In the age of Tumblr, I’ve made some great friends through the #menswear pipeline. There were only a lot of us who were interested in the extremely rare and unique subject of the time. Today – and I think I can speak for some of my internet friends – that sense of community is a little harder to find. But sometimes Instagram brings people together, and that’s how I met this week’s subject, Frederik Dare, a creative director and photographer based in Copenhagen. I don’t quite remember how I stumbled upon Frederik’s page – maybe another aspect of the Danish brand, or maybe an algorithm – but I really admire his look and attitude. When Frederick told me he was going to New York, I thought it would be a good opportunity to shed some light on his opinion, have a few glasses of wine, and learn more about him.
Below, Frederik and I discuss shopping for Margiela sneakers in Berlin, the timeless influence of seniors, a favorite Seiko watch, and more.
Where are you from and what do you currently do for a living? Tell me a little about your work history.
I’m from Copenhagen, Denmark, and I work as a photographer and creative producer. I studied landscape architecture and realized that was not going to work for me. I had to do something else, not sit in front of the computer all day. So, I started producing a lot of photo shoots and fashion shows. Then it turned into shooting by myself. Now I do a little bit of both.
How did you develop your own style?
I grew up in a small town called Lynby, about 10 kilometers north of Copenhagen. I used to play a lot of sports, which had a big influence on my style. I also had a great interest in design and architecture, and I think it grew out of those interests. I used to watch a lot of skiing and snowboarding videos back in the day and found that interesting. I didn’t ski myself, but I liked the vibe. I wasn’t like a teenage teenager. Now, every time I see a bunch of high school kids around Copenhagen, I miss them. They look cooler than me, sure, but a lot of what we wore back then is now back in the cycle. Later in life I followed some Tumblr pages for inspiration, when that happened. Bring back Tumblr!
Did Copenhagen have any influence on your style?
Copenhagen seems to have improved a lot in the last 15 years. It was a small town back in the day. We had a few cool shops which meant everyone was wearing the same thing. You had to travel a lot to buy certain brands. I’m sure you couldn’t find any Rick Owens stuff in Copenhagen in 2010 for example. I once bought a pair of sneakers from Margiela in Berlin, simply because I had never seen anything from Margiela before. When I entered this industry in 2015, I did my first fashion week. I didn’t like fashion before that. But I’ve always found clothes interesting. I don’t know anything about who designs for whom and facts like that. One of the first jobs was the US Vogue Production with Gigi Hadid and Iman Hammam. I didn’t know who they were.
Growing up, I just followed trends. Rick Owens and I had my period dressed like this. Then I turned into another chapter of my life when I started working at the Acne store in Copenhagen, and that was something.
Has fatherhood changed your style?
for sure. After having children, I started to wear very comfortable clothes. I have been wearing walking shoes for the past two years. When you’re walking with the stroller all day, you don’t want to be cold and uncomfortable. They just want to be nice and cozy and warm. And Denmark is a cold place, especially in winter.
Can you remember the first time you fell in love with fashion?
When I met Gigi and Iman. Oh, I’m not in love with fashion. I remember I showed up to that production wearing a white t-shirt and was told by the executive producer that I couldn’t come like that. I had to find the nearest H&M to buy a black t-shirt. Sounds like that’s what you’re looking for. Very useful crazy. I remember thinking, “This is stupid, but also very attractive.” So I wouldn’t say I like fashion but I like style and clothes. Do you know the difference? I love how you can express something about yourself without using words. Of course, you can do haircuts and you can also do some tattoos. But clothes are a big part of saying who you are.
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
Confidence and the ability to combine shapes, colors and materials, for sure. That’s probably why some of the old gentlemen seem so cool. The older you get, the more confident you become. I like to sit inside. [New York’s] Chinatown just to watch the old people go about their daily business. That is very encouraging. In fact, women in general are a great inspiration when it comes to style. The page @gramparents offers some great content in this regard. I was recently given my grandfather’s old Seiko watch by my grandfather and it is already very special to me. The watch itself is nothing fancy, but what makes me remember him and his calm and happy nature is very important to me. My grandparents were a huge part of my upbringing and he was the most influential person in my life. Unfortunately, in He died of dementia in 2019 and it saddens me to think that he will never have to meet my children. On the same day last year, my youngest son was born. It’s amazing how life works. My son was called Ole after his grandfather, and they are already similar in nature.
Do you have any favorite brands and why?
Our legacy. I think you can tell from the photos. They are good with materials and use only deadstock fabrics for their workshop line. They’ve created a brand that’s just down the road and I feel like I can wear almost everything they make. It’s a Scandinavian feel without that boring Scandinavian minimalism. They draw a lot of inspiration from music and movies and urban culture. Another aspect is another of my favorite products. They are Danish and are creating some of the best everyday items you can find. They don’t follow the seasons of the fashion calendar. I would describe it more as a lifestyle. I also like sports brands in general. I’ve always been into snowboarding, so I like climbing brands like Clattermusen. District vision is also doing well.
how old are you?
Has this changed things for you? As I get older, I start to become more consistent.
Absolutely. I’m more consistent now than I used to be. My interests in general things change every third year. I had a period of three years where I was totally into road cycling. I will go inside. I have to have the best gear, the best clothes, and read about aerodynamics and all kinds of things that don’t matter at my level. Now it’s more running and climbing that works for me along with all of the following. I still take the bike for a ride every now and then, and I still like it, but don’t worry about anything.
If you had to wear one piece of clothing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It’s probably just Levi’s jeans, light or blue wash, and very tight, not too baggy. Like 501 or 505. Just the blue shirt I’m wearing now. Maybe I’ll wear black leather shoes or black pants.
Christopher Fenimore is a writer and photographer living in New York. He has covered street style for many outlets, working with clients from apparel to vineyards. Follow him on Instagram at @c.fenimore.