Johan Lindeberg: the man, the brand. If anyone encapsulates fashion's drive to seep into all aspects of life and art, it's him. When he created BLK DNM a year ago, he wasn't satisfied with merely a clothing label. Instead, he birthed a gazette, a series of films, an eyewear collaboration, a fragrance, and a charitable initiative, too. Three hundred sixty-five days in, there's a Soho store, where as of yesterday, workers were busily building out a coffee bar, so Johan's people can congregate. And if you're young (or not), cool, and connected, you're one of them.
Lindeberg cut a wide swath through the contemporary fashion world over the last decade, at Diesel, J. Lindeberg, and William Rast, and he knows his stuff. BLK DNM was founded on three main offerings—denim, leather, and tailoring—and for the price, all are about as good as you can hope to find. This season, a new knitwear program complements the lot. The Lindeberg look is masculine/feminine, like the cropped, pinstriped suit with strong shoulders or the bomber jacket in satin, and jean-centric. The designer himself is rarely seen without his beat-up biker jacket, so he offers versions slimmed down for women, this season in winter white. His girl will even throw hers on over a floor-length lace maxi dress. BLK DNM, he explained, is "exactly what I want to see a woman wear."
Rule-breaking, in other words, is the rule. And even if Lindeberg now has plenty of company in the toss-out-the-playbook game, his commitment to the cause is as deeply felt as anyone's. The student uprisings of Paris in 1968—for which he and his ex-wife named their former label Paris 68—are his primal influence and never seem far from his mind. "2011 has been a new 1968 for me," he said.