Jannike Sommar and Orange is the new black

Jannike Sommar and Orange is the new black

Jannike Sommar is a young and talented Swedish fashion designer, based in Antwerp, Belgium. She got everybody's attention when graduating from The Royal Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts this year, along with receiving the Belmono award for her master's collection.

Her collection is titled "MISS" and was inspired by the famous TV show, "Orange is the new black", but also by the distance between her and her girlfriend who lives in another country, France. But more about her in the interview below.

Why “Orange is the new black”, what attracted you to this show?

First of all, I really like it! The story includes humor, intrigues and love, especially lesbian love! The story is about women. Women that got deprived of their power by getting locked up but they are taking the power back by creating their own world. It is a story that includes themes I always work with.   

Antwerp's Royal Academy is known for its rebellious students, how was it studying here?

It has really been amazing. It has been a trip full of experiences, hard work and challenges. It is a creative bubble that allowed me to create what I believe in. Sometimes I have struggled, but of course I learned a lot from this. I have been doing everything by myself and search for my own ways of doing things. This experience and all the hard work made me more confident and secure.

What would you tell a fashion rookie starting classes?

Sometimes it will be difficult; you have to be aware of that. In the end it is all about hard work. You need to believe in yourself and your work, even though it gets difficult. You need to have patience.

How did your girlfriend react to this collection?

She has been part of the process from the start, I have shared everything with her so she has seen all the steps that I've taken. She became a big part of the collection, but this happened unconscious and gradually during the process. She loves it! And I think she is proud to be in it.  

What are your top tips and tricks for a long distance relationship?

I don’t know if I have any good tips or tricks, but I know it works for us even though I wish I could be close to her every day. It is important to respect each other’s lives and not get frustrated about the situation. And always know the next time you see each other. What helps me the most is that we know we won’t have a long distance relationship forever, sooner or later we will live together.

You wrote your girlfriend a letter, imaging that she’s in prison, words which are now on items from “MISS”, what’s your favorite quote from it?

Soon we will be glued again, “para sempre” (forever).

Inmates are known for their tattoos, how would you mark this period in your life on your skin?

I made a wall painting of two kissing women for my presentation, from the kissing dress in my collection. This painting might be my next tattoo! Actually, I got inspired by my own tattoos for the collection, I made illustrations and embroideries of them and you can see them on the socks and on the overalls. So I should totally let the collection inspire me for my next tattoo.    

The MISS collection is a very powerful one for women; will this one set the tone of your fashion voice?

Absolutely yes. During my years at the academy I have worked hard on developing my own world. After MISS I feel I am ready to go further. I am definitely going to keep on designing powerful and fanny clothing, I think we need it. My world is something I will keep on developing forever, but the MISS collection has defiantly set the tone.

Would you say life is a drama or a circus?

Drama.

What’s next for you?

For now we will see, I want to get more work experience. Later in the future I’ll start my own business.

Ugly is… 

Boring.

Freedom is…

Love.

Sex is…

Awesome and beautiful.

In my wardrobe… 

Levi’s jeans, t-shirts, leather jacket.

Style is… 

Personal.

If you’d like to keep up with this creative young designer, check out her virtual home.