Have you noticed something of a Scandinavian revolution going on in fashion? From Sweden’s Acne and Dagmar to Denmark’s DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, Nordic labels not only seem to be cropping up like daisies in the face of the economic recession, but they’re also increasingly on the celebrities’ radars - think Kate Middleton in her DAY Birger et Mikkelsen frock coat at Zara Philips’ wedding and Michelle Williams in H&M at the Baftas. We caught up with DAY’s creative director, Peter Ingwersen to chat style, stars and world domination.
You've recently returned to DAY Birger et Mikkelsen as creative director - what's lured you back?
Keld Mikkelsen, the founder of DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, lured me back. I am a great fan of his as well as a friend. I worked with DAY and Keld from 2001 until 2005 and Keld invited me back. Keld’s vision for his brand and his views on how to conduct business and design products are the main inspiration for returning.
What does your new position entail?
I hold the title Creative Director, which entails overseeing the brand image, the designs, the products and all visual imagery from the brand. The only area I am not involved is the design of the stores as DAY rapidly is opening stores in Northern Europe. This is Keld’s area.
What is a typical working day like for you?
I start at 8am by going through emails and return to my computer around 4pm. In the mean time I work with Design on the collections, with Fitting on the products, with Marketing on shoots, with the E-commerce team designing the website, with Sales on the initiatives and with Production on quality control and ensuring we receive the products at the right time in-store.
What are your personal highlights for the new season?
Keld and I start the collections together and try to imagine the final result. This is a personal highlight for the season. Then I take our visions to Design and we start the collection together. I then work with Sales to get their feedback and their point of view on carry-overs. After the collections are done I work with Marketing on the support material and the show.
Is there a particular celebrity you'd love to dress?
There are many celebrities that I would love to dress. If I had to pick one it has to Iris Afpel [91-year-old American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon] as she has the most eclectic taste and is rivaled by none.
What's the best thing about working in fashion?
The speediness and ability to tell stories as a part of a collection’s development.
And the worst?
All businesses have their downsides. In the fashion industry I think it is still the lack of insight into the environment and socio ethics.
Scandinavian fashion seems to be going from strength to strength, with the emergence of many hot new labels. Why do you think this is?
It does not only seem that it is the fashion part of Scandinavia that is going from strength to strength, but also food, with the restaurant Noma being appointed the best in the world, the TV series The Killing and H&M setting the standard for sustainability in the global fashion industry.
What do you love most about British fashion?
I LOVE British fashion, from the great high street brands to the eccentric heritage of the designers.
Which designers/labels do you admire?
I admire every brand that has set a standard for the industry from Levi’s to Chanel and from The Kooples to Yves Saint Laurent.