Eastpak’s latest collaboration with Wood Wood, titled “Desertion”, was launched in Copenhagen with a wide range of items, from a weekender to shopper, rucksack, shoulder bag, and even a fanny pack in sand and earthy tones and combinations of natural fabrics, all inspired by the unique landscape of Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave desert.
Sleek caught up with Wood Wood designers Brian SS Jensen and Lotte Nielsen (Wood Wood women’s wear), and Eastpak product manager Bartel Geus to talk about the perks of collaborations, getting out of the city, and mums.
Sleek: Wood Wood often collaborates with other brands, and Eastpak’s line of designer editions has become a staple for the brand, from Rick Owens to Kriss Van Assche, Raf Simons and now Wood Wood. What’s the most important thing for you when approaching a new collaboration?
Brian SS Jensen: That both sides get something out of it. The point of collaboration is to do something that Wood Wood wouldn’t do alone.
Bartel Geus: We look at the DNA of both brands and make sure that it fits into both brands’ vision. It has to feel right. But essentially, the point of collaboration is that you create something you can only make together with someone else.
BJ: This range of bags was very much a part of the collection we were working on at the time, it was inspired by the same thing so it fits right in. We felt very safe with Eastpak, knowing that we can come up with ideas and they would have the expertise to make them work.
And what was the inspiration for the collection and the bags?
Lotte Nielsen: A trip to Los Angeles and an excursion to Joshua Tree. It is a very spiritual place so, naturally, I was immediately inspired by it. I wanted to translate the dryness of the desert to the materials we worked with. That’s why we worked with natural materials, leathers and canvas.
BJ: And they’re wrinkled and weathered in a way. The graphics are inspired by Native American motifs, and these in turn are also repeated in the prints we have in the collection.
BG: It’s interesting that this was the inspiration because Eastpak originally manufactured duffel bags and backpacks for the army back in the 1950s, using similar shades and materials like in this collection.
BJ: Also, the name “Desertion” is both a reference to getting out of the city and into the desert, but also to the military term.
Wood Wood is a very urban brand so bringing nature into the city is about creating a state of mind. How do you transfer a state of mind into wearable items?
BJ: With details. We go from the macro – the inspiration – to the micro: zippers, embroideries and so on. It’s important that all these layers are really thought through so it feels right.
The range is very wide. I guess you didn’t try to make the ultimate multifunctional bag?
BJ: I don’t believe in the ultimate bag. You have so many different needs. Sometimes you travel, and sometimes you just step out with some change and your mobile phone.
Mums always have everything in one bag. Which one would you give your mum?
LN: I’d give her the shopper. She could fit a lot in there.
Bg: I’d give her the weekender. My mum is the travelling type.