Designer Ann-Sofie Back hates beauty; apparently she finds it boring. And while 90% of designers would happily claim their clothes are designed for the confident woman, Ann-Sofie gladly proclaims that she designs for weak people with thick wallets!
She spent some time in the grey suburb of Stockholm, called Stenhamr – a place and time that shaped her outlook on fashion due to the provincial attitude of its citizens. She wanted to run away and she did. After completing a Bachelors degree at Beckman’s College of Design in Sweden, London was the ultimate escape. She then went on to study Womenswear at Central Saint Martins where she graduated with an MA in 1998. London began to feel like home where she has now been living for 11 years. Having worked for Joe Casely Hayford,Acne Jeans, and designing for Topshop, her views of fashion became cynical enough to transform her into a non-conformist. So in 2001 she launched her own Fashion label to create garments, inspired by the flaws in human nature, the way people lie and deceive with clothes they wear. She never looks for exciting and thrilling, but wants to derive as much as possible from the mundane and extraordinary. Her designs are a combination of simplicity with sophistication with an outcome of being special and versatile.
After showing numerous times in Paris and a debut at London Fashion Week in 2005, Ann-Sofie moved on to launch her ‘laid back’ label called BACK which she’d hoped would become the next GAP. But in 2009, she moved to Sweden to become the Creative Director for Cheap Monday and also ended up opening her first store in Stockholm, where till date, she keeps throwing theme parties like ‘night against fashion’.
But do not let all this mislead you, Ann-Sofie Back is fun and could also be considered an artist as her designs have been part of exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. There has even been a documentary about her that was aired in Sweden. Her fascinating personality makes people want to watch not just her designs but her as an individual. She prefers the look of quirky friends to those of professional models in photo shoots and shows, perhaps to emphasise her own idea of beauty.No doubt that Ann-Sofie is straightforward and has even admitted in the past that “It would help if I was a lot more pretentious. I have huge problems with taking myself seriously.”
With a motto like “it’s good to be wrong” and her perceptiveness, Ann-Sofie is an enigma we love to watch. Stocked at Weekday, Opening Ceremony and ASOS, Ann-Sofie proves fashion needs personality. And personalities like Ann Sofie Back need fashion.Visit the designer’s website here.
Written By Marta Knas
Photos source 10 magazine and Ann-Sofie Back.