.
What has happened with your work routines during the pandemic?
SB: Nothing actually, except for less travelling and lots of zoom calls.
How do you get inspired at the moment?
SB: By the fabrics I find which is all deadstock, they determine how my collections are built up.
I am trying to go a year without flying, so travel is a no go.
If I have time I try to watch some movies, at the moment I am super drawn to the popular culture of my early teen years.
Just watched Vanilla Sky again, lol.
What’s usually the starting point of your design process?
SB: There’s no starting point, it’s a constant process.
Describe your collection this season in 5 words?
SB: Deadstock, suiting, relaxed and informal formal.