During Copenhagen Fashion Week I sat down with Casey Larkin Blond, the coolest US-born, Denmark-based designer-businesswoman-mother-dreamer behind the brand and online store, Mr. Larkin. I’ve spotted Mr. Larkin on tumblr a while ago as having a very one-of-a-kind visual imagery that caught me right away. Call it an instant crush if you like. You may thus guess that I could not wait meeting the woman blessed with such distinct sense of aesthetics. Style runs through her veins and her true calling is fashion indeed. We talked about love, blogs, kids, the importance of sustainability, her sources of inspiration, the role of contrasts in her life and brands like Nanushka, Vibe Harsløf or Ali Golden.
Casey’s picks / photo © réka pásztor turák
R: As consumer shopping habits rapidly evolve, retailers are looking to innovate beyond their four walls as well as online. I’ve always wondered how is it to own such a hearty concept, so Casey, will you tell us the story? What, or rather who is Mr. Larkin?
C: Mr. Larkin is a reference to my roots: my Texas upbringing, my travels, my studies, people & places that have influenced me along the way and in a sense helped form my vision and aesthetic. I see Mr. Larkin as a fictive character- an imaginary muse of sorts that personifies my path. Why a “Mr.” people have asked- I’m not sure- that is just the form this character took. Mr. Larkin was originally a clothing brand created in 2008 in San Francisco, CA and has since evolved into an online shop selling 20+ brands as well as our own in-store clothing brand by the same name. We migrated from the West (Best) Coast and are now based in Copenhagen (as our EU distribution office) & Houston, TX (my home town-as our US distribution office).
photo © iambarnie.com
R: Why Copenhagen?
C: My husband is Danish 🙂
R: Now it makes sense. It is also a very creative city, how does that affect your practice? How would you define the Mr. Larkin universe?
C: The Scandinavian aesthetic and their approach to design has influenced my process & vision in every way possible. I actually stopped designing and producing altogether when I moved here from San Francisco because I wanted to truly understand my new surroundings. Once I felt more rooted here, we decided to relaunch Mr. Larkin as a brand and shop with a much more clean and wearable sensibility that you find so often in Scandinavia. Though we have a saying in the States: “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can never take Texas out of the girl” so of course my southern upbringing will always find it’s way in somewhere. Then you add in my Californian roots and we have a real conglomeration of contrasting aesthetic, but I feel this is what makes the Mr. Larkin universe unique. We stand in this very special place where contrasts meet and merge. We build our collections and styling upon contrasting elements and imperfect perfections, so that specific meeting ground is what defines our universe.
R: Your aesthetics are really distinct so are your brands’. Where do you get your inspiration?
C: We source new brands & inspiration from all over- social media, magazines and on the streets. I like to see how people actually use their clothing and apply that to styling and buying. I never want to make or buy something that someone will only where 1 time- that sort of clothing (though beautiful) doesn’t make much sense to me. We of course use social media as a major source for all, but also word of mouth is very important for finding new designers. I will always look at print magazines for styling inspiration, but I feel by the time brands hit print they are not necessarily new-in my opinion it is social media that brings you the newness.
R: What is your vision for fashion? How do you want your clothes to be, what makes your designs unique?
C: My vision is very personal because my point of reference is myself. I have a very active life with 2 kids, more than a full time job, travel, friends, and my husband and I certainly still enjoy a good party, so I want clothes that can fit into this life. I want to wear something special yet practical. I like a hint of trend and a smart silhouette, and comfort is key. I want to make clothing that woman want to wear (a lot).
photo © iambarnie.com
R: You are selling childrenswear too. How come?
C: Our concept is more that we want to offer special handmade pieces/ findings we come across for children as opposed to focusing on only childrenswear. We are also growing our objects and eventually home goods to offer a certain lifestyle, and kids are a part of that for many of our customers. As a mother myself it is so nice to shop a place where you can buy something for yourself while also buying a special something for your little one. And it certainly helps with buyers guilt 😉
R: Do you only sell online?
C: Yes, Mr. Larkin is an online shop based in both the US and Denmark, but we did open a little shop in Copenhagen called NR1 in Nørrebro. It was originally a studio and showroom that I shared with 2 of my close friends that are also local Copenhagen creatives. This summer we decided to turn it into a pop up shop and the pop up shop has stayed as a permanent shop. I only sell my own brand and a select few from the website selection.
R: What do you look forward the most in 2015?
C: We plan to grow our collection and tighten focus on our brand range, as we have really gotten to know the Mr.Larkin customer the last year.
R: Amazing, I much look forward to seeing your next collection and the selection of brands in the upcoming season. Casey, it’s been a blast talking to you, thank you very much! As the last question, will you tell us what are you wearing right now?
photo © iambarnie.com
PS do you guys remember me speaking of style that’s real and comes from within? Apparently, Casey is one of them too. Meet her if you are in Copenhagen but until then shop here and follow her universe here and here. And just in case you were wondering about our current mood, there you go!