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Linus Leonardsson

22, Sweden

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When and how did you first became attracted to fashion?
I don’t have one specific memory, it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. Even at the age of 11, I was already drawing clothes. It’s something that has been growing and developing over time. I tried to look at other pursuits, but nothing seemed quite as appealing.

What is it, in particular, about fashion that appeals you?
Through clothes, you are able to tell a story and especially here in the Academy, you have the opportunity to create a whole world around it. If it was just about clothes, I would feel it could become quite superficial. It’s more interesting to go deeper into the atmosphere and the overall theme of the collection.

How did you came to study at the Royal Academy?
Funnily enough, it was the only academy who actually accepted my application. After high school, I applied to all the top fashion schools but I found that Antwerp is the only one where they more look at talent and less at your past experiences. I’ve always had an interest in the Antwerp fashion scene after seeing a documentary about the Belgian avant-garde in the 80s so eventually, I was really relieved to get in.

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Where do you find your inspiration?
I feel inspiration. is not something I consciously look or search for. When making a collection, I try to not let it get inside my head too much. I like to read books or meet with people who are not into fashion. There I can find ideas that I can translate into my work. A collection can also be more intimate and talk about my personal history or feeling and emotions I have at a particular moment.

What is your collection about and how did you use the glasses to tell your story?
It’s very much a throwback to who I was before I came to Antwerp and joined the Academy. It’s about finding my voice in a grown-up world. The setting is a forest rave and I have this need to belong within this particular group of people around me. Everyone else is almost twice my age and I don’t want anyone to notice that I’m actually still a teenager. The sunglasses have a direct link to the rave.

In Stockholm, raves happen over summer when nights are short and the sun comes up very early. People keep on dancing, even though is it no longer completely dark. So you put on sunglasses as you don’t want the daylight to hit your eyes so early in the morning. The glasses are referencing this, as well as the dichotomy between nature and the artificial part of the rave. It’s strobe lights and electricity combined with the forest and leaves.

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What is the most important message you want to convey with your collection?
Inclusivity. I want it to be aimed at everyone, no matter what gender you are, where you’re from or how old you are.

What is your biggest dream?
I hope to establish myself as an independent designer within the few years. My biggest dream is to be successful in what I do. I don’t have to be Karl Lagerfeld, I just want to be happy and feel proud of my work.

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