A dance. Not the swaying kind. An impromptu dialogue. One man, sporting a curation of garments. Together as one. Improvisation in its most sincerest form. He speaks by every movement, giving life to the lush fabrics. He pauses. Only to ex-hale. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet here it can be found in the connection between two individuals. Mr. Audric Bezard, principal dancer of the Opéra Nation-al de Paris and Mr. Simonsson, creative director of The White Briefs. Set in a classic minimalist Parisian apartment, they met, spoke informally and Audric simply began to move. No script. No expectations. This emotional encounter was captured for us, through the lens of Mr. Magnus Klackenstam, acting as a proverbial fly on the wall. This marked a moment to catch up with The White Briefs, speaking of Youth, that perfect pair of briefs, the brilliance of Francis Bacon and fabric semantics.
Alors on danse, anyone?


Svenska. Peter, let us return to your youth. Where you adventurous as a youngster?

Indeed, I remember those years. l was a pretty curious and mischievous child as I was brought up in a rather small Swedish town with not much to do. Perhaps, I felt a little held back by these surroundings that were a little mundane and quiet. So we had to be inventive. To have a sense of creativity was simply essential, in order to have some great fun. Together with my friends, we would explore, create and invent, even in those early years.


Body of work. You have worked on many design projects in your life. Which of these do you consider a defining moment?

My time with Dries Van Noten was exceptional, they very much work in a way we feel, that connects with our vision for The White Briefs. When it comes to design, l think the collaboration with we did with Nick Wooster and Woolmark was special. For this project, we had the opportunity to explore such a wide array of fabrics, whilst digging deeper into the dynamic characteristics that merino wool offers. To look beyond the surface, has been part of our DNA ever since our brand’s inception. For us, it is about crafting impeccably tailored everyday garments, using only the best ‘ingredients’. For Woolmark, I recall the moment when we found this unique REDA merino wool formula, l felt very content. On another note, in our early years, our mesh collaboration with Fantastic Man magazine, was amazing too. This made us lift a product to a point where classic design and innovation become intertwined in perfect symbiosis.



Balance. In the beginning it all started with a classic pair of briefs. How did you move on from this super basic yet ever profound piece?

As I mentioned, our basic vision will remain to develop quality garments that last. Initially, the White Briefs was a reaction to the overload of print branding, to which underwear was subjected, back in 2009 (and in many ways still is). Nevertheless, we aimed for a day-to-day garment which is essentially honest and sustainable. The idea to develop additional garments is of course much more work and weighs heavy when we look at market competition. But we felt we needed to stick to our passion and vision! The White Briefs will always try to surprise a bit by challenging the system! As we are working on our new collection as we speak, we are taking a step further into this direction, by incorporating some accessories and adding novel fabrics to the mix.



Garment-shifter. It has indeed been interesting to see that you have moved towards full looks in the past seasons. Could you tell me about the silhouette for AW16?

Nice word that; garment shifter. It was our idea to explore this further, naturally with a new take on things. For this season we have been working with a rather slim yet loose look. The silhouette is chic, not too expressive and works from understatement. Think of a classic gentleman, put in our contemporary society. A true travelling flaneur. Therefore we mix more comfortable lush fabrics with sporty and rigid textures, in order to enhance contrast. So light, transparency and height are paired with comfortable casual tailoringing.


Fabricology. The White Briefs is known for its deep fabric research. Could you lift the veil a little and explain your process here?

We are working constantly with research, to find these nice and honest fabrics. For years we have been working heavily on eco-friendly sourcing, working with sincere craftsmen and suppliers. Over time, we can feel that our archive and many travels have made the backdrop to our collections much richer. For this we are thankful. We always work with the fabric first and then move on to the design process. Today, for example, we are working with a new innovative fabric, a splendid recycled polyester that was organically processed. It has a sublime take and hand feel, so structured and chic, which will serve as a sleek contrast to our soft smooth pima cotton. The process thus is constantly evolving. Embracing new ideas whilst we diligently work on the refinement of our archives


Excavate. You are an avid traveller, which has led you to opening a new chapter for the brand. A new studio-atelier in Paris. What was your thinking here?

Indeed, as you say this is new chapter for us. We wanted to see what will happen if we spend more time in Paris, since we already present our collection there several times a year. So I felt it could be interesting to work from here more frequently. Paris has so much energy, there are always fresh things boiling and of course the cultural take is so rich and rewarding. For us this urban chapter is a logical move, whilst balancing our new digs, with the time spent in our sultry atelier in Southern Sweden. This ‘bi-polar’ foundation, has already proved to be very exciting and refreshing.


Flaneur. I also wanted to speak of other places that mean a lot to you, could you tell me about moments or moods that have inspired you across the world?

Of course, I absolutely love Marrakech for its colors and aesthetics. When it comes to Tokyo, you cannot beat its politeness and wonderful cuisine, which have both inspired me a lot. Encounters can mean so much too. I remember this special meeting with Yoshida Tokyo. Our Miracle bag became a reality after a funny instant connection. Special to me. When it comes to larger than life moments, this would have to be our journey to Korea, as I became a father to my daughter Faye. She is my love forever.


Danceur. For the new season, we are the first to feature these special images, you shot with Audric your Parisian atelier. Please tell us about your thinking here.

For us it was important to explore new avenues in showing our work. Movement, flexbility and agility are so important to me. l simply wanted to show the new collection with a man that is physically built, but retains his powerful mentality too. He had to be a hybrid, strong, independent and empowering. Audric is all these things. We connected easily and he was very creative in this process. The images are about capturing honest moments, nothing was scripted. For me this goes so well with our collection, as we explored elements such as reflection, societal thinking and the versatility within expression.


Chic. What to you makes a man? And what are his absolute faux-pas?

As an individual: one should always be polite, let people talk, take care of yourself. Simply be true. A true faux-pas: I do not have many, as I like to keep an open mind. Table etiquette is appreciated however. From a sartorial perspective: use colors that go well with the tone of your skin, never don pieces that are overly shrill in contrast.



Bacon. And not the kind people eat. You have mentioned you feel inspired by Francis Bacon, what draws you his work? Any others that make the cut?

Ohh… l do have many creative brains l admire. Francis had that instant act of creativity that is so strong and touching, his colors, aesthetics and expression are simply top notch. The work speaks so much to me, it truly has a sincere nature, nothing was left to chance. Others that I feel close to are: Tadao Ando, Donald Judd and John Pawson. Simply intriguing for different reasons.


Brigade. How do you wish to shape your universe in the coming years?

We are on the right track, we are open, curious and exploring the field of being relevant yet always from different perspective. For us, it is important to have some surprises in our universe. It is about triggering people and coming from a different angle, fresh and unexpected. We have been known for a while now, for crafting our briefs. What will be exciting is to move more towards this full look, presenting garments that enable wayfarers to live a modern, qualitative life. The idea is to develop pieces that last, are adaptable and can be worn on a daily basis, think of them as a versatile uniform. For these coming seasons, we shall aim to blossom, when it comes to our fabrics, look and expression. Always with our sincere dash of heartfelt passion.


Danceur: Audric Bezard
Images: Magnus Klackenstam
Garments: all by The White Briefs