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STYLE STORY: REBECCA

FRISK-BENGTSSON

 
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Describe your style. (with how many words you want)

This is really one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer. Not because it’s a difficult question per se, but because it is a question that opens up to such an in-depth response beyond what I choose to wear and why. Style to me is not about my appearance; it’s about my soul. It’s about showing who I truly am. And THAT answer contains more than just a few descriptive words of a specific style. I think my style is the reflection of my true self, my emotional and intellectual intensity revealed outwards. My style shows all my layers in one; the good, the bad, the greatest and most of all it shows my inner self and my inner light.

 If I have to put it into specific words, I would say my style is soulful, assertive, diligent, courageous and exuberant. And yes, I’m a Libra, if anyone who is reading this is wondering why the answer is so all-embracing, haha!

 
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What’s the ideal outfit to wear everyday, your uniform? 

I absolutely love sets and suits. There is a certain feeling of completion wearing something that is so well put together, and yet it can also be over-the-top with patterns, colour or super sleek lines which brings that bona fide sass to the whole look. I love to dare myself to make unexpected outfits work, but being a jeans and white t-shirt kinda gal at heart I value comfort above everything else. The way I dress is very much based on how I feel, so I have a very eclectic relationship with my every-day uniform. It has to feel like me, but at the same time bring something unexpected to the table. On a daily basis, my go-to outfit is always a colorful or graphic t-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt together with a pair of jeans in black or blue with a lighter wash. I am obsessed with jackets in all shapes and sizes, and usually go for interesting textures and silhouettes. Since I tend not to wear that much colour, I make sure to always top off with a rich lipstick in really dark or bright shades.

 

Last but definitely not least, there’s my main squeeze; sneakers. I bought my first pair of classic Nike Dunk 92’s and Air Jordan 1’s back in 2005 and I will never forget how I felt the first time I put them on. It wasn’t just the fact that they were so damn fresh, but more about how I’d finally found a way to express my androgynous side that still felt like me, and that I felt so connected to the stories and legacy behind the shoes. Sneakers are such a personal statement of individuality, and I’ve been completely hooked ever since those first pairs.  

 

  “I will never forget how I felt the first time I put them on.”

— Rebecca Frisk-Bengtssin

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How would you describe that your style has changed over the past years?

The biggest change is the fact that I used to care so much about what people would think of me. And especially how I looked. Which seems crazy to me now, haha! I actually don’t think anyone would recognize me if they saw a picture from back in the day. As a kid I was very athletic, and so was my style. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I was introduced to more stereotypical feminine influences. Being a sporty soul, it was intriguing to discover a more “feminine” side of myself, but it also felt like it was never the real me. For a long time during those years I couldn’t figure out who I was, which reflected a lot in my choice of style. It, just like me, was completely all over the place. I tried so hard to adapt and adhere to a very stereotypical “girly” look, which meant wearing way too many oversized tunics, cute dresses and floral accessories. And I straightened my hair like a crazy person! I just wanted to fit in, but I never realized (as you rarely do in your teens) that I shouldn’t have forced myself to conform to expected societal attires. I loved androgynous fashion, but I didn’t feel confident enough to “break the rules”.

 

I think things really began to change when I left my home town. I started to break out of my shell and navigated more towards sporty outfits and definitely less heels. The breaking point came when I started studying at Hyper Island. All of a sudden I was surrounded by so much creativity, expression and artistic freedom, and people who really gave two fucks about what others thought of them, their sexuality and what they wore. I remember thinking; “Wow, is this how it feels to be true to yourself?” I know it’s something a lot of people take for granted, but I had a really hard time tapping into what that was.

That shift in my life really opened up to a completely new journey with my style, and most of all with myself. The final nail in the coffin was definitely when I started working for adidas. To this day it is still the most ground-breaking experience of my life. It was such a real and raw environment and I met so many inspiring people. There was no societal conformity, but instead a care-free and accepting attitude, with no focus on gender or expected attires. I fell in love with the variety of style and how it made me feel at home. It was there I finally stopped sacrificing my comfort for everyone else’s. Now, I definitely aim to challenge old rules of conformity from an acceptance and commercial point of view.

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 What role does fashion and personal style have in your life?

I have a lot of love and respect for fashion and style. It is definitely so much more than just a piece of fabric. Fashion itself is external, style is internal and I think your energy transcends in that. It’s like powerful art; my personal style is an artistic expression of what is going on inside. Fashion has definitely transformed me, changed me, and given me a chance to really show who I am. It is a very dynamic thing, both for the good and the bad. It has the power to change society, culture and people, and at the same time it can drive us towards an extreme need of material wealth. I am conflicted by that, but at the same time I am fascinated by the dualistic aspect of that power. Fashion is rebellious and gives people the opportunity to define themselves, over and over again. There is so much creativity, passion and storytelling to be found, and the most thrilling thing about it is its ability to constantly change and challenge the status quo.

 

I draw a lot of inspiration from great style icons like Rihanna, Tracee Ellis Ross and Yohji Yamamoto. I think they are all amazing in their own way, and they definitely share a sense of distinct individuality which is incredibly inspiring. I love how fashion can say so much about a person without actually uttering a word. Style is substance, and it plays a big role for my confidence. I’m not saying that I am confident because of what I wear. My confidence comes from within and is certainly not always consistent. But fashion and my style helps me manifest my inner self, and challenges to bring out the best. That’s why I love it.

 

 
 
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What do you think elevates a style?

Fashion is definitely all about exploring and expressing, but let’s face it; bright orange might not be your best colour and a maxi dress could take away rather than compliment your features. It’s easy to spot when clothes are wearing a person and not the other way around, so I think it’s important to take the time to figure out what works for you. I think creativity, an eye for detail, passion and confidence drives a style, while authenticity and personality elevates it. If you love who you are and stay true to that, it won’t matter what you wear because being YOU is elevating enough.

 

 
Photos:  Sara Che

Photos: Sara Che

 

Can you describe your relationship to sports wear? What role does it play in your style?

I remember being so excited when sportswear finally became en vogue and was accepted and embraced by the fashion industry. Sports has always played such a huge part in my life. Out of all the ones I tried, dancing was the one that stood out the most. I did everything from ballet to hip-hop, and I loved every single moment. Not just because it was so much fun, but because of what it represented. We live in divisive times, but just like music, sports have a way of bridging our differences. It’s about teamwork, culture, legacy and most of all pushing our boundaries and becoming the best we can be. In sports, I could just be me, do me and still be part of something bigger. And sportswear supported me in all those experiences. That is the essence of how it makes me feel and why it is such a big part of my style.

I think athleisure has also bridged the gap for me in terms of keeping a feeling of comfort and quality, but raise the bar in terms of design and functionality. There is so much incredible innovation and inspiration, and the way the way that the trend has knocked out old expectancies of specific attires in social situations has definitely changed the game. That is also why I love it so much, because it breaks barriers.

 
 

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