WITH CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Get ready to discover your new favourite brand – Unauthorized has joined the Alex and Alexa family!
Founded this year, the brand is based in Copenhagen and offers a blend of streetwear and athleisure for cool boys. We interview the brand’s Creative Director, Arman Motlagh, on how he is using his quirky signature style to redefine boys and menswear.
Read our interview with Arman below.
NOT HAVING OFFICIAL
HOW DID UNAUTHORIZED FIRST COME TO LIFE?
I have been working for the kidswear brand MINI A TURE for the past 7 years. Signe Tholstrup, who is the CEO, has been pushing me to start a new boys/menswear brand inspired by my own style. She has a boy herself and has had difficulties finding a clothing brand that was urban and really wanted to create a new brand targeting the big urban boys. It took me a while to take the step and start this process of working and creating a product because my background is in brand management. But she has been pushing and encouraging me for 2 years, so finally, she boosted the confidence in me, and I knew it was time.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME AND WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND IT?
It was very difficult to come up with a new name.
We had many names in the loop, but when Signe suggested UNAUTHORIZED it just felt right.
UNAUTHORIZED means Not having official permission or approval. I believe fashion is taking us to a direction in life where we don’t need to have permission or approval to dress as we want. You see genderfluid styles, women walking menswear and the opposite – I love it. We can do what we want and I want to embrace this. Unauthorized is in tune with the spirit of the times. Adult dress is becoming more and more casual – and a relaxed way of behaving and dressing is increasingly becoming an expression of wealth. In fact, a suit and tie are often seen as an obligatory uniform while casual clothing indicates freedom, energy and the ability to take life in your stride. 40 has long been the new 30 but today, 50 has also become the new 40. In other words, we are increasingly seeing ourselves in a more youthful light – and our dress sense and behaviour mirror that. The different generations’ looks are fusing together so now there can be All-Stars for the whole family piled up in the hallway. I want to take part and create a movement that is not just another children’s clothing brand.
I want to embrace the man in the boy and the boy in the man.
WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COLLECTION COME FROM?
Well, to be honest, I find inspiration in everything I see, from exhibitions, fashion shows to a random passerby. In that sense, my eye always travels. Obviously, it’s more intense to go on a business trip with a mission to be inspired – but my inspirational radar is always on. In addition, I’m extremely inspired by streetwear and I find it fascinating to just sit outside watching people as they walk by. Now, I am living part-time in Paris and Copenhagen so I get to see many different styles and combinations in the streets. I really appreciate this.
IN A WORLD THAT IS BECOMING MORE AND
MORE STANDARDIZED, FREEING YOURSELF
FROM NORMS AND CULTIVATING YOUR
UNIQUENESS HAS BECOME A PRIORITY.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO THIS LINE?
I have always been interested in menswear and I can see how today’s kids grow older younger. Kids are so inspired by the older generation and they want to look just like them – both with style and attitude. So for me, it is an interesting project to work with a segment that is moving so fast and create a product for them that can help express their feelings.
Unauthorized is for boys and men.
(Items range from 4-14 years and key items from S-XL).
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT DESIGNING FOR BOYS?
When I saw the boys during and after the photo shoot, they just looked so happy and confident. They felt so cool and if I can help a little bit by designing pieces that bring that light to their eyes, then my day is made. This feeling means so much to me. The desire to design clothes that reflect the everyday situations big boys finds themselves in.
On a personal level, I can relate to all our pieces, as our clothes are a translation of the moments that I, as a man, encounter daily. Of course, it can be a challenge to embrace everything. You want to look good but be comfortable at the same time; so really, it’s a matter of balance.
WHAT IS THE NEW COLLECTION INSPIRED BY?
In a world that is becoming more and more standardized, freeing yourself from norms and cultivating your uniqueness has become a priority. Men’s fashion is finally free. I try to shake up the rules. Adopt an offbeat look, mix street, traditional and sports styles… I want to inspire dressing with an easy-going attitude that is simple and fun; loose fits, colours and animations.
For this capsule collection, I was inspired by the Panda emoji and animation. I love the panda and I love to use the emoji when texting friends. The panda is also a symbol of peace, good luck and positive outlook in life, all these meanings are very important to me as a person.
For SS18 I was inspired by colourful geometric shapes that evoke Tetris. So it can change a lot, but both have a link to the post-modern digital world we are living in. My choice of colours is both experimental and carefully considered, and we can easily have feminine colours in our masculine universe. I rarely work with the Scandinavian uniform which is grey and black.
WHAT IS THE DESIGN PROCESS AND HOW ARE THE COLLECTIONS MADE?
Our design often starts with a focal point and then other aspects come along. That also means that we end up at some unexpected destinations, but that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it? However, to us, it’s not really the journey itself that matters the most, as some might think. It’s a question of craftsmanship; working with amazing textiles, attention to every single detail – that’s our main motivation.
WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU’RE WORKING?
I don’t have a particular song or artist I listen to when I work. It really depends on my mood and how I feel. Music expresses my feelings.
With that said, I just recently moved to Paris so I am trying to listen to French music so I can get better in French. An artist that I really like is Julien Doré and I love the song Sublime & Silence.
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE WITH YOU?
Phone and headphones for sure. My beanie is also mandatory – even on an Island.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND IN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Sporty, Street and Urban.
AND FINALLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS YOU LIVE BY?
Always stay humble and kind.