Odalisque - - Contents - Writ­ten by Jade D'econzac Mbay

It's 3 o'clock, and I am sit­ting at the Baum und Pfergar­ten he­ad of­fice in cen­tral Co­pen­ha­gen. The en­vi­ron­ment is mi­ni­ma­listic, with white walls and wooden fe­a­tu­res, and I'm about to ha­ve a talk with the du­al print-lo­ving de­sig­ners Rik­ke Baumgar­ten and Hel­le Hes­te­ha­ve. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing us is their PR Ma­na­ger, Christi­an Skytt-han­sen.

JDM: How did you start Baum und Pferdgarten? Your first stu­dio was in Nør­re­bro, right?

H&R: Ye­ah, that's right. In the be­gin­ning, we ren­ted a spa­ce in a stu­dio that was cal­led “Waist of ti­me” in Nør­re­bro, which is a ve­ry vi­brant part of Co­pen­ha­gen. We le­a­sed it with a few guys from our for­mer school, The Royal Da­nish Aca­de­my, and it was in the stu­dio that we star­ted to de­ve­lop our brand. We knew that we wan­ted to work to­wards be­coming a fashion brand, but the fashion sce­ne in Den­mark at that point was pret­ty li­mi­ted. So, our go­al beca­me to expand our bu­si­ness and ma­ke it world­wi­de.

Of cour­se, we nee­ded to get so­me know­led­ge about how to run a fashion brand. We pro­du­ced a col­lec­tion in a small facto­ry in Den­mark. Then we con­tac­ted so­me buy­ers around Co­pen­ha­gen, and star­ted go­ing to me­e­tings to pre­sent our col­lec­tion. It was a ve­ry ex­ci­ting ti­me for us becau­se eve­ryt­hing was so new. When we re­le­a­sed our fifth col­lec­tion we re­a­li­sed that the clot­hes we­re ac­tu­al­ly sel­ling qui­te well, so we star­ted to look for op­por­tu­ni­ti­es ab­ro­ad.

But it was af­ter we'd shown the col­lec­tion in Pa­ris that we sud­den­ly had a lot of new cli­ents. We we­re in shock that so ma­ny found our de­signs in­te­re­s­ting and wan­ted to sell them in their sto­res. And when we went back to Co­pen­ha­gen our brand had ex­pan­ded to a who­le new le­vel.

JDM: When did you fe­el that you got your first tas­te of suc­cess?

R&H: I would say when we had been in Pa­ris and got so ma­ny po­ten­ti­al buy­ers, that was de­fi­ni­tely a suc­cess for us.

CSH: Al­so, Bar­ney's con­tac­ted you.

RB: Oh ye­ah, that's right! And al­so our first run­way show, we can't for­get that. Then I think it's ve­ry im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the smal­ler things, li­ke so­me­o­ne wea­ring our clot­hes. I re­al­ly lo­ve see­ing that.

JDM: What would you say se­pa­ra­tes your brand from ot­hers?

H&R: We see our dif­fe­rent ways of thin­king as so­met­hing po­si­ti­ve. Our ide­as clash all the ti­me becau­se we both ha­ve ve­ry strong opi­ni­ons, but ins­te­ad of see­ing it as so­met­hing ne­ga­ti­ve we use it to our ad­van­tage and form our ide­as from the dif­fe­rences. It's the sig­na­tu­re for our brand.

JDM: Prints are one of your most well-known fe­a­tu­res. Whe­re do you find in­spi­ra­tion for ma­king prints?

H&R: It can come from anyt­hing, but so­me things we li­ke to look at are art, ex­is­ting prints, co­lours or fab­rics. We get in­spi­red by so ma­ny dif­fe­rent things, and it's al­ways dif­fe­rent what we find in­spi­ring.

JDM: Are the­re so­me ma­te­ri­als that you tend to use a lot in your col­lec­tions?

H&R: We al­ways use so­me kind of silk. Silk is a per­fect ma­te­ri­al for dra­ping. It al­so cre­a­tes a beau­ti­ful sur­fa­ce for prints and con­tri­bu­tes with a spe­ci­al touch to the col­lec­tions.

JDM: Your cho­ice of mu­sic for your shows has re­al­ly caught my at­ten­tion. Do you spend a lot of ti­me fin­ding the “right” mu­sic for your shows?

H&R: Yes we do, it's such an im­por­tant part for us that the mu­sic go­es well to­get­her with what we are showing. Ot­her­wi­se, by our own ex­pe­ri­ence, it's ea­sy to

get dis­trac­ted from loo­king at the clot­hes if the mu­sic is to­tal­ly “wrong”.

RB: We fe­el that put­ting a lot of ti­me fin­ding the “right” mu­sic is a way to ma­ke your shows per­so­nal, and that's one of the re­a­sons we ha­ve been using li­ve mu­sic in our la­test shows. Mu­sic is al­so a way to cap­tu­re your au­di­ence's at­ten­tion. You want to be ab­le to gi­ve them goo­se bumps and cre­a­te an at­mosphe­re. When do you ot­her­wi­se get the chan­ce to get 800 pe­op­le to lis­ten to the sa­me thing at the sa­me ti­me? Mu­sic is an in­te­re­s­ting part of the who­le pro­cess, and we in­vest a lot of ti­me fin­ding the mu­sic that will gi­ve us the right fe­e­ling.

JDM: Has the­re been so­met­hing la­tely that has in­spi­red you?

RB: La­tely we ha­ve been ve­ry in­spi­red by fur­ni­tu­re fairs. We re­cent­ly went to one in Mi­lan and re­al­ly liked the new en­vi­ron­ment. It's a to­tal­ly new mar­ket for us, and we found that ve­ry in­spi­ring.

JDM: How do you fe­el about the upcoming se­a­son? Is it pos­sib­le to get a sne­ak pe­ak of what you'll be showing?

H&R: The in­spi­ra­tion comes from a House in Ita­ly cal­led Vil­la Nec­chi. It was built in the 1930s, and a fa­mily li­ved the­re un­til the 80s. The house is ve­ry in­spi­ring. One thing in par­ticu­lar: the house is built in a ve­ry “rich” way when it comes to the ma­te­ri­als. All the bat­hrooms are mar­b­le, but wit­hout any seams in the sto­ne – it's just one big mar­b­le sto­ne that has been car­ved in­si­de the house to fit the rooms. It's crazy! We found so ma­ny in­spi­ring things with Vil­la Nec­chi and are loo­king for­ward to showing them in the next col­lec­tion.

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