Astrid Andersen will show her womenswear line for the first time in Copenhagen this AW17 fashion week. She is renowned for her premium casual menswear that has a sports-inspired aesthetic, so we are curious to see what this show will entail. CPHFW caught up with the CEO and designer for a chat about the collection, how her womenswear differs from her renowned menswear and many other things…
This is your first time showing womenswear on the Copenhagen show stage – what do you expect?
It’s the first time we show womenswear independent anywhere so I’m super exited about this. I’m not sure what I expect but I hope people will find it interesting and see the point of view within womenswear that I’m trying to communicate. I hope it can influence Copenhagen Fashion Week with a creative standpoint and show how a brand can be both commercial and creative with an independent direction.
Why have you chosen to show your womenswear collection in Copenhagen?
I’m based in-between Copenhagen and London. I show menswear in London and it just seemed relevant, also in alignment with international sales week to present the women’s in Copenhagen. My aesthetic is a result of working in between these two cities so that should be expressed in the presentations.
You have shown at international fashion weeks, what has been the greatest memory of your career?
I have shown In London for 11 seasons as part of London Fashion Week and LCM, I have also shown in New York and Shanghai and for me the greatest privilege is to be an international brand and get to present our products to different cultures and see this interpretation of your work. But the greatest memory for me will always be closing the graduate show at Royal College of Art because it was an overwhelming seal of approval and it made me believe in my aesthetic.
How do you think Copenhagen differs from London?
In terms of fashion weeks the biggest difference is that Copenhagen is very much driven by the fairs, and this season the fair is even including a show scene, which is a good thing because they offer opportunities that might not arise elsewhere for young designers but it’s also problematic to push the idea of a fair driven brand construction as you will have commercialized your concept before you even see it grow into something bigger. It’s not so common for Danish designers to dream of independent showrooms and international shows and becoming a house rather than a brand and that is a shame. Denmark should have the resources both in our economy but also within the massive fashion corporations that operate on an international scale to support these dreams and to create a more creatively driven fashion week as you see in London for example.
Which type of woman do you design for?
We are still trying to define ‘her’, which will happen through the seasons – but she is cool. Above all other terms she is cool. She is secure within her self both as a friend, lover and force of power. She is sexy but is looking for a new contemporary way to express this in a generation where gender is not so strictly defined.
Do you approach menswear and womenswear differently in the design process?
Designing clothes for me is to empower so I think about the person wearing it, body type and attitude so yes there’s a different approach but essentially the creative direction is the same for me. The men and woman of the brand are all part of the same mentality and lifestyle.
Can you reveal something about your AW17 show venue?
Yes, I’m so lucky to be in this venue, I feel like it was designed for our collection! We will be showing at &tradition on the paper island and the layout of the space has created a new and exciting presentation format that will be the setting of an intimate show experience, which suits the whole concept of showing in Copenhagen.
Could you give us three keywords that describe your upcoming collection?
It’s opulent, textural and cool.
How does this collection differ from your earlier collections?
I have an aesthetic I work around every season and we try and push this into new directions. This season we wanted to create something very luxurious and shy away from basic ways of dressing. We looked back in time to opulent eras and we let the menswear inspire the way we think females could dress as well.
Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope I am in control of a growing business with independent retail and a global marketing outreach. I hope we will be secure within the business in a way that will allow me to explore the full potential of our creative reach branching into accessories, pre-collections and international collaborations.
Image HANS ZEUTHEN.