Joseph is a line that I always went to when I wished to be taken seriously. In New York City, I admired the women who wore these luxurious staple pieces: the well-fitting trousers, the pristine silk blouses, the cashmere coats… It was all very simple, very stark in its monochromatic colors. Basic in a way, but always eye-catching. Perhaps because the Joseph pieces were always worn by strong women who had no time to fuss over their too-tight pencil skirts or pull at their deeply plunging necklines. Joseph is chic; a bit reminiscent of the Row, but Joseph was doing it before the Row- in the same high quality materials and at a much more accessible price point. This year, Joseph revealed that they were taking on a new Creative Director duo, the wife-and-husband team Anna Lundbäck Dyhr & Frederik Dyhr, to breathe a bit of fresh air into the brand. And how masterfully they did! They kept the super chic and refined ethos of Joseph, but added a few pops of color and pattern, using the artists Joseph Albers and Robert Kelly as inspiration. Nothing gimmicky or too pandering to the new color and faux fur obsessed generation. They have reeled back in their old followers, and are luring in some new. We had the opportunity to pose a few questions their way, on the Joseph DNA, their inspiration, and the long-lasting appeal of the Joseph woman:
The Joseph DNA has remained fairly cohesive through all its years. Does that make your involvement with the brand easier or more difficult?
We strongly identify with the founders DNA, which of course we hope is running through this collection. Before joining the brand, we had both been clients for a long time which of course makes it easier to identify with. For us, Joseph has always stood for timeless, effortless, and sophisticated designs. Our ambition is to continue to build this clearly defined DNA.
Where do you derive your inspirations, both singularly and collectively?
We strongly believe in a collaborative creative process. We feel fortunate to be able to work together as co-creative directors and also as a couple. It’s always positive when you are able to share ideas and research together, between the both of us as well as with the entire Joseph team.
We try to look both internally and externally in terms of inspiration sources. We try to interpret our heritage in a new relevant way. Equally, we both love the world of art and craftsmanship. It is a constant source of inspiration.
What are some breaths of fresh air that you have been finding in this last year of lockdown?
In many ways, it has been a break from our normal routines and an opportunity to connect and re-assess. The small things in life are only noticed when you pause. Those small things are actually the big things: fresh air, yoga, spending time together with our children…
Joseph is known for its neutral tones, yet in this collection we find beautiful yellow shades reminiscent of a desert sunset. What was the inspiration behind adding these unexpectedly optimistic colours to an otherwise very monochromatic scheme?
Now more than ever, we feel the need to add touches of positivity and color into the collections.
Outstanding are also the geometric patterns in this collection… How were they sourced?
Joseph has always had a connection with the world of art. For this season, we looked to Joseph Albers and Robert Kelly as sources of inspiration for the prints.
What are the must-have pieces in a minimalistic wardrobe?
Cashmere knitwear, the perfect fitted trousers, and double-faced cashmere outerwear.
We have all been wearing more loungewear this past year. Did this have an impact on your design process?
The last year’s ‘uniform’ of working from home naturally played into the DNA of Joseph. We are known for our great knitwear and effortless style. Joseph is all about things that are easy to wear, in great quality.
What are your favorite pieces of this RTW collection?
The all-over knitted graphic outfits.
I am fascinated by the concept of work-love dynamics. Do you two work closely side-by-side throughout the whole process, or do you work separately and come together at the end, blending your singular ideas into one happy marriage, so to speak?
We work side-by-side very organically. We both have different areas of expertise, so naturally one of us will drive and the other will support, depending on the subject. Brainstorming sessions usually happen during long walks with the dogs.
I find that you two working together as a team is the exact synergy of Joseph: the feminine flow of sensual fabrics blended with the impeccable masculinity of the ‘suit-like’ tailoring and quality. Who are some of the women that reiterate and embody the Joseph woman?
The customers are always at the heart of everything we create. Joseph women are confident, polished, and uncompromising. Their style is understated. Their time is precious and they spend it wisely. Further, Joseph as a brand very much represents the essence of juxtapositions. Examples being black and white, textured and smooth, London and Paris, equally Feminine and Masculine. This embodiment of opposites is the Joseph women.
Interview by Janna Shaw
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