We had the pleasure of asking creative mind behind OBSCUR, Richard Soderberg some questions...You grew up living in many different places, do you feel these surroundings and different cultures have help mould you into the person you are today?
Surroundings affect a person to a certain degree, but I think after a while for me personally what really creates an impact is new experiences whatever they may be. Even such a big change as moving to a new place will blend out after a while.
Right now we have just moved to Berlin, which is very interesting at the moment since a whole new world of art, music and people opens up. I think Berlin has some of the most ugly/strange looking people I have ever encountered, and I LOVE it.
Obscur has a very strong aesthetic but the word "obscure" by definition means ambiguous, vague and hard to perceive. Do the two have a connection?
Well, I would say that it's both a contradiction and a meaning. Obscur is not vague in the way we want it to be perceived, but it's OBSCURE in its sense of being able to accept the aesthetic we create, it can be hard for some people to accept it and apply it on themselves.
You've been known to walk against the crowd rather than with it, does this rebellion reflect in your designs and personal style?
I always wanted to fit in as a child, and I think there is still some kind of a struggle for me; accepting that I don't. I think my clothes and personal style are a merge of that as well. Accepting that you are different, yet somehow getting by in today's society.
Since you launched your first Obscur collection some 5 years ago, have your design processes altered?
I would say it hasn't changed that much. The thing that changes the most is the craft rather than the design itself. You meet new people that help you achieve to the closest proximity of what you have designed. The design aesthetic changes during the course of life or years, but not always the way it comes to exist.
Music invokes inspiration in us here at Fallow. Is there any one piece that has had a significant influence upon you?
I have a tattoo on my right shoulder with the fantastic Sisters Of Mercy logo (taken from a very interesting occult book about the human body and how it is connected with the universe). This band has had a big impact on me. My design itself has perhaps surpassed Andrew Eldritch and the gang but they will always be a great inspiration. At the moment, being in Berlin and a regular at Berghain, dancing to techno is also something that makes my brain very aware about my body and how clothes can alter it, and work together with the music to create a complete experience.
Your garments are made of the highest quality materials, can you talk us through what you look for in a material and your searching process?
Yet after so many years of material practice, trial and error this is still without a doubt the biggest challenge when creating a collection. The idea for me is to think outside of the box when using materials, but also to mix them with classical good materials that one often must find through contacts. For example for our AW13 collection I managed to find an extremely thin layer of 100% iron. It not very stiff, but instead living a life of its own in its structure, and it was not possible to iron it since it was metal. Despite this we tried to make a classic padded coat from it and it was a struggle but it became absolutely stunning! So light but yet so strong.
Obstacles we face can have a profound change upon our perception, have you encountered any along the way since the beginning of Obscur?
I think the biggest obstacle or struggle you will have as a new designer is being able to not only get orders, but also delivering them. We have worked with a lot of different factories around the world, but just recently we started to produce our collections in Italy and it became so clear to us that in order to overcome obstacles and create something amazing you need a good team with you, meeting the right people and working very close together.
When struck with a sudden onset of free time, what does Richard Soderberg find himself doing?
Probably something that my lovely grandmother would not approve of!