The style of Scandinavians has become an internationally style-defining phenomenon – interior, furniture, beauty – you name it!
GANNI HITS BERLIN
Despite its high appeal, there is hardly any brand from the far north that has made such an impact as the Danish contemporary women’s wear label GANNI. Headquartered in Copenhagen, GANNI was founded in 2009 and has made a name for itself beyond Denmark’s borders in recent years. What strikes the eye are GANNI’s memorable silhouettes, mood boosting colours and the often unusual pattern combinations.
We had the chance to chat with GANNI’s creative director Ditte Reffstrupp who recently entered the Berlin retail scene with their new, beautifully decorated store on Rochstraße, Berlin Mitte. Together we tried to trace the phenomenon of the love for Scandinavian design, discussed the differences and similarities between Copenhagen and Berlin and talked #GANNIgirls movement.
Benjamin Schiffer: Ditte, first of all congratulations on opening a GANNI store in Berlin! I can assure you that Berlin was lurking for a dedicated physical store for a long time. Conquering the German market was surely a smart business move, but do you have a personal connection with the German capital that you can tell us more about? What does the opening mean to you in this particular city?
Thank you so much, we’re so excited to be here! Berlin is one of the most welcoming cities I know, there’s so much culture, art and incredible people. It’s so diverse and makes space for everyone, which is exactly how we want people to feel about GANNI, so it’s a perfect match. Like you said, we have a super loyal community in Germany already, so it means a lot to us that we can finally share a physical space with them.
As I just said, the opening was long awaited for many fans of the brand locally. Overall, it is no secret that there is a general enthusiasm for brands from Northern Europe.
How would you explain this noticeable love for Scandinavian fashion?
GANNI is less typical Scandinavian because we use a lot more colours and contrast than the classic Scandinavian minimalist aesthetic, we’re more of a Scandi 2.0 as we like to call it. Copenhagen is still where our heart and home are and the laid-back yet cool style is expressed in our clothes. I think it reflects a lifestyle that a lot of people really love.
I have seen most Copenhagen GANNI stores, but what I directly noticed was the painting by Berlin-based artist Isis showcasing the beautiful mess of a dinner scene. Do all international stores have these little local details or rather adaptations?
I’m so happy you noticed, I absolutely love that painting and so happy Isis was up for doing something with us. The dinner scene is actually a reference to the many fun GANNI dinners we have. We always try to involve local artists and talent when we open new stores. We want people to feel involved and like a place where the community can meet.
Copenhagen vs. Berlin – what do you like about Berlin that you cannot find in Copenhagen? Where do you see similarities between both cities?
There’s such an incredible freedom of expression here, it’s super inspiring. I really think clothes are a powerful tool to express who you are and Berlin is the perfect example of that, the creativity people on the street show here is unparalleled. Copenhagen tends to be a little more uniform compared to Berlin. The two cities are also similar in many ways, there’s a great sense of freedom to wear whatever you like and people love showing their personality through clothes.
Where do you see the Berlin style being reflected in your collections and which parts of the current collection could potentially resonate best with the Berlin customer?
Berlin is such a big music city and there’s a feeling that it’s always okay to be a little extra, which is a lot of what GANNI is about. Music has always been one of my biggest inspirations and this collection is a tribute to my 90s teenage heroines PJ Harvery and Björk. There’s a wild energy in the collection that I think really fits the rawness of Berlin and the people here. I can’t wait to see our community making the collection their own.
With the Hashtag #GANNIgirls you went viral globally and created an absolute love brand not only in the physical world, but also on the Gram. You also stated several times that you are designing for all women regardless of age, ethnic background or size which also resonates with your campaigns, e.g. your recent collaboration with Ester Manas. Right now, we can observe more than ever that the strict division into men’s wear and women’s wear is slowly beginning to crumble. – a development that especially queer people including me find very relieving. In the context of this particular development, doesn´t the hashtag #GANNIgirls feel outdated?
Like you said, we truly welcome everyone into our world, no matter what age, background, size and gender. We always listen and learn and are always open to change because the most important thing for us is that people feel included.
GANNI´s ready-to-wear has gotten more inclusive with its sizing and I was impressed to see that you were one of the first brands to have a sample collection at hand in a EU42 for editorial shoots – a usually pretty rare situation with most fashion houses. When can we expect shoe sizes above 41 then?
We are always working to find solutions to make sure our community feels included and hopefully we’ll be able to have bigger shoe sizes in the future
Berlin today, tomorrow…What is next? Can you give us a hint on your next project?
You already mentioned our collaboration with Ester Manas, which is super exciting. We have so many projects in the pipeline, so stay tuned for all of them!
Well, what we can already tease readers with is GANNI´s collaboration with British heritage outerwear brand Barbour hitting shops on the 1st of November – the timing could not be more ideal with the styles protecting us from the cold and rainy weeks ahead – stay tuned.
Interview: Benjamin Schiffer