#1790 Dayne Johnston stalked strangers in Berlin to gain inspiration for his new Zambesi collection

Dayne Johnston in Berlin. Photo: Karen Inderbitzen Waller

Zambesi designer Dayne Johnston spent the Christmas holidays in Berlin getting inspired for his upcoming summer collection. In a Viva story written by Cathrin Schaer, Johnston reveals that his most creatively rewarding experiences involved stalking men in and around fast food joints, and on public transport. “[I]n early January Johnston was standing behind a pillar, outside a McDonald’s, in the middle of what was once East Berlin, pretending to text a friend. Johnston had seen an interesting example of masculine layering – scarf, beanie, backpack, utilitarian looks, sportswear details and all – and the owner of all of the above had gone in to get a burger. ‘I felt pretty ridiculous but I wanted to get a look at him from the front,’ the designer laughs.”

According to Johnston, the biggest difference between European and New Zealand men in their relationship to menswear is all in the attitude. “I guess what I really enjoy about European menswear, and particularly the things I saw in Berlin this winter, is that often it’s more about style than trends. It’s not always about the latest thing, but more about how somebody has interpreted something. The way men dress in Europe is generally less self-conscious, a little more relaxed. It seems more effortless somehow.”

The moral of the story is simple: relax, wear clothes you want to wear, don’t follow trends, interpret style your own way and eat a Big Mac or two in the process, and you might become the next menswear muse. Or you could just get a full body tattoo. Whatever works.


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  1. fashion westie says

    I think that eating a Big Mac or two has been the best piece of advice I’ve heard this year so far….though I probably need to grow an appendage to become a menswear muse. I’ll eat Big Macs AND relaxedly interpret anyway.

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