Basics Instinct

Johan Lindeberg’s hip basics.


After 20 years in the industry, as CEO of Diesel North America and creative director of J. Lindeberg and William Rast, Johan Lindeberg has finally figured out what he wants: 100 percent freedom. And with the launch of BLK DNM, his line of simple, well-made basics, he has achieved just that. “I’m following my personal tastes,” he says. “And that’s all I can do now as a designer.” It’s a philosophy that seems to be working. Taking cues from downtown New York—where Lindeberg lives and has just opened the label’s first shop—his debut collection is rife with the sort of unfussy pieces that the below–14th Street crowd wants to wear: slim-cut cashmere sweaters, lambskin motorcycle jackets, silk blouses, and slightly high-waisted jeans. Filling out the line are a musky unisex fragrance, sunglasses done in collaboration with Moscot, and a culture magazine called BLK DNM Gazette. Shoes and bags are to come. “Someone called me the Tom Ford of downtown,” says Lindeberg with a laugh, referring to the speed with which he has built a full-fledged brand. “It’s just the manifestation of what I’ve been thinking about my whole career” (