The clothes that Benjamin Sundin (www.instagram
.com/basundin) designs may be intricate, but they’re nothing compared to his hair. The 24-year-old spends more than 30 minutes each day manipulating his dirty blond locks into a rakish coif. And he’s not exactly a shrinking violet on the topic.
“Because I have such perfect hair — as I have been told by my stylist — I take doing it very seriously,” Sundin said. “I usually play with various styles week to week.”
But Sundin is more than a pretty head of hair. He’s a hardworking South End designer obsessed with sports coats, art, and his giant man purse.
Q. You mentioned that you are up every day at 4:30 a.m. What kind of artistic 24-year-old wakes up at that hour?
A. I wake up very early to do several things. Once I have certified that I fit the specifications of my appearance, I begin working on sketches or a garment. On the subject of partying until 4 a.m., I am definitely not losing out. I just figured out how to moderate having fun and doing what I love to do.
Q. Why design in Boston? Have you thought about packing up your fabric and your hair products and hightailing it out of here for New York?
A. Being in Boston is a realistic stepping stone. The cost of living in New York is astonishing. I attempted moving to New York and lasted two months. Being in Boston has allowed me an opportunity I never considered. Because there are so few people with good taste, even other fashion designers, I find it a lot easier to stand out. Whenever I am out and about I often find people staring at me as I walk by. Someone recently stopped me on the street and said that I looked hot. I now know why people stare.
Q. Many fashion designers dress quite simply — well, at least Michael Kors does. But you don’t fall into this category. Why dress up?
A. For me, dressing up is comfortable and fabulous. I always feel good about myself and I don’t think it would be possible for me to dress casually. I often joke about my loafers or wing tips as being my sneakers. I bought a pair of Converse as an attempt to wear a stylish sneaker, but I never wear them. My general clothing choices are pretty simple, and it doesn’t take me that long to get ready for my day. It’s the hair that consumes my time.
Q. Based on your Instagram photos, it looks like you design very delicate and flowing dresses. Is that representative of your style as a designer?
A. My designs vary between flowing and whimsical to very structured and tailored pieces. But I specifically am obsessed with evening gowns and cocktail dresses. It’s always about juxtaposing the whimsical element with the sporty and elegant.