Mint Siren

...designing fun, sexy and flattering lingerie

Swedish by birth, American by choice and British by residence. In a way that sums up who I am quite well. I’m definitely a “wherever I lay my hat” kind of person. I’m Josefine Wing, 29 years old and I’ve crammed as much as I could possibly fit into those years. Despite that I don’t feel like I’m getting any closer to being done. After concluding the 3 years at Esmod international school of fashion design is Oslo, Norway, I knew that I wanted to work for myself, mostly to secure reign over my own work schedule and to ensure creative freedom. That is how the label Mint Siren came to be. All that freedom has come at a price though, it’s turned out to be quite a test of mental strength and physical endurance. However, I wouldn’t dare complain, it certainly gives me a lot of joy as well.

Mint Siren is a brand that has no real boundaries, I can create whatever I like, which often ends up being garments with over the top feminine finish and blatant sexual insinuation and purpose. I don’t believe in making the creative process an over-elaborate ordeal of obscure inspirations, I just try to make what comes naturally. My fascination with anything vintage is obvious in the designs, but I like bringing it into the 21st century. Living in London is excellent for easy access to sources of inspiration, there are so many fantastically individual people, loads of history and the city seems to have this all around creative energy.

With Mint Siren, I strive to make lingerie and other clothing that is fun, sexy and flattering to the female form. I admit to have a need to provoke a bit. It’s more exciting to create garments that aren’t necessarily for everyone, however they do need to possess a certain commercial appeal.

Josefine is a fashion designer today, because…

I held down about a dozen jobs through the years before I decided that it was time to get a proper education. I realized that I would need to find a creative profession that I could enjoy every day, if I was not to lose interest, as has happened many times in the past. So basically it’s the need to be challenged and entertained by my job that made me veer towards fashion design. To be honest, I used to make clothing from when I was quite young, but back then I didn’t think that it was ultimately going to be funding my life.

If Josefine would not have become a designer…

I would probably still be living in the mountains in the US, snowboarding and living a sunny and lazy life. Nothing wrong with that, mind you. It was a big decision to leave all that behind and go to fashion school. I don’t regret anything, but I dream about being back in the mountains very often. In a semi-distant future I would wish to be able to split my time between living in the city and in the mountains, that would be ideal.

At school/university she was…

The one who often came in late to lessons but worked perhaps the very hardest and so always managed to impress and come out on top. I have a serious problem with waking up in the morning, which is probably the reason why I decided to run my own business. Haha, making accommodations for my flaws, rather than changing my behavior…

Josefine’s friends think…

They think I work too much. But I know that many of my friends are very proud of me and that is actually one of the things that keep me going when times are a bit tough and the quantity of work is wearing me down.

When Josefine was 17 she dreamed of being…

Somewhere else mainly… haha. I grew up in the north of Sweden and I think I felt that I had outgrown the place long before I was 17. By then I was merely waiting to be able to leave, which I did 2 years later, less than a week after my graduation. Ever since then I’ve been bouncing around the world, living in California, Norway and now London.

She knew she was going to become a fashion designer when…

Well, I started a little clothing brand with my best friend during the last year I lived in the US. That led me to apply to Esmod school of fashion design, and from then on I think I was pretty determined that this was what I wanted to do.

She didn’t mind getting her hands dirty… but would never…

Hmmm… I’m not very good at “I’d never”… I’ve been more of an “at least once” kind of person. But I guess I could say I would never eat meat again… it’s a foul habit that makes you quite unhealthy and unshapely.

Josefine gets really het up about…

Not sure if you mean in a positive or negative way. I get really excited about people with fun and lovely style and about the idea of new photo shoots.
But in case you meant in a negative way, people who are too self-centered get on my nerves. If empathy and compassion are signs of great intelligence, surely we must conclude that being self-centered and selfish are definite indications of stupidity. It always amazes me when people blurt out statements that clearly indicate that they must think they, and only they, are the center of the universe. It’s quite astonishing how simple-minded many people allow themselves to be, even in a public context.

The defining moment in her career was…

Oh, I hope I haven’t reached it yet to be honest. But taking the first few wholesale orders was a particularly thrilling experience. That was kind of when I realized it’s going to work and all the hard work pay off.

For a day, Josefine would like to be…

Working at an animal shelter or the zoo just so I’d get to care for and play with all the animals. Animals are so much better than humans, yet they seem to end up with the short end of the stick on many occasions. Oh, I sound a bit like a young lady in a beauty pageant trying to give the jury the answers that make me come off most compassionate, don’t I…hahahaha. It’s true though, animals are brilliant.

What would be Josefine’s soundtrack to life?

Even though I’d probably like it to be something more punk and rebellious, I have a feeling that the best song to describe the way I live my life would be “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by the almighty Cindy Lauper.

Her biggest regret was…

Sounds like a cliché, but I really don’t have any regrets. I’m a firm believer in the fact that any eventual mistakes and impulse actions can only take you in a new exciting direction. If I had done any one thing differently there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be where I am today. But get back to me in a couple of decades when I am no doubt troubled with all kinds of modern sicknesses and I’ll probably tell you something along the lines of regretting not having used enough sun block and using a mobile phone.

She would describe Josefine’s personality as…

Extremely determined (some would say stubborn), adventurous and a bit restless…

Josefine wishes the next Josefine…

Wait…what? Will there be a next Josefine? Haha… If you mean what I wish for anyone who would like to do what I’ve done and start up their own clothing brand, then I wish them good luck. Make sure you have enough energy for it and want it really badly, because you will most likely have to make many sacrifices to succeed…

If she could live her life again…

I’d do it exactly the same, no question. So far I’ve had the most exciting and versatile life one could ever ask for.