Iceberg Launches Another Collab With Kailand O. Morris

Iceberg Launches Another Collab With Kailand O. Morris

Iceberg Launches Another Collab With Kailand O. Morris

Creative Director James Long speaks on the latest lineup, Kanye West, and what the future holds for Iceberg

Creative Director James Long speaks on the latest lineup, Kanye West, and what the future holds for Iceberg

Text: Stevie Rowley

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

ICEBERG is a brand that has withstood the test of time. Since opening its doors in 1974, the Italian fashion house continues to push the boundaries of luxury sportswear. From having iconic celebrities, such as Lil Kim, serve as the face of the brand, to creating room for new talent to shine, ICEBERG is always adapting to the current era.

In the wake of the brand's new collection with Kailand Morris, Creative Director James Long sits down with V Magazine to discuss his role at the fashion house, along with his vision for the brand.

V Magazine: Nice to meet you, James! Can you start by telling me what drew you to Iceberg?

James Long: Well, they’re specialists in knitwear, and they were always really expected in terms of their technical skills. I’m a fan of a lot of designers that have done Iceberg before me, like Marc Jacobs, Jean-Charles Castelbajac, Kim Jones, and a lot of the people I grew up loving. I also like that they’re quite an unusual brand in a way because there isn’t so much a figurehead, and it changes and it molds with time quite a lot. It’s been involved in music scenes, football scenes…it’s got a rich history. I guess it was also a challenge to do a brand in Italy. I always loved the idea of luxury clothes that were comfortable. But there is such a legacy over the past 50 or so years, you can really find anything in that archive.

V: Outside of their luxury sportswear, what sort of hidden gems have you found while studying the brand?

JL: The more I learned, the more I kind of realized how ahead of their time they were, like when they had Lil Kim as one of the faces of the campaign. That was 35 years ago! And Pamela Anderson was the cover of the Alicia Powell campaign. They’re the famous ones that we know. But if you actually look into the campaigns, they’re incredible and mix R&B with Hip Hop in New York, and then Garage in London, these kind of music scenes. That happened organically, and the brand was picked up by all these communities. Also when it kicked off globally, it really had different followings in different countries.

V: Expand a bit on Iceberg being a global brand. How do you cater to international consumers who all have different takes on the brand?

JL: Well, with Instagram, it’s all a bit different now. But I do think you can design one collection that caters to different people. I think it would be very difficult to design for different areas.

V: For your most recent collection, who is the typical Iceberg guy?

JL: Even when I was in college, I always had 10 men, from me to people I knew, a scale of people, and I’d imagine seeing the older guy wearing the same thing as the younger guy. So Iceberg was also quite interesting because it’s one of those brands where you can mix so much stuff. Although I love a head-to-toe look, it’s such an easy brand to mix. It’s also important to me that I’d wear the clothes myself, or my girlfriends would wear them.

V: Tell us a bit more about this collection.

JL: We started with a real push on functionality again, with a lot of nylon. I approached it without a season in mind. It’s almost like a little capsule wardrobe for those 10 people I keep in my mind. I just biked home now and saw a guy in our gym leggings with an amazing cardigan on top. I do generally pick up a lot from being between London and Italy, and cross-referencing those two quite extremely different cultures and approaches to dressing. 

V: Given the current…everything, we want to hear about the innovative ways Iceberg is using to show the world new clothing.

JL: I never wanted to show in one place anyway, because by the time I got to Iceberg, I was kind of bored of that already. I always wanted to show in London, New York, and Milan, and I wanted to switch it up. But because of everything going on we had to think of it a different way. We really just wanted to get our characters walking along the streets. We're quite a small team, where the advertising, the PR, the creative director and the CEO all sit in the same chat, we all just came up with this new idea (of posting the lookbook around the streets of various cities) and were like "Yeah, that could be enough. We could try it."  At least try something new, you know? So that was what happened, really. Well, traveling without moving really was the concept,  so it was nice to actually feel that without being able to go round.

V: I do think these “guerilla” marketing tactics are refreshing, though. What Kanye West did, for example, with putting his Yeezy clothes on his friends and family for the paparazzi to photograph, was something unforgettable.

JL: He’s a marketing genius. What was really interesting from my point of view is that he just spelled out exactly who his consumer was and what she wanted to look like with that smart move. Whereas a show can almost confuse people away from what the brand is trying to achieve. Sometimes the simpler and more direct move can be more effective in a way.

V: What else is coming up with Iceberg?

JL: We have Kailand Morris coming up. It’s our third time collaborating with him. He’s Stevie Wonders’ son. I have to say that Kailand, in terms of thinking of how he delivers ideas, well what he’s wanted to do with a collection is make it modern and honest, in a way. He comes up with all sorts of ideas on how to promote and show his work. It made me wonder if fashion shows are even speaking to young people. Because it’s not their world, or his world, for sure.

Credits: All Images Courtesy of ICEBERG

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