What a gorgeous weekend it’s been! I hope you’ve enjoyed the great weather and springtime buzz. It’s also the end of Belfast Fashion Week which, as per usual, has done a great job at highlighting some stunning collections, as well as celebrating the inspiration and creativity found in the local NI scene at the minute. Speaking of which, Rebekah Johanson has just launched Lines & Current and it’s been so fun to watch her journey unfold. We had a wee chat about how she picks her beautiful collections, the story behind the business and her top tips for SS15. Come, listen in!
How did you get started with Lines & Current?
I first launched Lines & Current at the start of this year on Facebook then moved on to my own website in March. I like to think of style as personal expression. Sometimes that means restraint rather than being loud, or sometimes you just gotta roll with the mood and make your mark. I love the saying that “style is the intersection of what you wear and who you are.” Your style is so unique to who you are. Even my twin sis and I have different looks… I’m not so much into trends but hey, they can be fun. It’s about discovering what you love, what’s good for your shape and being authentic about it. I’m not your typical style guru, I don’t have the stamina for shopping and I don’t have an abundance of clothes but I do know what I like, what my eyes are drawn to & I try not to over-complicate it.
Back when my first daughter was a baby (and when life seemed a little less complicated, believe it or not!) I finished off my post-grad studies in the role of the arts in communicating truth. Years passed…I enjoyed caring for my daughters as I watched my husband set up his own business. More year passed…then when my second daughter, Esmee started P1 (in September 14) it opened up a bit more thinking & dreaming space and I was inspired to set up some kind of arts & style related business. Lines & Current is the product of years of something brewing under the surface that came to light when the timing was right.
Tell us about the name…where does Lines & Current come from?
Basically, Lines & Current has a few different layers.. I like the idea of ‘lines’ representing something simple and classic compared to the more unpredictable, bohemian flow of the ‘current.’This is kinda how I view myself – a bit of a mixture of both: a linear look with splashes of boho here and there. I use the concept of water and ‘current’ as a symbol for the flow of generosity and for following the prompts of inspiration in your life. Also, I love the importance of words, so the notion of making marks and encouraging others through the ‘lines’ of words and lettering is an underlying theme in the brand.
You already have a large following of people who love your products…which are fast becoming quite iconic! How have you chosen your products so far?
For me personally, I feel most at home when I’m drawing from the beauty of nature and also when I’m dipping into the hustle of the city & culture. The designs in the SHOP resemble something in this space. The bamboo sunglasses are a great example of this – where ‘an urban aesthetic meets the wisdom of nature!’ I guess the HETTA (below!) has become a little iconic in her own way. It kinda became a trend in certain pockets of Belfast. I’ve been fortunate to have had such a kind and overwhelmingly positive response to the pieces I’ve selected for the SHOP so far. I work very closely with suppliers to make sure the product is exactly what I want and then I’ll wear it myself for a month or more, to make sure it ‘feels’ right before I commit to selling it in the SHOP. It’s so much about being comfortable. I ask myself ‘does it have personality?,’ ‘do I feel this represents me?’ And so far this little formula has worked.
Why have you chosen to give 10% of your profits to charity?
On my website it says- “Lines & Current is a brand dedicated to WORKING HARD TO KEEP IT SIMPLE…It’s about de-cluttering, finding clean lines and following the creative, generous spirit that pulls and prompts us.” I’m pretty sure the charitable, socially-minded element of Lines & Current will always run deep in the ethos. I’m not too interested in creating a perception of loveliness and of getting all absorbed in a mirage of beautiful things. It’s simple to me – there has to be an outward flow. When there is so much ‘need’ locally & around the world I felt it was important to integrate a strategy in the business model that helps make a difference, even if it’s just a small one. I think people are generous at heart and like to give something back. For January and February, we gave 10 % profits of to Starlight, a charity which grants wishes to seriously & terminally ill children. For March and April, Lines & Current is partnering with No More Traffik and the #SpotTheSigns campaign. We hope the collections at Lines & Current remind us to be the ‘eyes & ears’ of our communities and ‘spot the signs’ of human trafficking around us.
In a world where the sky is your limit and ceilings are made of glass, what is your ultimate dream for Lines & Current?
I really want to have fun with Lines & Current. I want to go with the flow of creativity, getting rid of excess as I go, so there’s more time for playing doing the things that matter. I’d love the designs in the SHOP to attract people from all over the world and for them to connect with the ethos behind the brand.
I would definitely like to be able to financially give more or be part of something really meaningful and something that brings change into people’s lives. I’d love to use the clothing label as a way to educate, bring awareness and hopefully transformation to lives.
Top three tips for SS15?
Seriously, no expert but here goes. Some tips for SS15:
// A neutral palette of colour with your own twist- Go simple and then flourish.
(For me this means keeping the outfit minimal, like rockin’ in with a white buttoned up oxford shirt or flip just a simple cotton tee & jeans but not being afraid to go with a striking bold lippy & heavy brow.)
// Oh goodness, the love of long, loose cardi’s over denim cut-off 501’s – will never stop loving this! Please weather..be warm!
// Middle partings, choppy hair, cheekbone contours with as little makeup as ya can get away with!
Finally, what is one item that you cannot live without?
My style – oh, sorry to disappoint but I’m SUCH a tee shirt/ jeans girL, usually with oversized, loose tailoring, Not like my twinny who can bust a skirt and still keep it all ‘street.’ I guess I’m not too feminine in my approach, I often stick to a minimal palate, with androgynous edge and I totally love me my every-day ‘uniforms’ because I don’t like to overwhelmed with clutter when I open my wardrobe. I know, like I said, I’m not your typical style guru. The HETTA (below) has genuinely become a friend of mine – like I don’t usually leave the house without her on or shoved into the handbag.. she has made me lazy….messy hair + HETTA has eased the school-drop manic-ness!! But if I had to choose one item that I couldn’t live without. I’d choose my sunnies. I feel naked if forget my glasses, I do actually wear them all year round cos I have this weird paranoia that squinting in the sun (or even just daylight) will give me pre-mature wrinkles.. my friends will vouch for this. Vanity. Pure vanity, but maybe it’s true? The HENNING sunnies are my current love, soon to be re-stocked in the SHOP.
Give Rebekah’s SHOP a visit at www.linesandcurrent.com. You can also find her on Facebook and on Instagram. Oh, and I can attest to the wonder of the HENNING sunnies…I’ve been wearing mine at little ‘hello’ from the sun!