The brand reaches different markets. Drop me few achievement that you are quite proud about it.
We just came back from Shanghai a week ago. We had a CTRL exhibition there in the SOURCE gallery, that was pretty nice since the whole scene is just starting to take of in Shanghai and in China in general. Taking CTRL around the world is always nice, and travelling is the best hobby. We also just had a popup store for two months right next to MACBA, the modern art museum and skate mecca in Barcelona. I’m really happy that things are going so well in Japan, we’re working with a group of really awesome people over there, ISAO and his posse !
We’re also done a lot of collaboration with other brands. We did a board with Vice magazine, just did our second board with ADIDAS skateboarding, and the coolest board we did was an oldschool board with the Rockers NYC. Now we just did a teeshirt with White Fuctory a vice Japan’s sublabel, and then we did a “feeling like a thousand yens” baseball jacket with a cool Tokyo store called STADIUM. The next thing we’re going to do is some brand synergy with Moomin brand, which is a great finnish brand and really popular in Japan.
Which market(s) are you currently more satisfied with?
Like said, Japan is the most interesting since I really love the culture and the people and wish to visit in Japan more often. But in general I like working with all the countries we work with, it’s universal love from CTRL to the world.
The most interesting fares that we go to are propably the ones in New York or Los Angeles, or Vegas but is only for that weird empty surreal feeling Vegas gives you.
Is not that common to find brands from Finland? I just could tell you the sport brand Karhu.
There’s not many brands coming out from Finland, at least not brands we could relate with, or meet at the fairs. Propably the most known is IVANAHelsinki, which is a really nice brand done by my friend Paola Suhonen, a talented designer. And then of course the awesome & old school Marimekko, which is mainly a clothing brand but know more of an interiour decoration brand in the global scale. Karhu is cool too, but nowawadays the original collection is a bit out of touch.
I do understand the skateboarding has been an strong influence in your philosophy. Is the aim of CTRL was do clothes for the “pros”?
No, it’s never been like that with CTRL. Our idea for skateboarding has always been more of an attitude of a state of mind than an esthaetic. There has only been one t-shirt in the history of CTRL that was skateboarding related. It was actually a victorian woman balancing on a skateboard holding a yo-yo. But I’m sure a skateboarder can tell that CTRL has roots in skateboarding by all the references I use in the desings, since I’ve been going thru the same school of life thru skateboarding. There are a lot of “skateboard” things, hidden codes here and there. Like for the latest collection I did a t-shirt print that has a picture of an old jazz band and it says “MARK’S SONG: ‘some damn good jazz’ ” – because that’s what it said about Mark Gonzales’s parts music in the end of a legendary skate video by Blind Skateboards called Video Days which was done by Spike Jones. I still don’t know the name of the jazz band.
I bet music is also important part-influence in CTRL.
Actually Dan and Alexei from Handsome Furs are one of the most popular CTRL fans.
It’s working really great with them. We’re now working on a CTRL x Handsome Furs tour t-shirts…
Dan and Alex are awesome, they’re always showing love for us, and it’s vice versa, we lovelove the furs !
Drop me some plans, secrets and hopes for the early future.
The biggest next step for CTRL is that we’re opening a flagship store / showroom in Berlin next spring. This is something we’ve been planning for a long time and now it’s finally happening.
Those are excellent news. Cheers to that !
Address: Rauhankatu 2A C, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Tel: +358 45 137 5105
Text: Victor Moreno