At Copenhagen Fashion Week spring-summer 2024, Finnish ready-to-wear brand Latimmier presented a thought-provoking commentary on archetypes of men in power – reframing what it's like to dress for the corporate world.

Latimmier Re-examines Corporate Masculinity at Copenhagen Fashion Week SS24

At Copenhagen Fashion Week spring-summer 2024, Finnish ready-to-wear brand Latimmier presented a thought-provoking commentary on archetypes of men in power – reframing what it's like to dress for the corporate world.
August 09, 2023
article by Mari Alexander/

photography by James Cochrane and Bryndis Thorsteinsdottir

Outside of a conference room at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, a small blue digital monitor displays what’s on the agenda.

Latimmier. Collection No. 4. Positions of Power. 17:00 – 18:00. Hotel guests walking by ask questions. They wonder: What’s going on? Is there a meeting? Isn’t it a little too late in the day? “It’s fashion week,” someone says. And this is a fashion show – a fashion show set in what’s arguably the most nondescript, least appreciated work environment.

The “meeting” is running late (not atypical of fashion week shows). By 5:20 p.m., all attendees are seated up and down the length of the room. Jet-black chrome panels flank the space, reflecting the luminous ceiling, and a burnt green carpet lends it a certain unremarkable feel. Despite the energetically dressed crowd, you can still feel the space’s stuffy formality. That is, however, until the pre-show chatter simmers into a hush – and a bombastic track fills every square inch of the conference room.

And Then Enters Anna Conda.

Creative director Ervin Latimer is known to make an appearance not only at the end, but at the beginning (and middle) of his shows. Last season, we saw him settle into a chair at the top of the runway and speak to the audience, introducing each and every look. This time, it’s his drag alter ego who makes an appearance. With a toss of her long blonde hair, she strides in, singing along to the words of Big Spender. The energy feels extraordinary. For the few minutes that she performs, lip-syncing her way around the runway, we’re all sitting on the edge of our simple conference chairs.

But as soon as Anna Conda is out of sight, the lavish, larger-than-life notes of the song are replaced by something a little more somber. A hum. A thump. An almost-inaudible whisper. We settle into a new mood as the first model steps out to the sound of American rock guitarist Blues Saraceno’s The Devil You Know. And the first model steps out, suitcase in hand, clad in an oversized blazer with a wrap around the waist like a paper napkin ring. (And it’s this cinch that somehow chips at the psychological armor built into a power suit.) And the pants? What pants? There are only trouser legs. It’s immediately clear: This is corporate dressing coming undone.

‘Sell Me This Pen.’

You can trace every piece to a pen – a silver ballpoint pen that stockbroker Jordan Belfort clutches tightly between his fingers in The Wolf of Wall Street as he leans closer to the audience. “Sell me this pen,” he says with intensity that practically burns through the screen. That scene – and the entire movie, really – was the slingshot that sent Ervin Latimmer hurtling toward an intersection of ideas for his spring-summer collection. Power, money, glory. All things that make up Scorsese’s cautionary tale.

For the spring-summer season, Ervin and his team “delved into a world where everything is for sale and money is the judge, jury and executioner. A world where one’s attire is a direct reflection of one’s status,” the show notes read. Inhabiting this world are archetypes of men idolized in film – corporate executives, stock brokers, high-finance hustlers. You know, the Belfort types. On the runway, this translated to a careful dissection of traditional sartorial shapes and their associations with power, status, and wealth.

With every look, Ervin lays out a template for classic suiting and shirting and shakes the stiffness out of them. Think: A pinstripe button-down with oversized cuffs. Suspenders clipped the wrong way, sent down on the same side or left in a tangle. Pants with one leg disintegrating into strips as though it’s been sent through a paper shredder. And of course, pens, pens, pens everywhere. Affixed to sleeves. Secured onto crew socks. Strung along necklines and collars and arguably everywhere but the shirt pocket where they traditionally belong.

The Devil (You Know) Is in the Details.

Upon closer inspection, of course, there’s so much more. Wherever he can, Ervin tucks in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it details on the runway and gives them meaning. In one look, a model wears a navy shirt underneath a jacket, its collar twisted off center and its cuffs partially released from the sleeves. They wrap around the ridges of the model’s knuckles, as though they were ready for a fist fight.

A few pieces of knitwear, intarsia-ed with mesh, mimic the pattern of the Lehman Brothers’ stock prices rising, falling, and eventually flatlining. Unusual accessories include necklaces and earrings made with recycled silver bent bottle caps in collaboration with AIDA Impact. My favorite? A teak-colored blazer-and-shorts ensemble dreamed up with a print made from shredded invoices. To be more specific, Latimmier’s real-life invoices from debt collectors.

These are the kinds of details that turn a run-of-a-mill conference room into a true forum. This less-is-more approach to storytelling – yes, even in a show that’s about the fragility of “more” – stands as a kind of rebuke to the more elaborately produced shows we’ve been a lot more of lately. But it also serves as a testament to the power of storytelling. When Ervin sets pen to paper (or pen to shirt), you can’t help but sit stock still and listen.