Designer Spotlight: Lazoschmidl

Designer Spotlight: Lazoschmidl

We spoke to the Scandinavian brand capturing the attention of everyone from Arvida Byström to Mario Testino.

We spoke to the Scandinavian brand capturing the attention of everyone from Arvida Byström to Mario Testino.

Text: Erik Galli

Slinky mesh tops, metallic pants, and embroidered urine stains—worn always by a flock of young, predominantly male models. Lazoschmidl is the Swedish-German brainchild of Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl, who’ve described their aesthetic as “a gigolo stealing from his girlfriend’s wardrobe." A homoerotic celebration of sex and fun, the brand’s inspirations include Britney Spears, a young Leo DiCaprio, Marlene Dumas, and Brad Pitt in drag. Despite being geared primarily towards men, the flamboyant brand has gained a following amongst European boys, girls, and everything in between. 

A colorful and cathartic contrast to traditionally sober Scandinavian menswear, Lazoschmidl’s collections are consistently praised at Stockholm Fashion Week. But as the brand continues to catch the eyes of international voyeurs, the prognosis of its future international success seems more and more certain. We spoke with Lazo and Schmidl to better understand Scandinavia's most enticing new export.

The two of you are a couple as well as creative partners. How did you meet?

We met on an online dating website before there were apps. And then we met in London for the first time, going back and forth, and continued to meet in places in between.

How do you complement each other in your work?

As Josef holds a degree in fashion design and Andreas in literature, craft and thought come together naturally. As we create our collections from a written storyline, the fiction has to be translated into reality. That allows us to create a new reality through writing via clothes.

Your clothes look great on both women and men. Who do you design for?

We design for the new human who is defined by their mindset and aesthetics—not race, age or gender. Since Josef studied womenswear, menswear was a way to explore a new area together artistically.

Would you ever consider making womenswear specifically?

Never say no.

When did you realize you wanted to be a designer as a profession?

Josef was putting on fashion shows for his family as a child; Andreas was more into painting. Most importantly, for both [of us], it is about leaving behind something created and crafted by our hands and minds.

Where in culture do you find inspiration, and where can you find the best fashion?

The best fashion is in. Golden Girls. Robert Mapplethorpe. And also any Britney Spears video. We love contemporary and post-contemporary art and popular culture including trash TV. I guess that’s who we are…

What frontier in the fashion industry are you trying to push?

As creatives, we do not want to push any boundaries. More so, we want to create an alternative.

What do you look for in the Lazoschmidl boys?

They enjoy themselves and are free of any prejudices. They express themselves fully as who they are.

How have you evolved over time as designers?

We have built an identity and character that we want to explore further. Where is he going, what is happening next?

What's your favorite city to shop in?

London for its conceptual approach, and Tokyo for its vintage stores.

What current trend do you hate?

We do not hate, but we don’t care much for "blogger style."

Josef is based in Stockholm and Andreas in Frankfurt. What are those cities like for you as fashion creators?

They give you the freedom and calmness to focus and invent a new reality.

You’ve recently collaborated with photographer Arvida Byström and been shot by Mario Testino. If you could collaborate with anyone, whom would it be?

We are waiting for Walter Pfeiffer to return our calls.

Who would you love to dress?

Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West, Shania Twain, Erik Galli.

What are the hardest and the most rewarding parts of your job?

The hardest part is doubting yourself. The most rewarding—being featured in great publications and seeing people like Arvida in our clothes. And eventually Kim.

Photo: Arvida Byström

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