Photography / Editorial / Print

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 06

We speak to the design team (MIA LISA SPON AND RUI ANDERSEN) behind eponymously named fashion line SPONDIOGO, who have won the prestigious Max Factor New Talent Award 2012

Congratulations, how important has this award been to you in recognition of your work?

Thank you. Our hometown (Copenhagen) has been very supportive of our work from the very beginning. The stylists and editors took us in from early on. This award is a recognition on another level – maybe it’s a pointer towards the broader market being ready for us too. If this is the case; we are very happy about this.

You launched the label in 2008, tell me about how it came into existence?

We met in 2004 and worked together on miscellaneous projects, there amongst full collections for both male and female, knit and suiting collections for local Danish companies. In working together we grew a liking and shared a view on how to approach the various processes alongside the outcome. SPONDIOGO felt like it was bound to come into existence sooner or later.

Both of you have experience in the creative industries, fashion design and fine arts - how important were those experiences in creating your first collection?

When we started out designing, and this still applies, we drew on references from various fields of the arts. The first collection we did in our own name, was largely built on architecture or construction. Our shared view on colour vs. shape remains an important factor.

Where do you draw your influences from?

It’s quite random… Our previous collections were very thematically/conceptually designed. They followed a rigorous recipe from theme to research – drawing - selection and lastly development. Now development of the collections happen a lot more random and are far more mood based. Influences or inspirations tend to creep up on us or are drawn from the historical repertoire we hold.

To you fashion is...?

Shape and colour set in movement.

To you art is...?

Pretty much the same as fashion, but often art tells another story, as it is not as confined.

What is your design ethos? 

The individual is of the highest value.

What are you both wearing right now?

Mia mostly wears SPONDIOGO – for obvious reasons. She is wearing black cashmere/silk mélange roll neck, black stretch leather leggings from our AW11 collection, and black Camilla Skovgaard bottines wedges. Rui has a couple of things made at the atelier and wears black light tee, a black short wool jersey kimono/cardigan, black jeans and black German military boots.

If you could only describe your label in three words.. what would they be?

Delicate, vivid and relevant.

Could you tell us about the evolution in your design to the SS12 collection?

Previously our starting ground was a quite strict industrial minimalism, but we have since AW11/12 – The FAVONIO Collection - been working on softening the overall expression.
One now sees perhaps a softer woman. She is still very much an urban character, and the setting is still city. The summer collection grew out of what summer (holidays) should be; wandering aimlessly in a new ever enchanting landscape. Themes worked with, came from travels to northern Africa and Greece. We took pause in a heavily dusty city, colourful and full of buzz. It’s about the ephemeral vs. something concrete, and grew out a wish to make a modern soft statement.

If there was one person, past or present you would love to see in your clothes, who would that be?

Marlene Dietrich.

Do you each have a philosophy that you hold dear to yourself?

Rui: Be the gentleman you are.
Mia: In life; always do your best.

There are beautifully written manifestos on your website by André Amtoft, tell us about linking words and story’s to each collection?

André Amtoft is, besides being a dear friend who understands us from a personal view, a visual sociologist and holds a masters in social studies. He is always very apt capturing the essence and inspiration of the collection and transforming the matter at hand into a short poetic manifest. In the cooperation; it’s a very fluent process of translating the utilisation of for instance structured fabric vs. smoother ones, or constructed vs. drape etc. into meaning.

Could you tell us about your AW12 collection?

Again we have worked with juxtaposition of graphic/constructed vs. a softer more draped theme. Materials are very tactile and structured. The idea was to make a very clad collection; to talk generally about dress. Yet; we find to make a suited collection renders too much to a traditionally male universe. The looks are in the Autumn winter collection are softened by pleats and flares. A lot of couture references and techniques have been applied. We have, with this collection, moved further away from the sort of industrial minimalism, we’ve made in the past. One will also see a great usage of colour.

Do you have any advice for emerging or student designers?

Say goodbye to sleep – once and for all.

What plans do you have for the remainder of 2012 and beyond?

Maybe the first holiday in five years – we’ll see…

Images kindly provided by 

Interview by Nardip Singh


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