The Menswear Style Podcast

Caspar Mørch, Menswear Designer

February 15, 2021 Menswear Style Episode 116
The Menswear Style Podcast
Caspar Mørch, Menswear Designer
Chapters
The Menswear Style Podcast
Caspar Mørch, Menswear Designer
Feb 15, 2021 Episode 116
Menswear Style

Established in 2019 in Copenhagen, CASPAR MØRCH mixes Scandinavian style with modern avant-garde to create garments for everyday life. Finding inspiration in current society, politics, architecture, technology and biology, Caspar Mørch creates unique stories with each collection and all garments are made to be worn every day. This means they use materials that can survive rough handling and materials that age with grace.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview menswear designer Caspar Mørch about the founding story of his brand which launched with a first collection in early 2020.  Many of the garments are made to order to reduce waste and to keep costs down, and also allows customers to add small customisations. Our host Peter Brooker and Caspar also talk about fashion school, internships, sustainability, seasonless fashion, inspiration for SS21 and building a brand during Covid-19.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Show Notes Transcript

Established in 2019 in Copenhagen, CASPAR MØRCH mixes Scandinavian style with modern avant-garde to create garments for everyday life. Finding inspiration in current society, politics, architecture, technology and biology, Caspar Mørch creates unique stories with each collection and all garments are made to be worn every day. This means they use materials that can survive rough handling and materials that age with grace.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview menswear designer Caspar Mørch about the founding story of his brand which launched with a first collection in early 2020.  Many of the garments are made to order to reduce waste and to keep costs down, and also allows customers to add small customisations. Our host Peter Brooker and Caspar also talk about fashion school, internships, sustainability, seasonless fashion, inspiration for SS21 and building a brand during Covid-19.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Unknown:

Hello and welcome to another episode of the men's wear style podcast. I'm your host Pete Brooker. On this episode I'm going to talk to Casper merg. Founder of Casper merch the brand and Casper merch the made to order brand was established in Copenhagen in 2019. With one mission to create durable everyday clothes that age with grace. His purpose is to make clothes that reflect current societal challenges focusing on the current climate and world around us produce quality clothing that ages well for a desirable lived in look. And you can find out more about the brand and also shop the look through the website WWW dot Kasper mag.com. And let me spell that free RCA s p a r m. r c h Casper Mk. And here is Casper to tell the story of Casper mug. Yeah, my name is Casper mark. I am the lead designer of my brand Casper mark, I finished my bachelor's in fashion design in 2018. then spend around a year doing some internships at smaller local brands here in Copenhagen. And then I started my brand in 2019, August 2019. And I show my first collection in February 2020. Just before everything went to hell. So today. So it's a it's been an exciting time. I'm doing men's wear. In my like my design ethos is trying to make Scandinavian classic Scandinavian design with more avant garde style. So trying to find some some new things there. And I'm very inspired by, you know, political challenges in the world. And like, whenever I start a new collection is, you know, what's on my mind. And there's a lot going on right now. So there's always something in the news I'm upset about. So that's my inspiration from tell me how did you manage to raise the capital to get the brand off the ground? Was it a Kickstarter? Or was it something that you took to a bank with their business proposal? No, I'm, I've actually inherited some money. To be, to be honest. So I was very lucky in that way. You can say. And it's it's pretty much only me. So I'm doing everything myself. So there is there's not a lot of, you know, expenses going on. Right? Yeah. So I'm really trying to keep it small and trying to keep it you know, see how long I can, you know, keep going with these low expenses. Right. So basically, I do everything from designing to, you know, sewing samples doing pattern construction. during May to order stuff, you know, I so some of the garments myself, for customers. So it is very, like small, small stuff. Yeah, that that way, it's easy to keep the cost low. And so if people were to order from your site, is it kind of made to order? Do you have this stuff already ready to go like ready made? Yeah, most of it is made to order. Because that's, you know, a great way to first of all, avoid having no wasting clothes. And I mean, we already already made way too much clothes. And if I like make a make a bunch of clothes and put it on my webshop. And then like four months later, I have to put it on sale and then have year later is worthless. So try to do everything metoda that way, it also allows for customers to make, you know the ones in customer orders. I had one who wanted some extra pockets in his jacket, like on the inside. And it's like, yeah, sure, I can, you know, I can do that. No worries. So take me back to where was it that you studied. I studied at what's called notes called Scandinavian Academy of fashion design. It used to be called my cape School, which was a bit more of a nice name, but doesn't make any sense if you're not Danish. So yeah, and I had my my bachelors from their small small school in Copenhagen. Very nice. And did you learn pattern cutting there? What kind of skills do you take away from? Yes, sir. Adam, it's mainly a design school. But you know, we had the we had teachers teaching us, you know, everything and so when, you know, it's great having some good designs and have some good ideas, but if you can, like make it yourself that's you lose a lot if you don't know how to do everything. So yeah, we learned everything from like, yeah, pattern construction, like with a lot of fittings. had one teacher was obsessed with that. And which is a very great skill to have, you know, spending a bunch of time just just like making prototype after prototype, making sure it's just right. But yeah, everything sewing techniques, which I think even if you don't do anything yourself like I do, it's just really good to know how to make make the fabrics that make the clothes other than just a drawing. Well, it's, I mean, I did think I did a year at fashion school I did, like a night course. And it, it's all very well and good kind of designing, stuffing, putting something on paper. Not that I could even do that. But you can have an idea of what something might look like and might look good, but then not knowing how to even manipulate fabrics or knowing what it is or fabrics can do that compose these garments. I mean, you're almost starting completely from scratch, if you know nothing about how to what the fabrics are capable of doing. And how you can mean Yeah, and and it's very easy to like you have a good idea. And if you haven't done a lot of sewing and haven't really went into the clothes from that point of view. It's it's difficult to know what you can can really do, you know, especially when it started, I remember I had like, Oh, yeah, this looks great. And then when I when I made a finished product, it just didn't work. Because you could not do that with fabric. Right. So that that's really helpful in many ways. And so then I really like I really like so I think it's a lot of fun. So that's great for me as well. I'm assuming that you wear clothes that you make yourself. Yeah, yeah, that must be pretty cool to have going around to parties. And well, when we used to be able to party. Oh, yeah, yeah. Oh, did you make that yourself? Yeah, I did. Yeah. It's kind of like the biggest compliment. Oh, isn't it it's half compliment half in. So it's like, it looks like something, you know, just patched together, but also looks at something so unique that you'd never buy it anywhere else. Right? Yeah, you know, sometimes you'll see someone wearing something and you just you just know, they made it themselves. And it's like, Yeah, it looks. It looks homemade. But you know, it's great. So when you graduated, you said you went and did a few internships at some brands are based in Copenhagen? Can you just kind of talk us through that and what you learned, leading up to the launch of your own brand? Yeah, I did an internship at the Danish brand called Leon Louie. Who's now in Portugal, they're doing like, you know, avant garde, Reagan style, black, all black stuff. And, you know, it gives gives you a completely different view of how, how you're supposed to work. Because when your school is just designing and sewing and all that, and you spent like four months designing a collection, and then you get out in the real world. And you realise, yeah, okay, I have one and a half week, and then I have to send like, six, six patterns to production. And it's like, completely different thing. Right? There's a, I mean, I don't think anybody ever this spends as much time on that assignment as I do in school. Right. So that was a bit of an eye opener, really? And then, of course, you know, when you do when you do just stuff for yourself, it's always like, yeah, I'll just, I'll make this and I don't know, I don't know if it can be produced really bad, worse off me, and then suddenly have to say, Yeah, okay, if I have to make 50 of these, is this a good solution? And I mean, all of the products on the website look like something I've never seen before. In terms of, it's very unique and what I typify it and, you know, take this within the spirit that's intended, but when I think of Scandinavian menswear designs, I always think of like minimalist designs, you know, something more streamlined, something, you know, very much kind of everyday, utilitarian. And that's not a slight I really love Scandinavian design. I love minimalism, but yours is something quite different to that, isn't it? Yeah, I think the part, we have this thing in Denmark called gender law, which is the law of gender. It's like, basically saying, don't think you're better than anybody else, which I think influences our culture in a lot of ways, including how we dress. So it's, you know, it's can even it's often very like neurotic collars. It's a bit conservative really. And I'm trying to take like this every day, all the clothes I make, I'm not designing like, this is going to be great for like the party or big wedding. You're going to once a year I'm saying okay, would I wear this like five days a week for a year? Does this work? This is easy to wear. So I'm like doing this everyday approach saying, okay, would I wear this all the time? Really? Because, I mean, also with sustainability. If we are gonna do anything about climate change, you know, we have to buy it. Less clothes and better clothes. So I'm saying, okay, could I wear this all the time? How will it age? How will it look when I've wanted 500 times? So that's kind of my approach to it. The jeans are really like, well, the jeans cool that they've got, like these big kind of beige patches on the, on the website, by the way, people can have a look at what we're talking about if they go to Casper merch.com. And we'll put the links over on the show notes for that. I'm seeing it it's underneath the jeans. Yeah, yeah, terrific. Yeah, and, you know, denim is, it's not the best for the environment. But you know, a well made pair of jeans can last you like five years, 10 years. And on these I've done a bit of distressing already. But they will, you know, they will shape your body, they will distress when you were in a really, really nice way. And I'm like that is that is my way of trying to figure out a way to like, make sure you wear your clothes. And you don't it's not just like fast fashion, you buy underwear three times. And then it's like, yeah, we're not really. So instead, like making something that will look even better after you wanted 500 times. Yeah, and that's not an easy thing to do, I guess no, a lot of a lot of it is in, you know, the fabrics, I choose, like I like heavy fabrics, because they usually like to get nice creases, they get worn in such a beautiful way. For the new collection on winter 21. I found this really, really heavy, really, really stiff, a lot of texture, cotton fabric. And now I made a joke for myself wore it for a couple of months. And it's just looking better and better. You know, getting getting worn getting, you know, some, some colours go out of it already. And the corners, you know, and the stitches and it's just Yeah, looks amazing. And do you source the fabric for your clothes in one particular place? Or do you kind of scour the globe? How does it work? You know, it's the biggest problem I have with sourcing fabrics is really quantities, because a lot of times I find something like at a fair, and it's Oh yeah, this looks great. It's great price, but they have a minimum of 2000 metres, and I can't use that at all. So that is my biggest challenge right now is just finding places that will sell me small quantities at a somewhat reasonable price. Right then, but it is kind of all over. I'm trying to do more deadstock materials, because it's Yeah, exactly. When somebody has like 50 metres from production they don't need I can buy that I can use that that's a pretty good way to, you know, reduce my, you know, the brand's consumption of resources. And how do you do that? Are you calling up Mills? Are you calling up? know that. Like, there are some special like companies who deal with that. So that sometimes they put something up. And then there are some shops in Copenhagen who have some. But yeah, it's a bit difficult right now it goes to the shops. As you can imagine. Yeah, there was a being closed all the time. But yeah, it's all over the price. Really? And what if there was a there was a run or something that there was a fabric, but there wasn't a whole load of it? Would you be tempted to get it and just do a limited Special Edition run? Yeah, I yeah, I'm right now I've found some some small, like, some leather, like I get, I think three skins. And that's, yeah, you're making some bags out of that. And there's like, when that level is gone. That's That's it. I think that also gives it you know, makes it a bit exclusive. Really. And because yeah, when that's done this, I can't make any more because I don't have any more or the leather. Tell me about how kind of the pandemic is hit you you know you kind of launching in the craziest of times the world's upside down and on fire was it must have been like, trying to get business off the ground in these times. It's not easy. I think people are a bit afraid of you know, trying something new and selling to stores when when they never met you. They've never felt the clothes, they never seen it in real life is a bit a bit difficult. So I'm right now I'm trying to you know, stay local song with stores in Copenhagen, trying to figure something out and then on the webshop but, you know, I've never really experienced anything but this weird Corona thing. So just looking forward to things going somewhat back to normal shops and learn about where you are no, no, but I've not talked to someone I can come visit and yeah, but No, nothing's open at all. Yeah, supermarkets are and that's it. I know you really want it you feel like you've done the hard work right? I'm guessing by getting the designs getting the website. getting everything ready to go. Go. But yet the world has hit pause, and you can't seem to get past anything like that. Yeah. It's not great. And you know, you can see like, like, the shops are having like sales a month after they received the new collections. And I think it's really difficult for everyone. Because you don't need new clothes and you're just sitting at home in your sweatpants all day. Yeah, no, that's that's very true. So, Casper, I mean, what's the what's the future for you? I mean, like, what are you kind of now? Apart from getting some brand awareness going? Are you working on other designs? Is there something else in the pipeline? Yeah. My ss 21 collection is up for pre order right now. And that will launch for real? Yeah, on the 16th of February, then working on the next collection, or is doing some designs now. Like just really getting into it? and trying to figure out if if that is, you know, the collection, seasonal collection is even a path I'm gonna follow. Right? Because it doesn't make an awful lot of sense right now. When there's no Fashion Week this, you know, this doesn't go on and I could just, you know, make something one day, put it up on the webshop The next day, and then it's going. So it's a Yeah, trying to figure out what's what's going on how I'm going to kind of continue because I don't know what's going on. And I don't know what's happening next month, let alone like the summer. So yeah, there's not many seasons when you don't go outside. It's kind of hard to predict, isn't it? Yeah. And I think the seasonal thing is, like these days is mainly for mainly for, you know, the shops, so they can go to Paris and London and all that twice a year and get their buying in there. And I mean, if I'm doing everything here myself is I don't really need that. That system. So yeah, I might be dialling it back a little bit here. But how, when you start off with the designs, when does it hit you? Do you kind of like start drawing? Is that the first step? So when you say, I'm interested, because you close? It looks to be so designed led? That Yeah, there must be some kind of process that gets you from A to B, can you just talk about? Yeah, I usually always tries, like, all year round Really? Thinking about Okay, the next collection, what's that gonna be about? And so I have like a bunch of ideas ready when when it comes to designing, then I go like this collation. And looking at a lot of looking at the plane engines and fighter jets, and how their jet engines work and all that stuff. That's really interesting. And they just look amazing as well. So it's like finding a lot of pictures of that, like drawing some of it, you know, just getting something out on paper, doing some paintings, like all this that has basically nothing to do with the clothes, until I get like a clear vision of Okay, what is it I'm going to do? Like, what are the shapes I'm going for? What are the colours? Then I then I go to like, actually drawing the clothes, like with some very, you know, broad sketching, like, okay, I've tried to find out, what kind of jaggus am I gonna have an escalation is gonna be slim, are they gonna be loose? How is that going to work? And I try to, you know, get some basic shapes of the clothes I'm gonna make. After that, I go to start constructing the patterns, you know, when I have a pretty clear idea of what I'm going to do, and then start doing prototypes. And, you know, that's one of the great things about doing almost all the samples myself, I can, you know, I can change things all the way through the process. Like sometimes I'm halfway done with everything, I just need to put the lining in and realise, yeah, I need some more details. I need some more stuff here. And so that's, that's basically it. That's pretty cool. I'd love to see those drawings with the products on the website. Again, just going through the products. I think that'd be a really neat idea to have the journey of the garment somewhere on the site, just just thrown out there. Obviously, I'm no designer. I don't know anything about this, but it'd be you know, it'd be good to see the kind of process fleshed out on the web and maybe we should pull it up. Yeah, from from the first like, coming on Pinterest and finding some images to to finish t shirt or tag. Yeah, sure. I'd be interested in seeing that. Casper thanks for jumping on the podcast taking time out your day and walking us through the brand. Again, Casper, Casper merch.com and we'll put all the links in the show notes because obviously I won't be pronouncing it the way it should be pronounced but again, I don't all right. Casper merch official on Instagram is a great place to go in and check out these clothes. Great speaking to Casper. Yeah, you too. Thanks. And thank you Casper thank you also for tuning in to this episode of The menswear style podcast. If you like what you hear, why not leave a review. It does help my ego especially, don't forget to check out the show notes for this episode, and all content pertaining to watches grooming, fashion and lifestyle over at WWW dot menswear store dot code at UK and we're on the social as well at men's wear style. And if you want to be a guest on the show, come on and tell us about your brand and your journey. You can email us here at info at men's wear style dot code at UK and until next time