On a recent walk down Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, two European women, both clad in T-shirts sprayed with pop colors, were stopped and asked if they had made their outfits. Nope. “It’s Burfitt,” one replied. Just a week later, the funny name popped up again, during a conversation with model Erin Wasson about her latest fashion obsession. “Burfitt,” she said, as if it were a secret code word for only the supercool.
Turns out, Burfitt is Lovisa Burfitt, a Swedish designer who started her line of T-shirts, wool and silk jackets, bustiers and skirts after moving to Paris to pursue fashion illustration in 2003. A graduate of Sweden’s Beckmans College of Design, Burfitt was in a Paris nightclub wearing one of her shirts — a scribble of a girl splashed across it — when a buyer bumped into her. “She was like, ‘Where can I get one of those?’” says Burfitt, who had just shuttered her own ready-to-wear line in Stockholm. “I wasn’t planning to start designing again, but I realized it was my passion. I did a lot of drawings of Kate Moss on T-shirts, and I went from there.”
Burfitt wisely went beyond supermodels when it came to evolving her lineup: “Music is really the basis of my collection now,” she says. Indeed, the music influence started early. Growing up in the tiny Swedish village of Strängnäs, “I was so bored, I had to do something to escape reality,” she says. She filled her time playing dress-up, and later, punk rock. Now, she cites as inspirations Cat Power — whose lyrics “I ain’t got no money but I will pay you before I die” Burfitt emblazoned on a series of Ts — and Patti Smith (a “People have the power” T has been a bestseller). The look struck a chord: Linda Evangelista and Swedish singer Robyn are major buyers. In 2005, Fred Segal made the first U.S. order; Opening Ceremony quickly followed. The collection is now sold in 65 stores worldwide.
Of course, the fashion world isn’t exactly pining for another T-shirt company, so Burfitt has steered clear of too-casual separates. For spring there are sailor-inflected pieces like a jaunty wide-collared jacket; for fall 2008, she took cues from Victorian dress codes, crafting dark purple corsets from silk and metal and mixing in some dark-washed denim. As for balancing the lighter fare — there was a black tank with the word “NON!” blaring in white — with the formalwear, Burfitt thinks she is “quite good at doing both. People say that my clothes can be very theatrical, but also very wearable, and maybe that’s my Scandinavian side. We are very practical, so you always have to think, how’s this going to work in real life?”
Some not-so-practical pieces are Burfitt’s black lace masks and headpieces, which have been used in editorial shoots for magazines from Numéro to Vogue Paris (Carine Roitfeld is, not surprisingly, a fan). “I like to go dark with my work,” Burfitt admits, “but then, I steal lines from songs, so maybe I will do some happy shirts sometime soon, too.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty