Pretty? Ugly? How about both! The new Spring/Summer 2022 collection from Happy Socks is a celebration of all things pretty, ugly and everything in between. This zany and colourful new series captures a joyful sense of tackiness, encouraging people all over the world to step out in mismatched-hued pride with a smile on their face. Along with the brand’s new additions to its swimwear collection, the pieces from Happy Socks are sure to help you make this a spring and summer you won’t soon forget. Schön! again joins Paula Maso, Creative Director of Happy Socks, to discuss the label’s latest.
The last time we spoke was around this time last year. How has Happy Socks changed and grown in the past year?
Wow! It’s been a very intense year and what we thought was going to be the end of the pandemic became an even worse one, so that’s definitely affected us as much as everyone else. We’ve had to keep our heads up high and constantly remind ourselves that our mission to spread happiness and colour is more important than ever, and in one way that thought has kept us going trying to bring more inspiring products and collections. It was another year we couldn’t travel, so the journey has been a more internal one. The one to find happiness in the little things and being grateful for what we do and what we already have!
You are releasing a collection called “Pretty Ugly.” Can you introduce us to that?
If you work at Happy Socks as a designer, it’s definitely a phrase you’ve heard long before we worked on this collection. When we’re creating new prints we often ask each other for our opinion, and oftentimes we ask “Is this nice? Is it ugly? Is it pretty?” — and around 70% of the time, the answer is “it’s pretty ugly!” and that means it’s a winning design. It’s a collection where we honour the world around us without any judgment. Take a plastic chair and put it on a sock. A retro lava lamp and a 90’s flip phone. Everything basic and uninspiring, you’ll find re-colourised here! The world through the lens of Happy Socks.
What inspired this collection?
One of the observations we’ve had over the last couple of years is that with the rise of the social media aesthetic, where everything feels perfectly overproduced, there’s been a rise of “ugly” accounts and expression, almost as a bit of a rebellion against fake beauty. That was, in a way, the start of this collection — the realisation that there is beauty in the everyday and in mundane things.
How do you find the line between “ugly” ugly and “pretty” ugly?
That’s the most interesting thing about this theme: You can’t! What’s beautiful for one person can be ugly for another, and as a democratic brand that advocates for the freedom of self-expression, we invite everyone for the debate on the matter. Even designing the collection sparked some very interesting discussions that we hope continue through our socks, now off the drawing table.
What else should our readers know about Pretty Ugly?
You should know we attempted to create the ugliest sock in the world, which ended up being 2 socks that connect at the toe through a very long tube. You can choose to wear this alone or with someone else for the ultimate toe-tickling experience! We shared our cherished creation with two masters of Ugliness, the infamous Instagram accounts @uglydesign and @larslala, who in turn created some weirdly wonderful material with our sock! I won’t tell you much more, because you should see for yourself!
You’re also releasing Beachwear. What can you tell our readers about Happy Socks beachwear SS2022?
We have been doing beachwear, which includes swimwear and pool sliders, for a few seasons now, after realising that our prints live very happily in the water too! It felt like a very natural extension for our brand, and the collection follows the same theme and print as our socks (in case you’re feeling matchy-matchy). Apart from the super fun prints we have this season, the swimwear collection is made from RCS certified Post-consumer Recycled Polyester, which is a big step for us in our sustainability journey.
You stated in the background to this collection that you brought a little “Marbella to Sweden” for this collection. What did you take from beach culture for this collection?
The campaign imagery for what we call the “high summer” part of our collection (our sunnier, freshest prints) together with beachwear, was inspired by the typical sunny retreat in Sweden: Marbella. It’s very common for Swedes to escape there, and come back with an incredibly orange tan, combined with clothes in screaming colour combinations and usually paired with incredibly long acrylic nails. An aesthetic we both enjoy and secretly laugh at, and wanted to see reflected as a small tribute in our Pretty Ugly season.
You mentioned that pieces are made from recycled materials. Can you tell us more about that?
A larger portion of our collection is now made in Pre and Post Consumer recycled polyester and polyamide, which includes our Kids range, as well as our Sneaker Socks and all Beachwear.
Can you share anything else about what Happy Socks will do in the coming months/year?
We like to keep things secret (who doesn’t love a surprise?), but we can tell you that we’re doing a fantastic new step in our sustainability programme with a great collaborator. Stay tuned!
Explore Happy Socks SS22 “Pretty Ugly” online now.
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