Scurrying around during New York this Fashion Week, it was hard to miss supermodel Frankie Rayder’s denim-clad derrière riding a motorcycle down a remote, tree-lined road. The BLK DNM posters featuring Rayder had materialized overnight, looking sleek next to tattered concert promotions and liquor advertisements. Each of the brand’s five campaigns to date has, in fact, been placed this way. The guerilla vibe is not unfounded; designer and founder Johan Lindeberg got the idea from political protest posters in Sweden during the 1960s and ’70s. In practice, the proliferation of the poster-sized images on the city’s streets makes for a self-evident statement that bigger is not always better—and maintains that there is power in numbers.
As for the BLK DNM woman, Lindeberg sees her as an extension of the freedom and autonomy the protest posters represented. “It’s a woman who has strength. Instead of facing you, they are going their own way,” he explains. Lindeberg photographs all of the advertisements himself, and he is determined that the woman herself should serve as the inspiration, while the concept follows. “I’m not starting with a specific scene in mind. As I collaborate with these women, I think about them as I create the final product.”
And why put Rayder on a motorcycle? To Lindeberg, it was obvious. “A woman on a motorcycle connotes independence. She’s not behind her boyfriend. She is riding by herself, in control of her own journey. Frankie Rayder has that strength that I look for.”