MLI by Svensson is a label that combines Scandinavian minimalism with a touch of ethereal elegance, often blurring the distinction between art and fashion. We caught up with designer Emelie Svensson, who travelled all the way from Sweden to attend the YEAY Studio Open Day, and gained an insight into her artistic inspirations.
Interview by Jayne Phillips
Tell us a bit about yourself Emelie!
I’m a fashion designer from Sweden and I decided by the age of 17 that I wanted to live in Paris. Some years later I completed a B.A.from the well reputed school ESMOD l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode, in Paris & Berlin. It was the worst and the best time of my life! We basically never slept!
Since I was born, I’ve spent every summer in the South of France, in the countryside in Provence. I’m both a city child, and I love the fast pace of people, and I’m also a farm girl who loves the sound of silence. I find my inspiration in the contrasts of life; light and darkness.
What motivated you to become a fashion designer? Was it a childhood dream of yours?
It came to me later on when I found some childhood drawings of mine. I had named my store already with my clothing in it! I asked my parents for a sewing machine at the age of 9, and I started to sew clothes for my Barbie dolls, so I suppose the motivation has always been there. When I was 17, I chose to study in a textile program, that was my first choice, and by doing so I was also rejecting to study art. Thereafter, I wouldn’t leave school before 22:00. I knew I had made the right decision and that this was for me!
Your designs are exceptionally unique, and we especially love your Illusionary Pullover with Turtleneck that’s on the app. What are your artistic inspirations, and can you tell us a little bit about the story behind that particular design?
Thank you! Visually, I’m very inspired by the artistic views of Helmut Newton. He used to call himself a ”pornographer” not a photographer. I think that settles the impact his photos has on me. The visionary contrast of not showing it all leaves a very subtle and distinct feeling with the viewer of wanting to unveil the story.
What most appeals to you about showcasing your designs with video?
This is a first time for me and I think it’s great! You get a direct feeling of the clothing on the body, while photos are very limited.
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote you’d like to share with the YEAY community?
My favourite inspirational quote comes again from Helmut Newton: ”My women are always victorious”. I like to think mine are as well.
And finally, what’s on the horizon for Mli by Svensson—any fun projects on the horizon you’d like to share with us?
On the horizon for my brand MLì by SVENSSON is to make the label 100% sustainable, and pay in production with fair wages. I’m looking into making my collections based on a circular economy using recycled polyester from producer to user back into production within a loop system.
Also my collections will be non-seasonal clothing, closing the loop in being reused with new styles. I highly believe in quality over quantity and to treasure your belongings. They were made by somebody for your body!
You can check the MLI by Svensson collection on YEAY and follow Emelie on Instagram.