Just like the Native Americans, Street Hippies too believe in living in freedom. The brand was established in 2011, in the little town Borlänge in Dalarna, Sweden and has come a long way since. It is with great anticipation we wait for this year’s spring/summer collection. I met up with the founder Daniel Dicander at Scandic Malmen in SoFo, the Swedish version of SoHo, an area south of Stockholm where the streets are full of expression and individuality.
Daniel Dicander epitomizes both the style and flair of how I would imagine a Street Hippie would look like. Wearing a hoodie with ‘Street Hippies’ in big red letters from the upcoming collection, a Pharrell-esque caramel colored hat with two braids and accessorized with turquoise jewelry on his fingers and, of course, tagged with colorful tattoos. There was a freedom that was very palpable and this is what the brand is all about, street-wear mixed with classic Swedish things and various street cultures with a great passion for simple clothing, clean design, individual expression and creativity.
Photo by Sotarn Otf
What does it mean to be a Street Hippie?
People can relate to Street Hippies. I’ve had people come up to me explaining how they recognize themselves in the name, because being a Street Hippie is really about having fun, hang out with friends and creating things, somehow like a modern day hippie. We put in our own values in the brand, like world peace, it sounds corny I know, but that is really how we feel. Street Hippies is a free zone for everyone, and we show that in our designs. Swedishness is so much more than the whiteness of your skin and the blueness of your eyes, everyone living in Sweden should call themselves Swedes.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The inspiration behind the design comes from our own values, thoughts and experiences, a little from the old and a little from the new. We are inspired by other cultures, but also the medieval Vikings but a hipper version, a new Viking – which is how we see ourselves today.
How and when did you start designing clothes?
It began in 2010 with “It’s a BLGE Thing” – T-shirt which is a tribute to the little town of Borlänge in Dalarna, Sweden where I’m originally from. During my upbringing I’ve constantly hung out with fellow skaters and snowboarders, so I decided to make the “It’s a BLGE Thing” – T-shirt as a homage to that lifestyle. In 2009 I worked in a warehouse in Jönköping, and I remember thinking to myself about what I was doing with my life, so I decided to change things around and applied to the Culture and Humanities program at Statsmissionen public college where I went one year. I got a taste for designing, painting and creativity. It was a place for likeminded and in retrospect I remember it being the best time of my life. During that year I met Linus, a guy that helped me during the first stages of the creative process of what would become Street Hippies.
You say Street Hippies have moved on from being at a hobby level, in what way?
Well, we started moving upwards last year, people started noticing us more, including artists like the American artist Ciara and Swedish artists like Red Line, Ken Ring and Anthony Mills. A lot of people have wanted to cooperate with us in one way or another, which we feel very positive about.
What’s in the pipeline?
We are really excited to release the Spring/Summer collection by the end of April, which will be more focused on branding in order to get our name out there. We want people to recognize us by the brand name, owl and tree illustration that have been recurrent in our past collection. We will also have our first store opening in Stockholm in connection with the release.
Tags: Daniel Dicander, Street Hippies
Swedish freelance journalist and artist Derya Aktas thrives from finding inspirational stories and hidden gems around the world. Meeting and interviewing interesting people is something she loves with her job. When she's not painting or writing, she spends her free time backpacking, hiking and getting out of her comfort zone.
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