“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before”.

We could not have chosen a quote different from that in The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe to present the protagonist of our interview.

He is Leon Louis Joergensen, Danish born designer. LEON LOUIS is instead the brand that he founds in 2011.

His items are innovative and traditional as well. All pieces have been subjected to artisanal craftsmanship and workmanlike tailoring reflected by the sheer feel of lush simplicity.

Luis rewrites the rules of the North European minimalism by deconstructing and forcing it to a simplicity that he finally  turns into substance. To the white he prefers the black. To the ultramodern fabrics, the natural ones: respected and exalted as such. His is a sustainable fashion, a fashion without expiration date.

He mixes dark atmospheres, sometimes gothic, and pointy architectures, sharp just as the blade of Jack the Ripper’s knife. He, almost imaginary character of a nineteenth-century Whitechapel. He, despite himself catapulted into a contemporary society of which he imagines and draws the outlines with incisive sensitivity: no conventions, no sex, no compromises.

Fucking Young! – Hello Leon! How are you? Just let’s break the ice… Who and what does the brand LEON LOUIS want to represent?

Leon Louis Joergensen – Quite Straightforwardly: people with an attitude and people who care about a concept that supports a sustainable society. Here I would consider people who care about fighting the consumerism that today makes it easy to buy and throw away clothes within the same year. Our main values in LEON LOUIS are wearability, craftsmanship, simplicity and quality. I strive for my garments to grow with their respective owner and to develop through time with, morphing with the owner’s expression.

FY! – When and how was your passion for fashion born?

LLJ – Well, I was born with the urge to create and luckily I was encouraged through my childhood by my parents to use my hands and head on creatively. As an example, I would draw when others would do their homework and construct toys when I spent quality time with my father. From the ability to draw and build, my passion for making fashion grew irrevocably.

FY! You’ve chosen to focus on menswear. Why? Is it perhaps more interesting? What is the difference between men’s and women’s fashion?

LLJ – Over, the last century women’s wardrobes have wandered over steadily towards their male counterparts. I do have a menswear approach, but actually my clothes are meant to be unisex. Or actually – it is not particularly important for me for which gender I design, my focus is mainly on the functionality – of course combined with the black aesthetics. Historically, men’s fashion is known for this and therefore more men buy my clothes even though I would be just as content if it were mainly women.

FY! – LEON LOUIS explores the merits of conventionalism versus great innovators. The silhouette alludes to intimidation cloaked garments, wrapping the individualistic bearers, in artisanal fabrics. All pieces have been subjected to artisanal craftsmanship, workmanlike tailoring, which is reflected by the sheer feel of lush simplicity. But with an adjective, Leon, how would you define your style?

LLJ – Sensibly profound.

FY! – Among the models of today, who could best represent your brand? And which is the imaginary set where you would like him to be shot?

LLJ – When it comes to imagery: I would love to visit the Whitechapel district of London in the 1880’s – the era of Mr. Jack the Ripper. As I imagine dimmed streetlights, a pitch black sky, a full moon, sharp and naturally created silhouettes. A landscape that never owned colour. For me, specific names and people are not important or interesting. I choose models from one collection to the other. And I always choose the location, before I choose the model.

FY! – ANARCHIC ARROGANCE is the name of the SS15. You embrace a world of reluctant dreamers, a place for those on the outskirts of society, looking in. The collection appraises a more genteel silhouette, with a stern focus on textural interplay and contrasting fabrics. A nimble balance is struck between sharply tailored garments and lighter loose styles. Do you want to tell us about?

LLJ – SS15 was indeed a return to the essence of the garments, looking a cut and silhouette, before shape. Tailoring plays an important role and is omnipresent. Also, I re-arranged the collection around deconstruction, textures and craftsmanship. In a way I wanted it to be a testament of my profound love for durable and functional wardrobe pieces.

FY! – Which is SS15 Collection’s most representative item? And which, instead, the one that represents Leon in an absolute way?

LLJ – The bomber jacket for instance was a pilots uniform, worn whilst bombing enemies. It is loaded with heavy duty: a voluminous responsibility. My wish with this collection was to create a light summer collection with strong expression: playing with the contrasts, therefore I choose a lightly woven linen. It is my humble attempt to create a jacket heavy in look and invisible in feeling therefore this one represent this collection the best. In an absolute way, I would have to choose the single layered jacket as the most representative. A classic and beautiful garment of which I am both fond and proud. It is constructed with a sleeve that is a signature detail on this collection. The sleeve curves and bends with the human body, which enables movement of any kind. The sleeve appears several times in SS15, but on this particular piece we see a clash of all the most important values in LL: raw cotton fabric quality, flexible pattern construction, curved sleeve with raw edged ends and a tailored inside with a double button cattle-horn closure at the centre front.

FY! – Now, let’s come to FW15-16: CONDEMNED EMPATHY. NEVER YET AGAIN. The Collection is an embrace of strong menswear silhouettes, functional, tailored and protectively shielding us. Italian wools are paired with Danish handcrafted knits, juxtaposed by sleek jersey, sleeks and sturdy sweats. What have you wanted to create?

LLJ – For our new collection, I missed the most raw and edgy LEON LOUIS. Where it all began. The blackness. I set out to make the darkest winter collection ever seen from LEON LOUIS. Therefore, I used uniforms as inspiration. I have concentrated on capturing hard expressions, even in the slightest of details. I have been a stern non-believer when designing and this has forced out an honest, but brutal truth in my designs.

FY! – Your Brand is a combination of tradition, innovation and cultural influences. The result is completely original. How do you combine these three characteristics? Today, is it still possible to be creative?

LLJ – My approach has always been not to over think creativity. I think of my creations, as very bound to my hands, much more than to my head. It is because of my ability to perform traditional tailoring – in drawing and physical forms – which plays such a central role in LEON LOUIS. I perceive myself as a craftsman that listens loudly to my inspirations, and then performs. I am grateful that my hands are a weapon and not a barrier.

FY! – In your life, what couldn’t you ever give up?

LLJ – I would indeed have to say my newborn son and girlfriend as better support does not exist.

FY! – As usual, our last question. According to Leon, what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

LLJ – It is a collage of life, conducted by intelligent modern nomad, touching upon lives, but never disrupting them.





Images: SS15 Campaign
Photo: Mikkel Völcker
Art Direction: Marlo Saalmink
Model: Wiktor Hansson