Dark meets light in designer Jòn Sæundur's new Reykjavic boutique. By Gabriel Bell
Did you ever notice that, despite growing up on a slab of volcanic rock abandoned by Mother Nature just north of the 63rd parallel, most of the 296,737 residents of Iceland are still unaccountably chic? Perhaps it's the eccentric landscape that inspires the island's eccentric fashion plates. Or maybe its hipster-enclave-sized population keeps locals in the know.
Whatever the case, when these rare creatures of the North Sea need something new and natty, the sharpest of them head to Liborius, Jòn Sæundur's just-opened designer boutique. Famous locally for his Dead clothing line—a dark, vicious collection with a fan base that includes members of Metallica and Placebo—Sæmundur has taken a turn toward the light with his fresh, inviting new emporium. "I wanted to create an adventurous place," he says of his store that now carries brands like Ann Demeulemeester, Undercover, Jeremy Scott, Surface2air, and Pleasure Principle. "It turned out a bit like a house of a Prussian count," he says. "A glorious world I'm filling with love and respect."
In addition to love and respect, Liborius features selections by Pierre-Henri Mattout, Velour, and Yoshiko Creations as well as a stage for in-store performances by some of Sæundur's favorite local bands. As he says, Liborius is as much about giving fashion a home in Reykjavik as it is about selling sweaters. "Liborius is more about teaching and introducing new things to people—I consider it something for the Icelandic nation." Indeed, with choice looks from Licentious, Geoffrey B. Small, Jean-Pierre Braganza, and April 77, Liborius might just stock something for all of its 296,737 members.
Dark meets light in designer Jòn Sæundur's new Reykjavik boutique.