• Image by Sylwia Dziobon

    An interview with Felicia Halén Fredell, the founder of The Reverence Project

    Written by Ulrika Lindqvist

    Fashion designer Felicia Halén Fredell launched The Reverence Project in April 2024. TRP takes it’s inspiration from their muses, their first collection being inspired by activist and poet Nattalie Ström Bunpuckdee. We had a chat with Felicia about her inspirations and the future of The Reverence Project.

    Please tell me a bit of your backstory, what did you do before launching The Reverence Project and what was the idea behind it?

    Like so many others the pandemic really affected me mentally. As a freshly graduated fashion designer I felt chewed up and spat back out, close to a burnout. My field completely lost its appeal and I was really stuck in a mindset of counting the fashion industry’s faults - the list goes on and on. It made me feel really powerless and at times even apathetic. I had too much time on my hands to think about what really matters. I realize this differs from person to person but for me, I concluded that meaningful and challenging conversations are what makes my life worth living. More than one person in my life said I was a good listener and I took that to heart and ran with it, that’s all I’d ever like to be. This idea kept on growing and brewing for years, and when you can’t seem to let go you know you have to realize it somehow. I wanted to create designs centered around other people’s perspectives. I wanted the privilege of getting to know people and zoom past small talk to where we talk about what matters most to them and why. I kind of found The Reverence Project to be a hack of sorts. It’s essentially about hope and how sharing experiences and stories with others make you feel less alone. It’s really empowering to be the trailblazer who first talks about their experiences, but it’s also really empowering to hear someone put your experiences into words for the first time as well.
    What is your inspiration behind your designs?

    The potential of fashion is endless because it’s a fine-tuned language, stories can be weaved into garments in so many ways. By now I’ve developed this standard form based on my first muses that basically is a template for an interview. I ask them about their relationship to their body, does clothes usually serve as a uniform, armor or creative expression? And then we talk about the relationship to the self. Are there recurring life themes that have shaped them as a person? Is there anything they wish someone would ask them? These conversations usually lead to really beautiful, vulnerable and fulfilling places, and I try to share some bits and pieces of myself so it doesn’t feel exploitative for the muse. When they word something in a hard-hitting way it usually becomes a visual metaphor that I can use in my design. It often ends up becoming prints or draping that is meant to represent the muse’s story. Whether it translates is a completely different thing, but how my design is received and further interpreted is just as interesting.

    Please tell us more about your muses?

    Anyone could be a muse, because everyone has a story to tell. But I sometimes describe my muses as unintentional activists. They’re the type of person who can’t help but to speak their mind in the eye of injustice. Maybe the mood at the dinner table becomes a little uncomfortable, but they sleep well at night knowing that they stood up for something they believe in. At first my muses were close friends who became my patient testing guinea pigs. I slowly developed the questions that I figured led to those radically vulnerable conversations. At its core The Reverence Project aims to be unapologetically intersectional feminist and so the muses often reflect that. Voices that are seldom heard should be amplified. And it’s my pride and joy to weave their stories into garments.
    What would you say are the 3 core values for The Reverence Project?

    Radical vulnerability - because it takes great strength to be soft.
    Authenticity - depicting my muses in a respectful and empowering way is something I take very seriously.
    Existential sustainability - it basically means hope, giving people hope through our shared stories.

    How would you describe your customer?

    I think my customer in many cases are very similar to my muses. They often stand for something, and in doing so stand out. Since their identity is a bit of a statement, blending in was never an option. They might as well dress expressively as well in colors, prints and silhouettes that can be exaggerated. It’s all a springboard towards expressing personal thoughts and ideas. I think my customers often consume a lot of culture in all its shapes and forms, fashion is just another of many interests and they happen to like something quite feminine even if they don’t necessarily always identify as a woman. But they’re daring in their softness and relate to specific stories and therefore garments from The Reverence Project as well.

    What have been the most challenging aspects of launching The Reverence Project?

    I think the fact that I’m alone in my business thus far. I’m surrounded by a lot of great creators and creatives that I’ve collaborated with while developing the brand. But as of now I don’t have a team and it’s probably the big thing up ahead of TRP.

    What can we expect from The Reverence Project in the near future?

    Expect more interviews with muses who wear their heart on their sleeves. And with them looks developed specifically after their stories that are jam-packed with meaning. But don’t expect them in the tempo of a fashion brand that shows collections several times per year during fashion weeks. When you least expect it, we might drop a beautiful story for you to enjoy!

    Image by Joanna Kelly
  • photography Amir Golzari

    fashion Daniel Darko

    all clothing by Julia Weström

    Looking Forward, An Interview with Julia Weström

    Written by Sandra Myhrberg

    Julia Wiström, 31, currently works as a bag designer at a Swedish bag company in Stockholm. She also runs her own brand, where she creates and sews mini-collections, showpieces, and sells on commission. She has just completed a spring collection called “Kitchenmaid,” inspired by classic housemaids, checkered kitchen towels, and humor. We sat down with Julia to discuss her upcoming collection, her career as a designer, and sustainability in fashion. 

    Your upcoming collection “Kitchenmaid” sounds intriguing. Can you share more about the inspiration behind it and what we can expect from this collection?
    It's also a ready-to-wear mini-collection. Lots of checks, lots of lace. The materials are a mix of new and old. I got the idea last year when I was in Paris. In a restaurant, there were kitchen towels hanging all over the ceiling, and I was super inspired. I realized I had to create a collection based on kitchen towels. From there, it evolved into a little story about housewives, which in turn led to 'Kitchenmaid'.”

    Are there any new techniques or materials you are looking forward to experimenting with in your upcoming designs?
    Looking ahead, I'm eager to explore knitwear further. I spent quite a bit of time on it at Beckmans, and I feel there's more to explore and develop in terms of fun knitted pieces.

    How important is sustainability in your design process, especially considering the use of leftover materials from your original collection?
    Sustainability is a cornerstone of my design philosophy. Incorporating leftover materials from previous collections not only minimizes waste but also challenges me creatively to transform discarded resources into unique and desirable pieces. It's a practice that aligns with my values of responsible craftsmanship and environmental stewardship.

    What trends do you see emerging in fashion design, especially in the context of sustainable fashion?
    I've noticed some exciting trends emerging in fashion design lately, especially with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Many designers are embracing recycled materials, which is crucial for reducing our environmental impact. There's also a growing focus on social sustainability within the industry, which resonates deeply with me. Consumers are increasingly curious about the origins of their clothes, and it's encouraging to see more transparency from brands. I'm also excited about the shift towards timeless and sustainable designs that promote longer garment use—a practical approach to reducing overconsumption. These trends reflect a positive direction in fashion, where both people and the planet are being prioritized—an area I'm genuinely passionate about.

    Can you share a memorable moment from your design career so far?
    My foremost memory was when I sold my first garment. It was enjoyable and a validation that people are willing to pay for what I create. There are so many creators in the fashion industry, and standing out is challenging. That's why I'm always particularly happy when people purchase products and place orders with me. I'm very humble about it.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time when you’re not designing?
    When I'm not working on design, I love hanging out with friends and my boyfriend – I'm very social and enjoy being around people. Food is a big passion of mine; not to cook, just to eat, haha! I enjoy dining out, savoring wine, traveling, and being in the sun. I probably like most things that most people enjoy. I also enjoy organizing parties, something I used to do as a job and still cherish as a hobby. Actually, this summer I'll be DJing on Gotland, which should be really fun! I love having a good time and laughing. At the same time, I also enjoy relaxing and listening to true crime podcasts.

    photography & AD Amir Golzari

    fashion Daniel Darko

    makeup & hair Sandy Alfares

    model Ebba D / Stockholms Gruppen

    post production Thomas Wilke & Amir Golzari

    makeup assistant Karin Hanser

    photography assistant Fredrik Edling

    all clothing by Julia Weström


    Written by Fashion Tales



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