Here Come the Danes

Asger Juel Larsen is often compared to Astrid Andersen: they were both born and raised in Denmark, they both design menswear, and they studied fashion in London. But the similarities between the two are purely superficial. While Andersen has made a name for herself interpreting US hip-hop and sportswear, Larsen is heavily influenced by his time as part of East London’s underground scene. He’s just presented his SS14 collection, which included two new collaborators—proof of his growing business. 

Two other Danish brands allowed Larsen to produce his own footwear and bags. While the white rubber-soled leather ankle boots were made in collaboration with The Last Conspiracy, a Danish footwear brand, Larsen’s backpack was produced by Rains, a company specializing in rainwear, waterproof bags, and gadget-sleeves. “Collaborations are important if it adds to both sides in both press and business,” says Larsen, noting that that was very much the case with both Rains and The Last Conspiracy.

“Right now it wouldn’t matter to me if I were living in London, Tokyo, or Copenhagen. I’m in the studio all the time,” proclaims Larsen, when asked why he moved his company back to Copenhagen last year. Setting up his own label while simultaneously working on his graduate collection in 2011, the busy schedule isn’t new to the Dane. His first official runway show was presented as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout, a British initiative to help promote new talent that has previously backed the likes of Masha Ma, Phoebe English, and fellow Dane Anne Sofie Madsen, and was selected for the following three seasons.

Inspired by non-conformist ravers, the designer has an exact description of who the Asger Juel Larsen man will be next summer: “In a city that was created by a generic computer game click, those brave few that thought ‘fuck it’ to that bleak bubble, burst it by going out head banging, chewing some gum, and encouraging a rave in a supermarket car park. They were sent to the mental hospital and forced to watch daytime TV in straight jackets… little did the system realize that these rebels were busy creating a world of their own,” he says, communicating exactly what his universe is about.

His SS14 collection was mainly a menswear collection but, just like last year, he’d added a few female styles to the show. “I’m thinking about it,” he simply replies, when asked if he’d ever design a full womenswear line. “The diffusion line A.J.L Madhouse is unisex,” he adds.