Snoop-Around talks to Bára Hólmgeirsdóttir, fashion designer and owner of Aftur
Founded in 1999 by sisters Bára and Hrafnhildur Hólmgeirsdóttir, Aftur is a fashion label made with a strong environmental conscience. Its motto, “Recycle or die,” can be seen in the deconstructed rock ‘n’ roll look that has come to characterise the label. Aftur is now run by Bára, who has designed for Icelandic music royalty such as Björk, Sigur Rós and Emilíana Torrini. We caught up with her to hear about upcoming changes to her shop and her recent collaboration with Sigur Rós.
So what’s happening with the shop, are you moving?
Yeah, I’m moving the shop to Laugavegur 39 mid-October. The building that we’re in at the moment, where the shop and the workshop have been, is supposed to be moved or torn down in the near future. I also want to separate the workshop from the shop and begin carrying new labels. It’s time to expand and make the shop more accessible to everyone.
So you’ll be carrying a variety of brands at the new store?
Yes, I’m not making an Aftur flagship store; it’s more Bára’s shop with a representation of things I like. Aftur is my brand and it will of course be the main focus of the store, but I also plan to carry a variety of other brands that I feel compliment Aftur.
Aftur seems to have a strong connection with musicians. Is that something that you were striving for?
Well, it’s been more accidental than anything else; it just happened. I’ve found it really interesting to collaborate with such talented people. When I work with someone else I have to consider their thoughts and opinions, and that obviously has an effect on my designs for Aftur.
Ultimately everyone is happy with the end result and the main goal is that the artist feels good on stage. It’s healthy to have to do that because in the end it pushes you in new directions and brings you a new perspective to work from. That’s what I find most interesting when doing these collaborations.
You’ve been working with Sigur Rós on their stage look for their tour their latest album, ‘Valtari.’ How has that collaboration been?
Well, I’ve worked with Jónsi before and I understand him quite well, but this is the first time I’m designing for Georg and Orri, so I had to get to know them. It’s been great working with them. They all have opinions about what they like and don’t like. And of course Sigur Rós is Sigur Rós so you know what you are working with. I had to make clothes that would make them feel and look good on stage; they wanted to be able to wear these clothes off stage too, so basically it’s not a big costume thing.
How does the fall look for you and Aftur?
Right now I’m working with musician Beth Orton to get her ready for her tour. I made the dress she wore in the video ‘Magpie’ and Hrafnhildur did her styling. And since then I’ve made some outfits for her to wear for interviews and TV appearances. But of course my main focus is on the new store.