Article and pictures courtesy Vogue and Astrid Andersen: When an interview ends with you strapped into Noomi Rapace’s new top-of-the-line Audi as she bounces behind the wheel to top-volume Cardi B, then accelerates up Ladbroke Grove faster than anything out of North Korea, well, it’s been an awesome assignment. And when Vogue was invited to lunch with the Swedish-born actress (the original Lisbeth Salander!) and the Danish-born designer Astrid Andersen, that’s exactly how things ended up. But before we hit the road—Andersen and Rapace up front, singing and whooping as we went full throttle, me in the back, trying not to toss my salad—there was much to discuss. Royal College of Art–trained Andersen founded her menswear label in 2010, and last year started showing womenswear, too. She and Rapace didn’t meet all that long ago, but have since become firm friends. So for Spring 2018, Rapace volunteered to model Andersen’s collection (the women’s, with a sprinkling of men’s) in a shoot masterminded at the actress’s London house. That seemed like a perfect reason to meet, eat, and listen in on these two besties discussing friendship, clothes, first boyfriends, and plenty more besides. What follows is an edited record of a conversation in which, just like that hair-raising drive afterward, Vogue was very much in the back seat.
If you do something that you’re forced into, or you’re eye candy for someone, or you dress for someone else and you don’t feel comfortable, well, you don’t feel empowered and you don’t feel free. If you can’t dance in it, you can’t move in it, you can’t feel your energy and your charisma flowing, that is wrong. But if you wear something that you can move in and that makes you grow, you can come into any room and be like: Boom, here I am! You know, I never thought I would be comfortable in some places. I come from a farm and I come from no money. I didn’t even speak English seven and a half years ago. So I have to go on my intuition all the time. And I think that Astrid is very much the same; you have to go on your gut feeling.