“The Imagists aimed for a certain sort of exactness- not a factually accurate description of an object, but a precise rendition of particular impressions.”— The Silence of Animals, John Gray.
I guess you have noticed by now how this Guru is really into detailed description of things, humans, animals and landscapes, everything that surrounds me. I’m quite generous with my adjectives but this time, I’m struggling a bit to describe this person. I think the best way to depict this crafter is by the things, people and places he reminds me of.
Eggert is like his native Iceland; he carries with him the spirit of this place. One that shifts changes and can be elusive making it, sometimes, quite difficult to see exactly what is there. Nevertheless, he is always friendly and likes to tell stories. And why wouldn’t he if he is a book full of tales? A book about his early years working at sea, his guitar and love for music, his beloved horses, his time in London learning tailoring and his latest work in Savile Road and how later, he poured all this knowledge and magic into fur.
Just like an alchemist, he will transform beaver, fox, fish leather, sheep and lamb (among others). He does not only tell stories through his words, he’s also a narrator of the beauty of nature through the use of his craft. With it, he reminds us with every piece why we have to give back to the land that which it gave to us. His ethos: never waste anything that is provided by nature. Make it beautiful as a reminder of what the surrounding environment entails. This furrier is aware that the natural world is no haven of peace. He doesn’t sentimentalise the beauty of animals or forgets the killing that sustains them. He respects them as what they are: predators, fighters and equals. This is what makes his work so important. He reminds us through his crafty endeavour that every single living being is worth the effort, the time, the beauty, the technique and the inspiration.
He has a lot of passions but, above them all, the uppermost two are his work and his horses. When he talks about them, his eyes light up (and so does his mobile phone where he keeps, like a family album, a picture of them all). He loves them dearly and feels very proud to be the leader of the troop. I guess he loves them so much (among other things) because they are Icelandic breed and he feels very proud of his land. He describes them as gentle, friendly, sturdy and resilient. And in a way, that’s what Eggert is.
He was built in an island that teaches you that beauty also comes with its hardship. And still this shouldn’t stop you grasping it. Adversity should never make you inflexible but, adaptable and serene. In this place, silence should not be mistaken with loneliness but as an opportunity to redeem you and create. And if things don’t work out? Keep it cool, just like Eggert does.
This Icelander has developed a world-class brand that is well-known all around the globe. His Born Again range taught a few one or two things about innovation and sustainability (and also that, both of them do not need to be boring). His collections prove to be outstandingly nonchalant and still down to earth. I swear that any man that wears Eggert’s jackets would increase a considerable amount of points in this Guru’s coolness score. So, listen carefully gentlemen, you want to be cool, have a look at the work of Eggert Johannsson.
He was born in the island of sharp contrasts and he is inspired by it every single day while he looks at the mountains that appear behind his studio window. He’s a character full of talents and desires. He’s not just a craftsman but also an experimenter that wants to give voice to nature (and a loud one may I add). He’s not scared of raising that voice because it is precisely nature that has provided him with beautiful materials and an endless series of stories to tell.
I have been very lucky to meet Eggert and to share moments with a man that has provided the fur trade with style, significance and pride.
P.S. And we’re off again! Next week be sure to join me in my travels to Milan. REMIX 2017 finalists, behind the scenes and the amazing show that will take place in one of the most outstanding style events of the year: Milan Fashion Week. Time for this Guru to get dapper!
The Fur Guru
2 responses to “The Fur Guru: Eggert Johannsson, Master of Cool”
Very interesting visit to a remote fellow fur worker and artist. thanks !
Love it my Fur Guru, you are a genius, I look forward to reading about REMIX.