Copenhagen Fashion Week kicks off today with some groundbreaking news. Its new entry requirements set out a baseline of 17 standards that brands must meet within three years otherwise they will be unable to qualify for participation. Disqualifiers include destroying unsold clothes and producing more than half of a collection with unsustainable materials. Leading the charge is Danish label Stine Goya, who, one year ago launched a 100% sustainable capsule and is now working on integrating its learnings across production processes, supply chain, and material development into its mainline offering. Following her Spring 2020 showcase, hailed as the best show at Copenhagen Fashion Week on Vogue US, she speaks to Vogue Arabia ahead of tomorrow’s show offering a sneak peek and announcing an unexpected new goal.
Stine Goya the brand has always been progressive, if not the leader within the Scandinavian sustainability scene. Is there any new factor to share?
For Fall 2020, we will offer 12 groups across 5 color stories in recycled and organic materials within our Mainline Collection—in addition to our 100% sustainable showpiece capsule. We have also achieved, within only 6 months, our goals in relation to packaging—switching to biodegradable, reusable, recyclable packaging across e-commerce and retail.
Next on our list is to increase out focus on creating a strong circular economic model for our customers by implementing a rental fashion offering before this coming summer.
The foundation for tomorrow’s Stine Goya Spring 2020 story is related to artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Can you tell us more?
I often look to an artist(s) or a specific artistic movement to act as the catalyst for my collections. I find working in this way creates a framework through which we can develop a particular visual language and design narrative that flows seamlessly through each collection story. It definitely grounds my vision and directs my thoughts.
This season, we sought to capture the essence of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s drive to create, build, and realize projects which have a profound impact on their immediate surroundings and the people who interact in these public spaces. Clothing does exactly that—it changes how an individual interacts with their environment. While each individually-designed piece is not monumental in of itself, the collection—the work, the process, and the artistry that goes into creating each season does share that sense of scale that Christo and Jeanne-Claude often challenged.
I wanted to translate their belief that the purpose of art is to bring joy and explore beauty. How do I design for impact and bring joy to my customers? How do design with purpose? How can I explore the idea of “revelation through concealment” through our prints, palettes, and material constructions?
How do you, like artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, hope to alter public perceptions with your work, specifically this upcoming collection?
The Fall 2020c Collection feels in one way, a great departure from what has come before, but simultaneously, I believe the process of expanding our audience and challenging the public perception’s of Stine Goya began many seasons previous.
Core to our brand DNA has always been a focus on print, bold palettes, and simple yet elegant silhouettes. While this has not necessarily changed—it has evolved. Drawing on the practice of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this season places an increased attention on construction, fabric manipulation, and texture. You will see more tech-inspired detailing—drawstrings to create structure and gloss coat finishes—as well as “print effects,” where developed fabrications mirror their wrapped structures and rope fastenings through stitching accents. We’ve updated classic shapes for a fresher take, which we hope will push our existing audience to expand their repertoires as well as attract new customers who might have not initially felt represented in our offering.
The season’s show will feature a new performance from musicians and artists. What brought you to this idea?
Fashion shows are on average 12 minutes—a flash in the pan essentially if you consider how much work goes into each aspect of the production. In line with my thoughts about the collection and drawing on the methodology of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, I was thinking about temporality; how to bring impact and how to present an idea or concept that lingers in your mind long after you leave the venue. Drawing on the energy we created across the last two seasons—through a combination of dance and music—we felt strongly about pushing the performance aspect of the show even further.
Music is such a personal thing. It impacts each individual’s experience so specifically. It’s actually quite a risk to explore the concept to such an extreme and build a show around a piece that in reality I have no control over.
This is your third show that highlights not just your creativity, but that of Danish youth. When you were having your early conversations with the artists, what did they express they hoped to achieve with this show?
When we discussed what this idea could become, it was critical that we involved local creatives / musicians that were in one sense were in their infancy but in another, experts in their fields. We feel that this mirrors the direction of Stine Goya as we move to a stronger international standing—someone on the cusp of something greater than themselves. We wanted to capture this moment of creation where individuals who had never played together came together as a unit to create an improvised sound—feeding off their collective energies, their musical abilities, and their interpretation of our collection.
For the artists, this was the biggest draw; having this opportunity to work together and create a piece that will surprise and hold the audience captive, as they are unsure what to expect. It was interesting to speak with them and their musical director and feel the energy of the room rise as they discussed what the possibilities and structure could be. As omni-talented instrumentalists, the attraction for them is also the freedom we have given them to explore what feels right in the moment, whether that entails switching from bass to strings in quick succession—we’ll just have to wait and see!
What hints, if any, can you share with us of what we will see on the runway?
We have created quite an intimate arrangement within the space as we really wanted our audience to have this feeling of proximity to the sound and the clothes. With the show—aptly named ON AIR—we have channeled a studio setting, through the eyes, ears and colors of Stine Goya, of course. We are looking to impact–both subtly and not-so subtly—and what I hope is for our audience to feel completely enveloped within our world, at least for the moment.