Interview with Heavy Metal Clothing Designer Fanny Janssen By: TJ Fowler

Obscura Morgana

Obscura Morgana

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Heavy metal clothing Designer Fanny Janssen, owner and operator of Obscura Morgana based in the Netherlands.   I recently saw several of Fanny’s designs online and was really impressed with her work and style and asked her if she would be kind enough to answer some questions.  What follows is a very informative and candid interview that I think we both had fun with.

If you like your metal clothing with an attitude go over to Fanny’s Facebook page and check out her stuff here.  It’s very cool and very affordable…now for the interview!

TJ: First off, I want to say thanks for taking the time to let me ask you some questions about your Heavy Metal clothing line.  I guess the first place to start is, can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are located in the world and the origins of Obscura Morgana?

Fanny: My pleasure! Thank you so much for your interest in what I do, it really gives me an energy boost to continue with this! I’m based in Sittard, a small village in the south of the Netherlands. I started Obscura Morgana only one year ago. I already had a web shop before this, but it didn’t contain any metal related items yet. I guess I was trying to find my own personal style and I actually sold anything handmade. I’ve always been busy with making things myself, simply because what I wanted wasn’t available in stores anywhere. And because the band merchandise you find in stores are mainly t-shirts, I started to sew clothing myself!

TJ: I have to say am a big fan of the look of your clothing.  It seems to have a retro look but yet also a modern feel to them as well.  To me, they seem like clothing you would see in movies like Escape from New York, Mad Max or any dystopic future setting.  Did you draw from any certain influence for you designs or is it more of just a subconscious thing when you make your clothing?

Fanny: That’s a good question! I guess the biggest key to inspiration is keeping your eyes open for anything. For example, when I’m in the train on my way to college, I always pass a rusty tower of an industrial terrain, and it inspires my ultimately. So I came up with an idea of using rusty iron for a new jacket. This is just one of the like 100 examples I have. It’s the random things you see anywhere that inspire me for items. Things other people pass by without even noticing it. Besides that, there are certain things that have always inspired me. The culture of the Indians, motorcycles, darkness, Finland, wolves, the Victorian Age, romance, folklore, occultism and clothing big rock stars like Steven Tyler wears. Now if you mix that with a little heavy metal… you have Obscura Morgana.

TJ: Obviously metal is the main subject of many of your designs, so I am assuming you are fan of course.  What are some of your favorite bands?  And what band would you like to have an opportunity to design a piece for?

Fanny: Yes certainly, I’m metal to the bone! Let’s start with Nightwish, my all time favourite. This is just pure magic. Then I’m also a big fan of Dimmu Borgir, Iced Earth, Rammstein, Ensiferum, Siebenburgen, Nightmare, Death, Accept and Manowar! These are highest on my list! Nightwish is a band I’d absolutely love to design something for. And as a matter of fact, I’m currently working on incredibly beautiful items with the Nightwish logo, and I was planning on approaching their record label when these are finished. I’m really hoping that the band gets to see my designs that way, and perhaps, very perhaps, I’m allowed to design for their official web shop or sell my items there. It’s kind of a big dream, but I believe anything is possible if you just go for it!

TJ: This question kind of follows the previous question but when it comes to designing you clothing for specific bands is it difficult in obtaining the rights to do so?  And what has been the reaction from the bands towards your designs so far?

Fanny: It’s very difficult to obtain these rights. Very difficult. Especially if you’re not a big company yet. So I’m trying almost anything possible to approach the bands, and sometimes it works! For example the official Ensiferum facebook page once gave a ‘like’ on my wristband, without me even approaching them. But if I haven’t managed to approach a band, I only sell one single item, or I wait until I’ve received their permission. Some bands don’t think it’s a big deal, since most items are unique and I only make one of them.

TJ: I notice many of your designs are for females.  Do you plan for designing for men?  Would you ever design any metal clothing for metal kids out there?  Headbanger Babies?  Ha-ha.

Fanny: Hahaha, it’s funny you say that, because I actually have been thinking about metal clothing for babies. I’ve said to my boyfriend a couple times ”If we ever get a baby, it’s going to wear little Death shirts” So I have to say it’s a pretty cool idea! I bet many metal couples with a baby would love this! And when it comes to designing for men, I’ve already started that last week with an Amon Amarth vest! I got so many positive comments on this one from men that I think it would sell pretty well!

TJ: Aside from a dream band you would like to design for, do you have a dream project you would like to do involving your clothing?

Fanny: Any photo session I’d be asked for sounds like a dream project to me! I really go crazy about all small positive things that happen to me when it comes to Obscura Morgana. Like this interview! I’d love to be featured in metal magazines or websites. Now that would be really a dream project! But let’s not think about that right now, that’s more something for the future. First I’m going to spend some more months behind the sewing machine!

TJ: Where do you hope to take Obscura Morgana in the near future?

Fanny: How I see myself after a couple years.. Then I’ll have my own shop based in my area or in Helsinki in Finland. A web shop that sells out very quickly. A big label every metalhead has at least heard of and I’ll be designing stage outfits for metal bands.

TJ: Now, because I’m a little crazy, I’m going to list 3 things.  Say the first thing that comes to you mind.  1. Calvin Klein 2. Justin Bieber 3.Hot dogs

Fanny: Hahaha, absolutely love this question!

Calvin Klein: Ruud, the owner of the Babashop. It’s a big metalshop based in my area. A guy who has been living for metal his whole life and who stands on every big metal festival in Europe with his stand. I really have a close connection to him, and I’ll never forget the way he talks about commercial brands. His opinion on those is really fucking hilarious. He absolutely hates it. ”THEY MIGHT EARN MORE MONEY THAN ME, BUT THEY ARE ALL GAY”

Justin Bieber: A game you can play online on a Dutch website. His head appears on your screen and you can cut his fucking ugly haircut. That’s actually about it, haha.

Hot dogs: America! Now I see a hotdog stand in a crowded city in the middle of the summer in the US. And actually I see myself standing on the first row. Cause wherever there’s food, there’s me!

TJ: Well that just about wraps it up and thanks again for taking the time to answer the questions.  Before we go, is there anything else you wish to add or say to people out there in internet land?

Fanny: I’d love to say thank you to everyone who has showed interest in what I do! I never expected to be where I am now in one single year. 2 interviews done already, items that sell out within one hour after posting them. It’s really amazing. Thank you very much for this interview!

TJ: You’re Welcome and Thank you!