Modern day fashion and the regimented ideals of the postal system aren’t the likeliest bedfellows. After all, mail’s most basic truth is that it’s what’s inside that counts. But perhaps understanding that they need a fresh coat of paint, the National Postal Service of Denmark asked menswear virtuosos Soulland to design a stamp. It’s going into circulation this summer, and it’s the first time they’ve ever commissioned a fashion designer for the task. For Soulland designer Silas Adler, a man known best for crisp khakis and perfect hats, the opportunity put him in great, if unfamiliar, company.
“At first I thought it was just one of those projects where somebody asks you if you want to do something, and then you do it, and then something else comes up and it doesn’t really turn out to be anything at all,” says Adler. “It’s the elite that are getting the honor to do something like this, from architecture and literature and all aspects of cultural life.”
The stamp’s design, hand drawn by Adler and scaled down to one one-thousandth of its original size, was transferred through a process called intaglio, where the image is impressed in the paper by a metal engraving to preserve the level of detail. The artwork isn’t representative of a specific season of Soulland, but is instead framed by timeless menswear accessories including, of course, Soulland’s iconic Adler Fedora Cap, the label’s coveted juxtaposition of fedora and baseball cap.
Adler gave us a step-by-step guide for stamping years’ worth of fashion design onto envelopes everywhere.
HOW TO MAKE A STAMP :
1. Live in a country that supports the arts. “The National Postal Service of Denmark contacted us through the Danish Fashion Council. I was a little bit skeptical and thinking, Why should they ask me? There are so many other talented designers? It’s quite a big honor.”
2. Feel confident in your art. “When you look at the roster of the other people, it’s some of the greatest artists we’ve had throughout Danish history, in architecture and literature and all aspects of cultural life. A guy like Olafur Eliasson, who is one of the most successful contemporary artists in the world, has done [a stamp], and you’re like, Okay, I’m not at all—even in my field—on that level. But I just have to be able to do this.”
3. Create a classic. “They didn’t ask me to work with men’s fashion specifically, but of course, that’s what I do with Soulland, so it would be stupid to not also do it here. I wanted to do something that a large group would understand. A shirt or a chino on a stamp would be a little bit too boring. So I decided to work with classic men’s accessories. Like, you have the tie, the pocket watch, the belt, and then I wanted to integrate some Soulland design. I chose one of our shoes and the Adler Fedora, which is one of our most iconic items.”
4. Keep in touch. “It’s going to be very exciting to [send mail] with the stamp. The first thing I wanted to do was to mail out the invite for our [fashion week] show, but the stamp is launched the same day of our show so we couldn’t do that. I look forward to sending mail to close relatives like my mother and my girlfriend, to people that really mean something to me, because this project is the biggest project I’ve been involved with. Except for Soulland, of course.”