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DSCENE INTERVIEW: ICEBERG’s CREATIVE DIRECTOR JAMES LONG

Creative Director of ICEBERG talks about helming both men’s and women’s collections, rave culture and his design process.

James Long by Kevin Roldan

Fashion Designer JAMES LONG sits down with Editor KATARINA DJORIC for an exclusive interview after his Fall Winter 2020 menswear show in Milan to talk about helming both men’s and women’s collections at Iceberg, rave culture and his design process.

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Read more after the jump:

Backstage at Iceberg FW20.21 show in Milan by Kevin Roldan

How did you get into fashion?
I studied my Masters at the Royal College of Art in London. I was given my first shows from Fashion East and had my own brand for 8 years.

Which designer inspired you to pursue this career? Who would you consider to be the most inspiring person in the fashion industry today?
Kim Jones is and was an inspiration, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen. Now I love and admire Craig Green, Louise Grey, Liam Hodges. Lulu Kennedy is one of the most inspiring people in the industry.

Before Iceberg you were at the helm of your namesake brand. What’s the difference?
There are no comparisons between the two. They are completely different jobs.

It’s hard not to be critical; it’s part of the job. But the moment when you get something right is a great creative buzz.

What is the most important lesson you have learned working for historic brand like Iceberg?
To be respectful of the brand’s history and make a new one.

Iceberg FW20.21 show in Milan by Kevin Roldan

Your FW20/21 collection is inspired by the ’90s rave culture. What’s your personal relationship with rave?
In the 2000’s in London there were raves in Shoreditch and Hackney which I would attend and started my personal relationship with raves. I was too young for the raves in the 90s but I loved the music and aesthetic of the scene. It was very aspirational to me.

You presented the collection in one of Milan’s historical clubs Alcatraz, which matches the rave theme perfectly. Where do you get the ideas for your shows?
I create a narrative and the team works with me to develop and grow the idea. Jarvis Macchi from the team at ICEBERG Milan works very closely with me to make sure the venue and production is cohesive to my collection.

Backstage at Iceberg FW20.21 show in Milan by Kevin Roldan

Can you share some highlights from this season’s collection?
I love all the Eddie Peak work. It was very special to work with him on the collection and have the opportunity to reinterpret his artwork in the form of clothing design. I love his work and find him and his work very inspirational.

Now you are in charge of both men’s and women’s collections at Iceberg. Is there a difference in designing women’s collections?|
Yes a huge difference, but lots of ideas overlap. The team is close to men’s and women’s and we share many ideas. The vision is from one voice in a way.

Backstage at Iceberg FW20.21 show in Milan by Kevin Roldan

Could you describe your design process to our readers?
It never stops! It’s a constant conversation of ideas, sketches, and references. I have worked with Sam Twyford for 10 years now as my head designer so we have the kind of language we share. The design team comes on board very early too. Design is really about sharing and developing ideas.

I create a narrative and the team works with me to develop and grow the idea. Jarvis Macchi from the team at ICEBERG Milan works very closely with me to make sure the venue and production is cohesive to my collection.

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Do you have particular pieces you enjoy designing and making more than others?
I love the thrill and anticipation of all. Knitwear is very rewarding.

As a designer, how do you feel about being different and having your own style in a world of fast fashion?
I have my eye and that’s what I have. I keep growing and developing, looking and learning.

Backstage at Iceberg FW20.21 show in Milan by Kevin Roldan

When working on a new collection are you hard on yourself?
It’s hard not to be critical; it’s part of the job. But the moment when you get something right is a great creative buzz.

What’s your opinion on celebrity? Do you think fashion can still influence society?
Celebrity changes all the time. Just like fashion. Now there are so many you have to be a good editor of all the junk. Fashion is a platform for ideas, and yes it can influence society.

What’s next for you?
Our womenswear show in Milan in three weeks, with a quick trip to Miami during Super Bowl before that to launch a collaboration with Family First.

All images by Kevin Roldan for DSCENE Magazine.

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