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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Henrik Vibskov and Peaches in Zurich

Photographer and Hint's Zurich correspondent, PLAY, caught up with the two mavericks...

The alliances that luxury brands make can sometimes be quite odd. Take, for example, the flagship launch of premium travel agency Kuoni last week in Zurich. The event promised a panel of opinion leaders from the worlds of art, fashion, music and science, apparently to give us a glimpse into the future of luxury travel. Among them were fashion designer Henrik Vibskov and raunch-and-roll singer Peaches, and I just had to meet them.

Who is Henrik Vibskov?
A tall Scandie with big feet, long legs, a hat, an old cardigan and suspenders.

You were introduced tonight as Fashion's Pop Star.
I don’t want to be a pop star. I just do creative stuff and I don’t really care what side of the mind it comes from—whether I play music, do drawings or paint. So I am just a creative. Inspiration is something that’s always there.

Alliances between luxury brands and the creative world are popping up all over the place. Like this event tonight, which is trying to sell us a new form of premium travel. What do you make of the trend?
It’s interesting because I get to meet people from different fields. I am a businessman, but I’m not an entrepreneur or a business spotter. That’s not my field, even if I am part of it. I am more like a creative developer. I don’t think in strategies like they do here. Sometimes people ask me what my plan is. And sometimes I don't know. The plan is to have no plan. I do a hell of a lot of things. Some of them really kick off, but 90% don't. I play around, trying out different things. It’s very laissez-faire.

Do you work mostly on your own or with a design team?
I have a little creative team, but it's a small, small company. Normally I have a team of four interns from all over the world. At the moment they come from Canada, Holland, Germany, even Saudi Arabia. I am open-minded about people and their opinions. I want to know what they think? Some people really get shocked by that.

The Internet and street-style blogs have made fashion faster, more democratic and easier to access. But if everyone follows their own style then individuality becomes a uniform. Can there still be an avant-garde?
There have always been the ones looking out for what's new. Then the new gets accepted and everybody wants the same thing. It could be an iPod or a Louis Vuitton bag—anything. I think we will always have both the masses and the individual. Maybe one day we will have a super-avant-garde.

What music are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to a PJ Harvey track called Down by the Water. I like rock music, I have to say. I'm a big fan of Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Also the UK indie scene—the old scene and also the new scene, like Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys. A year ago I was into electronic music, but I changed. Maybe I was overloaded with electronic music.

How would you like to leave the earth?
I’ve already experienced so many strange things. I’d be fine. I’d be ready. Maybe I should build a box for myself, maybe with drumsticks? [Henrik is also a drummer in a band.] I don’t know. I would like to have some good friends around, of course. Some music, good friends, good moods, and that should make it a happy day.

And now for Peaches. I was expecting to meet a hirsute damsel-in-distress, as seen in the video for her current single, Get It. But instead she looked like a cool version of Sissi, the 19th-century Austrian Empress. As we walked out onto a fifth-floor balcony, before I could stop her, she climbed onto the balustrade and started posing. I knew right then that my interview with Peaches would be in pictures...

She put a skewer into her mouth, et voilà. "I am my own circus," she said.

"Here's another circus trick." She pulled up her hood and shook her heavy chain, like her Shake Your Dicks video.

DJing at the after-party.

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