"It was a revolutionary idea that shouldn’t have been so revolutionary."
Posted by Cynthia Salim on
Last month, I talked to Business Insider about our distinct design philosophy. Ever since I met Morten, our Creative Director 6 years ago in Switzerland, we've been laying out what we really think is missing in the fashion industry and how we'd change it from the core.
You can read the full interview here, but here's a shortlist of how we see things, and what kinds of questions all our decisions go through before we introduce a product to you.
We design to project credibility
In our very first press coverage, we were described as a brand that creates "fun professional wear for women." I nearly had a heart attack and emailed the reporter saying that I stated very clearly that this is not about fun!
There are so many great brands in the world that help us express so many dimensions of ourselves: fun, cool, hip, sexy - but there are so few brands whose core design philosophy is to design for women to project credibility.
We've been asked if we think looking "credible" means looking like men, to which we ask, "Why is navy a fundamentally male color? Why do men own the idea of pants? Why is the idea of straight lines and right angles that make a wearer look grounded and reliable - why is that fundamentally male?"
For us, it's not about dressing like men, but about being a brand that imagines and designs for a setting you often find yourself in - to give our creative work the same level of seriousness and thoughtfulness that men have enjoyed from the fashion industry for centuries - in good materials, in powerful design, and lasting quality.
We design timeless pieces inspired by Scandinavian minimalism and Swiss precision
One of the unfortunate hallmarks of women's clothing is that they're designed to be trendy and to "churn." They're designed to expire, designed to make you have to buy more, and are terrible for the resource-limited earth we live in.
We design sophisticated pieces with an incredible level of thoughtfulness and precision. Are those peak lapels high enough to look modern, but not so skinny that they'll look silly by next year? How high is that inside pocket, is it the right 'reach for your business card' height? Is it deep enough for an iPhone?
Our Danish creative director Morten, who graduated from the Copenhagen Tailoring Academy, brings a "clean lines" feel to our work, and our shared love for Swiss precision from the time we lived in Switzerland results in a thoughtfulness we so rarely see in womenswear.
We design with good, sustainable fabrics
It's choosing breathable 100% cotton seed lining that's biodegradable instead of polyester that makes you sweaty and doesn't biodegrade for 500 years. It's using real German wool under collar that shapes to your neck and shoulders and gives it longer wear. It's using real 100% Italian wool from our friends in Biella that do not use synthetic materials - natural stretch only.
Unless you have been exceptionally woke, your closet probably has quite a bit of the bad stuff - polyester, acetate, polyamide. Mine does too. We need less of it. So, as limiting as it is, we only work with materials that are good quality and sustainable. Coming up in our next collection is Lenzing tree fiber from a zero-impact plant in Austria, and Swiss organic cotton.
This is our design philosophy, and how we hope to change the cultural conversation around women, social responsibility, and the fashion industry. We think it's an important and exciting cultural shift - let's move this mountain this together.