"Ina Faaks has no boundaries": The Swedish design duo on embracing the animalistic

By Olivia Ekelund

Felix Scheynius.

A close-up look at the latest collection from Ina Faaks, the wild child brand from Beckmans College of Design students Frida Nilsson and Alva Lingestål

Swedish design duo Frida Nilsson and Alva Lingestål met at Beckmans College of Design, and from the very start, they were drawn to each other’s work. Shared inspiration led them to join forces mid-way through their studies, leading to the birth of their raw and experimental brand Ina Faaks. “We were both tired of the solo focus. It felt outdated that the majority of students work so individually, when few actually do so after graduation,” the pair say.


Lingestål and Nilsson found that not only did they have more fun designing as a duo, it made their work better. too. “Quickly we realised our design languages were very close to one another aesthetically, and having a partner to play with, who shares the same knowledge and desire to invest in a project is worth its weight in gold."

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

Since then, Nilsson and Lingestål have explored materials and methods intuitively, with romance as their aesthetic springboard. Every piece they make is approached without a goal in mind, letting the process define the final product. “When we design, the story of love and heartache are the basis of our choices. In our fictional world, Ina Faaks came into being after a stormy romance that ended in bottomless heartbreak,” they explain. “She was born out of the darkness, as a cross between devil child, woman, horse and witch.”

[Ina Faaks] was born out of the darkness, as a cross between devil child, woman, horse and witch.

Ina Faaks founders Frida Nilsson and Alva Lingestål

This concept of the hybrid animal is mirrored in the name – Ina Faaks is the merged product of the names of two Swedish trotting horses: Ina Scott and Järvsö Faaks. The animalistic DNA comes through in the designs, too. “We love to create this atmosphere that is animalistic and twisted, to flirt with the body in different ways,” they say. “Distort shoulders, build horns, give feet claws.” Unconventional materials are mixed with every-day garments, and the girls incorporate wood, tin and moulded plastic into their pieces.

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

“Some days we just sit and make moulds, others we work with classic pattern construction and draping,” they continue. “We often force our poor fathers to cut out a plank that will become a table or a bag,” they laugh apologetically. In this collection, they’ve worked with melting pewter and modelling details in clay, even embroidering hair extensions into the fabrics.

And throughout the development of Ina Faaks, their designs have become bolder. “For us, Ina has no boundaries. It is perhaps the backbone of the brand. We both work as costume designers, and Ina has become our way of designing without having to compromise,” they continue. “We rarely know what the final product will be - whether it's a garment, a collection or a film. There is no orderer, no customer. We are completely free.”

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

In tandem with designing their newest collection, they made a film together with director Felix Scheynius, wanting to include other creators from their world and their interpretations of direction, photography and sound. “It became a way to present the clothes where we could reinforce its expression."

"This collection is about going back to our roots, to the beginning of the story of Ina Faaks. Where each look represent a different stage of it’s story.” Each character in the film, whether a horse, woman or witch, wakes up in different parts of the fictional world that is Ina Faaks and jump over horse hurdles while displaying the garments.

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

Photo: Jacob Thörnäs, Yasmina Tahé

“We hope that the collection and the film together make those who see it feel that design is fun, that it can be free, crazy and silly,” they reflect. A project that conveys collaboration with creators and friends who contribute with their individual expertise as rewarding and fruitful. “That a day in a gravel pit in the woods can be great, and that some ideas deserve to be redeemed. We hope that it will make people curious about our designs and the continuing saga of Ina Faaks.”

See the film by Felix Scheynius below, and scroll on for the full collection lookbook.

Stills by Jacob Thörnäs and Yasmina Tahé

Creative direction: Frida Nilsson, Alva Linestål, Felix Scheynius
Producers: Frida Nilsson, Alva Lingestål
Director: Felix Scheynius

Director of photography: Hugo Otto Vallin
1 assistant camera: Greta Bondelid
2 assistant camera: Siri Zetterquist

Drone operator: Kasper Bröns
Location: Peter Nilsson, Sanna Nilsson
Set design: Kristoffer Knudsen
Editor: Emma Ingeborg Sundin
Composer: Amadeus Rudolfsson
First Assistant Director: Moa Looft
Make up: Josephine Golan
Hairstylist: Adam Elias
Catering: Sanna Nilsson
Production assistants: Peter Nilsson, Elias Nilsson, Kalle Gracias
Graphic design: Mathias Dag Lindahl, Thilda Ragnartz
Talent: Mathilda Guve, Juli Nordling, Emma Wåhlin, Fredrika Brunius, Melina Åkerman Kvie, Ingrid Aleixo Do Nascimento, Wilma Lidén, Keza Nitia Kercy
Extra: Niklas Hanström

Special thanks to: New Land, Bad Land, WGT, Ljud & Bildmedia, Skanska (Sandra Thyllman och Ronny Mangs), Basta Basjkir, Hans Blomberg