Trendsetter Interview #2: Kass Scardino, owner/designer at Finn Denim

A month or so back I caught up with Kass Scardino, an uber cool girl who is the owner/designer of Finn Denim – famous for their reversible denim jeans. I ran a youth influencer group and she had some really interesting perspectives on youth culture and Aussie fasion in particular. He’s a bit on Kass and her label Finn.

Tell us about finn and what your vision for the label is?

 Finn at the moment is reversible jeans for men and women. That’s right you take your jeans off turn them inside out and hey presto

Reversible jeans from Finn Denim

Reversible jeans from Finn Denim

 another pair of jeans, amazing huh! I am however completing my second season consisting of mens and womens fashion, accessories and hats. I have put on exhibitions that have held bands from My Sydney Riot and other artists such as Elvis Di Fazio, Thom Kerr and Danny Clayton (from channel V) What makes finn stand out you say? well it’s a fashion label looking to create something outside of the box through its use of transformation in its designs and concepts. Also collaborating with unknown designers to inject new creative ideas that have not been formed through a trend but more from being inspired by seeing what you can do from pushing limitations. I see finn growing into fields such as video, photography, arts and anything else that it can do for fun. What do you see as the main trends in Australian fashion right now? Black is still oh so black, people love being so cool in their sleek black attire. The rock goddess with the studs, tattoos and the blunt bangs. It’s hip to be a square, collecting formulated vintage and new pieces to create a unique super nerd with nice black frames, ahhhhh…Super size me in t’s, dresses and anything that just looks 5 sizes too big, bring back the Mu mu’s.

Who do you think are the main influencers over what youth (16-25yr olds) are wearing?

TV hmmmmm… No not always. I think its our rebellious youths saturating the magazines, advertising, music (video) scene and television is what the kids are relating to the most. So many of our young role models are such bad arse trendoids. You have the Olsen Twins, MTV host Ruby in the press, Miranda Kerr, but then there are the old lime lights Dita Von Tease, Posh etc the list goes on.

Which subcultures are popular at the moment in terms of their clothing?

 I really couldn’t give you a straight answer. I really dont like to pay too much attention to whats going on around me because I find it blocks my own feelings about clothes and what they mean to me. I really just accept that there is a jumble of everything out there and it’s really the person that makes the clothes, not vice versa.

Which brands do you think are ahead of the curve when it comes to appealing to youth?

These are just observations that I have made. American Apparel with their naughty advertising always gets me. Mooks with Cup rocking campaigns steared towards street culture. Love! Romance Was Born with there fearless approaches to design and styling.

 Describe Australian youth culture in a word?

EXISTENTIAL  – I actually had this printed on the back of my year 12 sports jacket. At least my English teacher though it was funny. But in reality it’s what I think it’s all about ‘dealing with existence’ and what experiences make you out to be. Australia may be a country that’s so far away from the world, and dont get me wrong I think there is a terrible tall poppy syndrome that needs weeding out, but apart from that, it really has the substance for you to give it your own.

Do you think Australian youth are part of a global youth culture , or do they stand apart in terms of the clothes/brands they sport?

I’m not sure about this one but I know there is soooooooo many talented Australian designers out there. I think if they were given more serious attention then perhaps we could compete with the designers and the trends of the UK, Europe, America, Japan etc. We just dont get much consideration because we’re so far away from everyone, and this just doesn’t help when there isn’t masses of people interacting and comparing what’s out there. There are still some seriously fashionable kids out there showing their own edge, but I think there is a majority of people opting for comfort, and well there not very fashion fabulous.

You see a lot of teens/20 something wearing Bonds singlets with Prada sunnies….why do kids ‘mix – mash’ fashion? What’s behind it?

Everything is a mix mash of fashion. Perhaps it’s because they like the psychology behind the branding, or perhaps they just couldn’t think of anything better to wear on a hot summer day. There is no right and wrong answer, if its style that you pull off then that says everything.