David Lindwall, model and blossoming creative, is living proof that when one Dior closes, many more open
Story by Ken Courtney / Photography by Bogdan Teslar Kwiatkowski
When your first job is modeling for Dior Homme under the famed rule of Hedi Slimane, you’d think it’d be all downhill from there. Not so for Swedish model David Lindwall who has made quite a statement, fashion and otherwise, on his own watch.
A model walking in the Dior Homme runway show can be overcome with a brief but real sensation of being a rock star, but Lindwall’s roots are about as humble as they come, having grown up in a simple house in a town with only 12 other houses, with a road leading through the middle of the woods. Never one to sit idle, Lindwall is currently juggling several projects at once, including designing a new collection for his eponymous men’s clothing line, working on a book, and taking his thoughts and putting paintbrush to canvas. He’s also starring in “He’s Lost Control Again,” a video directed by Ju$t Another Rich Kid for the relaunch of the original 1961 K-Swiss trainer, along with several other videos produced at Brooklyn’s Cooperwind Studios.
David took a few minutes out of his uber busy schedule to sit down and let me pepper him with questions.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a professor — that’s when I was very young and watched Professor Balthazar.
Who has influenced you most in your life and career?
For a start, I have to say my parents — the most supportive and no-pressure parents. They are very understanding people who laid the bricks. I am also influenced by books. When I read Kafka for the first time, it completely blew my mind.
Was your first job modeling for Dior Homme? Tell me how that came about.
Dior was my second job. I did an amazing Raf Simons shoot for i-D first. I was living in London and had a casting for someone named Hedi Slimane – at the time I knew nothing of fashion so I didn’t think too much about it. There was a massive queue, so I waited for a long time. I came in looking like a bum in my ripped, skin-tight, dirty, white Acne jeans, Sid and Nancy t-shirt, a cheap smelly polyester parka that I bought at Spiterfields market the week before for 30 quid, and soaking wet, ripped Converse. I met Mr. Slimane and we started talking. I think he liked the teenage angst that lived inside of me at the time and the whole “anti-model” approach. He is a very clever man. He took a couple of rolls of film and we had a chat and I met his assistant Kris and then I left. By the time I hit the street again, I got call from a slightly hysterical booker saying that they wanted me exclusively for the show in Paris.
What was the best part of being involved in Dior Homme? It was really a very special moment in men’s fashion.
Everyone, including me, believed in it. It was such a true feeling inside of everyone that this was the greatest brand in the world and that on their catwalk you were a fucking rock star. The music was so true to the vision of the brand. It was all very exciting, doing the fittings for the whole collection: spending days with Hedi in the studio trying on every suit, jacket, coat, shirt, and knit that was made. Styling all the looks and just hanging out in the office with the same monotone soundtrack on repeat all day and night long. It was hypnotic in the end.
One thing I think is great about you is that you have your own sense of personal style. A lot of male models can’t dress themselves off the runway. Was your style influenced by Dior Homme?
I can’t say my style was influenced by Dior. I wore tight second hand women’s blazers with skinny jeans, but I feel that style emerged and evolved for me with Dior. I could see myself wearing a coat instead of my beaten-up leather jacket. Also my body was always so weird and long that I always had to alter my clothes. That gave me a chance to change proportions on the clothes I wore. For example, I’ve always loved long sleeves on things cause I could never find any garment that covered my hands growing up. Also, I had a friend who was a stylist and he showed me a lot of Raf Simons’ very first collection. It is a good question, how do you get a good dress sense? I think it’s a lot of trial and error and never be scared to be stared at. Also pay attention to everything — everything counts. A good outfit with bad socks? Game over!
So what are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on my new collection for my own brand davidlindwall.com. After working as senior designer at a big house in Europe, it’s amazing to do something that I have 100 percent belief and trust in. Also working on a couple of paintings and installations — it’s a lot of darkness.