I met Malin Busck at the Street Style Representation organised by RMH of Stockholm Fashion Week. I walked into the hall with many street style exhibitors but went straight to her garments HI ON LIFE. The textiles and designs drew me with their playfulness, bold textures and feeling of freedom. I spoke to Malin and arranged to meet her over coffee at Berns for an interview. It comes out that Malin has already displayed the designs of HI ON LIFE in Paris at “Who’s Next” Tradeshow and Erykah Badu is already wearing her clothes!
E: Hallo Malin! What amazing work! How did it all start?
M: I had a clothing store called Babushka in Malmö in 2005, after I graduated with Textile Management degree from The Swedish School of Textiles. I travelled to Ghana with a friend at some point, saw the textiles there and the potential. I saw how the tailors were working – it was not like factory produced work. You go to the tailors, say what you want and they make it. Then I got a boyfriend from Ghana, moved there and started doing HI ON LIFE.
Ⓡ Photos: Malin Busck
E: What does the brand HI ON LIFE represent?
M: It represents street couture but with simpler shapes, mixed up with some 80s and 90s influence.
E: Are you influenced by African culture in your designs?
M: Yes, the street in Accra, the mix of people and how they dress, the turbans of the ladies for example. I also like the hipster ghetto boys in Accra. Everyone there can look stylish. They might live in the mud but the ladies are clean, with high heels, all dressed up.
E: Where do you sell your designs now?
M: Mainly in Tokyo – we have a reseller there who found us in Unfair Fashion Show at Copenhagen two years ago. My dream is to sell in New York, London, Dubai and Lebanon. But I do not wish to be big. I believe that if it comes to mass production you loose the exclusivity.
E: Who makes the garments?
M: Local tailors make them. I work with them and teach them. We employ my husband’s family as well. I think it is a great way to provide work for the local people in Accra. And better from a sustainability point of view.
E: How did Erykah Badu find your designs?
M: She works with a Dapper Afrika stylist in New York. He found me and asked if I could make something especially for Eirkah. Which I did, I love her as a singer and I am so happy she wears my brand.
E: What did you get out of Stockholm Fashion Week?
M: Publicity of course! You are interviewing me now and I was interviewed by Vogue Runaway as well.
E: Feels great to be up there with Vogue Runaway! Good luck Malin!
Ⓡ Photos: Malin Busck and HI ON LIFE