EFM Exclusive Story - LOVE Magazine Senior Fashion Editor Anders Solvsten Thomsen

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EXCLUSIVE
STORY
BY ROCHELL "E"
 LOVE MAGAZINE
SENIOR FASHION EDITOR
ANDERS SOLVSTEN THOMSEN

n the afternoon of my interview with Anders Solvsten, it took me some time to find the location at the most popular celebrity spot in London, (The Shoreditch House in East London).  Arriving on time for our sit-down interview, I waited shortly for Anders’ arrival.  I was quite shocked and pleasantly surprise on how tall and striking the LOVE Magazine, Senior Fashion Editor was.  When he arrived, Anders gave me a kiss on both cheeks.   He is a member of Shoreditch House, telling the receptionist, “only one guest”.  As we walked towards the elevator, I couldn’t wait to ask how tall he was, “I'm 6'5'”, he says.

Arriving to the second floor, Anders pointed out to me that the gym is on this floor, “I'll be going to the gym.  I haven't been in two weeks”, he says to me. 

Anders moved to London from Denmark in 1998, for a more opened life-style and to explore different cultures.  “It's so none fashion related” he says, while sitting on a navy blue velvet sofa.  “Coming from a small town I needed to experience life at a different speed, nationalities, and sexualities” says Anders.  Knowing that he was homosexual, Denmark wasn't quite the place for him, “it's a sports environment, it's not really a place to come out” he says.  London was a good place where he could be open with his sexuality. Anders said to me that he actually wanted to be an actor.  By looking at him he definitely has that distinctive look.  You do have that look, you're so gorgeous, I said to him. He laughs, “Thank you.”  And you're not straight, oh well, we laughed.

In his early twenties, Anders says that he spent a few years just having fun.  Knowing that he wanted to be an actor, that dream didn't quite happen.  Anders loved being creative, and found his way into the fashion industry.  “I might like fashion, I was quite creative, wanting to be an actor in the creative field, I can sort of see the link,” he says.  At the age of twenty-five Anders approached fashion stylist, Sally Lyndley, and asked to assist her.  Surprisingly, two months later, Sally, who was then POP's fashion editor, called Anders and brought him on board as her assistant.  Sally left POP after only a couple of months.  Since then, Sally has contributed to LOVE. “She did some of our last covers,” said Anders.

After being introduced to Katie, things started to blossom.  Katie Grand, who was the fashion director of POP, kept Anders on board.   Anders immediately began to assist Katie. “We all left POP and started LOVE, and that's how I started and worked my way up the ladder.”

One can only imagine what the experience would be like being Katie Grand’s first assistant.  “You have the best of both worlds,” Anders says to me with a smile.  “It's the hardest thing that I have ever done, she is so busy.  She works non-stop.  I'm like ten years younger than her, and if I'm tired, why isn’t she’s tired,” describing Katie’s work ethic.

Anders has traveled around the world and has met some of the most influential photographers, models, makeup artists, and designers.  Anders says that finding a group of talented individuals who are around your age is very vital.”  Getting more comfortable as the interview progresses, being humble saying, “I wish I could work with David Sims, but that's not my generation.”

When Anders is not too swamped with LOVE, he contributes for other publications; one of them being DANSK where he is the editor-at-large.  Before my interview with Anders at the Shoreditch House, I read his interview with DANSK.  One of the interview questions asked; what was the most defining moment of his career?  Anticipating a normal answer from the senior editor of LOVE, I was shocked by his answer.  Before I could asked Anders about his interview with DANSK, I began to laugh, he smiled, knowing what I was about to ask; I'm so sorry I said.  He began to share with me his most defining moment.

“I travel a lot with Katie, last season I went to Paris to help set up Louis Vuitton presentation.  After a long night of working non-stop, the next morning, Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of American Vogue), came to the showroom to view Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2010 collection.  The room was intense, I'm sure.  While Anna’s viewing the collection, Katie notices that hard working Anders still had his slippers on, and immediately ushers him into the back room.  Dying to ask him, what did Katie say?  Anders says to me, “it's not what she said; it’s more the way she looked at me.  At that moment, I completely understood.”  After that “ah ha” moment, Anders said that he then realized that appearance is very important.  Anna Wintour made her presence known again, viewing the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.  Anders says, “I literally didn't sleep for 48 hours.”  You were well prepared this time, I said to Anders.  “I was well equipped in the footwear department,” we laughed.

Anders says that working for Katie has taught him the meaning of professionalism.  “It's really hard work,” says Anders, “a lot of people are in it maybe just for the ride, for me that means nothing.  To be best friends with the models, I don't really care. I always try to have a sense of humor because it gets you out of sticky situations.” 

Anders works non-stop, starting his day around 7-7:30 a.m., at the office by 9a.m.  If it's a press day, Anders is out of the office for most of the day.  Some of his duties includes coming up with ideas and is in charge of all the market editing and also sets the budgets.  Anders is dedicated to his work.  He leaves around 7 p.m. in the evening, sometimes later. “LOVE is my number one priority.  Everything else is around LOVE,” says Anders.

Anders describes his style as preppy.  Anders is a fanatic of knit wear, having just about every color.  Wearing a mustard sweater, with a polo shirt underneath, denim jeans, and military boots, Anders takes a little bit from each style that inspires him and puts everything into one look. “With a James Dean touch,” says Anders.

Anders shares with me the highlights from the S/S 2011 Collections.

 

New York - Marc Jacobs without a doubt, each season it just becomes something different.

 

London - Giles Deacon, incredible knit wear and fur faux, incredible floor length gowns.

 

Milan- Jil Sander, the colors, the proportions, oversized trousers.  I thought that was really fresh. Jil Sander's style is kept so simplistic, the lines are really clean.  The silhouette has gone much wider and longer.

 

Pairs - Louis Vuitton, It is my favorite.  Love the animal print and luxurious colors. 

 

One of the best things about being a fashion editor at LOVE, Anders says that he liked that fact of being a part of LOVE right from the beginning.  “It feels really special.”  He continued to say. “With Katie, LOVE is her child and we're here helping making it grow.  That's the best thing about being a fashion editor of this magazine.”

 

When asked the question, if it's becoming harder to become successful as a fashion stylist, Anders response, “yes, there are so many more people competing and there are always new kids wanting to be stylists and I think at the moment, for today, anyone who calls themselves a stylist; if you have a blog, take pictures of yourself and place it on your blog, now all of a sudden you’re a stylist.” 

 

Anders also says that it is impossible to do anything without assisting and thinks assisting is definitely the way.  He also adds, “We are already working for free, so much, a lot of people are not getting paid, so hopefully, that is going to change soon.”

 

Anders started assisting at the age of twenty-six. “It's a difference between me, beginning at twenty-six and girls beginning at twenty-one.”   Anders says that when you are an intern assisting, you have to be very organized, it doesn't matter how creative you are.  It's important that you are able to handle anything.  “Once the shoot is over you are staying up all night making sure that everything is packed.”   I think it was an advantage of me being a boy.  Anders said, “I took over a lot of female assistants.” “I'm not going to cry if things don’t go my way.”

 

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, says Anders.  Looking back at his work when he first started, he said that it was so bad, “it's painful to look at”, and we laughed.  It is so painful Anders says once again, stressing the statement. He still keeps his old work as a reminder of when he first started.  “You do get better; the only way of getting better is to just jump in.”  Anders admits that he holds back a bit saying, “It’s a lot of things I wished I could have done.”

 

 

 

   


 
 

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