Creative Director Sanne Sehested talks opening a pop-up in Harrods and the brand’s inspiration for their AW20 collection.
Influencer wearing Gestuz
A new season means new threads, and if you’re looking for the hottest new AW20 fashion Danish brand Gestuz has you sorted. Launching their pop-up store in Harrods back in September, the contemporary fashion brand aims to inspire beyond fashion, with artwork created from various talents in different genres. With their AW20 collection first shown during Copenhagen fashion week in January, the brand debuted structured beige trousers, stylish jumpsuits and cute zebra printed dresses.
Having grown extensively since their founding in 2008, Creative Director Sanne Sehested spoke about their growth and expansion stating, “You might say we have matured since 2008 and therefore found our identity more. To some degree, the same as what happens to any person, growing up and shaping into an adult. We have still maintained our DNA but we are more true to ourselves and know what we are and what we are not. It might sound easy but trust me it is in fact a challenge. We are a Scandi brand but always with a twist, a detail and somewhat of an edge.”
With their pop-up in Harrod’s inviting customers to experience their clothing in real life and up close, we caught up with Sanne talking the new venture, owning a brand in uncertain times and why it is so important to reach customers in different ways.
Check out the interview below…
How has this uncertain time been for you? How has it impacted you creatively?
It has been tough times for us, as it has been for so many others. Creativity at first had to take a step back to make room for more urgent matters. This period has demanded that we rethink a lot of things, and in many ways, this has given me the focus to clearly find a way for the brand. I have never been more certain about the way forward for Gestuz and I am full of creative ideas for the new collections.
Why at a time like this is Gestuz a brand that customers will flock to again and again?
We make pieces that fit the customers instead of demanding that they change to fit to our brand. I just want to create amazing designs that can be worn season after season and that I want to wear myself. Furthermore, I think a lot of people are seeing what we are doing in the sustainability area, and for many people that is an important factor when shopping today.
What were the main influences for the AW20 collection?
The Autumn Winter 2020 collection looked towards the Scandinavian design heritage of simplicity and quality, and the designs really pays tribute to the prominent minimalistic Scandinavia. At the same time, the collection is accompanied by a focus on a quirky edginess. I enjoy effortlessness, but also want to embrace humor.
Describe the AW20 collection in five words?
Classic, quirky, longevity, Scandinavian, Gestuz.
What is your favourite piece from the AW20 collection and why?
I love the long, oversized Wolina coat. It is so simple – a true evergreen – but at the same time the silhouette and the feeling draws your mind to something retro, the early 90s maybe. I love that. It is such a power coat.
And you’ve launched a pop-up in Harrods – why at a time like this is it so important to reach the customer in different ways, and inspire “beyond fashion”?
It is no secret that the most part of this year has increased a focus on the digital space. We have also looked inwards towards ways in which we can engage with the customers in both physical and digital ways. For Copenhagen Fashion Week this August we presented our SS21 collection in a purely digital format.
I personally, think the balance between the digital and physical are important. For this reason, I find it so important for us to be physically present at Harrods. There is something about seeing the products up close and browsing through a brands’ universe, feeling the textures, and trying things on. Moreover, we invite the customers to have a glimpse of our Gallery Gestuz which in no way is the same experience online. I think we will see this mix a lot in the future.
How did you set about choosing the artwork for the pop-up, which ranges from sculpture to sound, painting and photography?
The idea of Gallery Gestuz was to mix art and fashion, hereby also inviting a set of artists to interpret our AW20 collection according to their profession. For the conceptualization and styling we worked with Paris-based stylist Anna Klein who introduced us to some of the artists, among others Tex Bishop and Alberte Skronski. We gave the artists freedom to mix their creative talent with elements from our collection.
How do you think the brand has progressed and developed since you founded it in 2008?
You might say we have matured since 2008 and therefore found our identity more. To some degree, the same as what happens to any person, growing up and shaping into an adult. We have still maintained our DNA but we are more true to ourselves and know what we are and what we are not. It might sound easy but trust me it is in fact a challenge. We are a Scandi brand but always with a twist, a detail and somewhat of an edge.
And indeed how do you think consumer’s relationships with fashion has changed over time, and with the popularity of social media?
I think fashion and the process behind has become more transparent and will continue to be even more so. Consumers are more and more demanding insights into the brands they buy and love, which means it is much less of a one-way street. Moreover, due to Social Media you can be in a constant dialogue with your customers and get instant feedback which I find to be very valuable. Inspiration has also become much more than a look-book image as you can now in fact cater to different consumers on different platforms. It also demands more of the brands and we put a lot of effort into a versatile range of self-made content in order to ensure a consistent brand identity whether you visits our website, Instagram or receive a newsletter.
What is next for Gestuz?
I would say a stable foundation for the future. It has been quite a year so far and we have had to make some tough decisions. At the same time, I do feel like we are coming out stronger and with a clear focus for the brand and sense of direction. I truly believe in the brand and my team and I can only say we plan to grow the brand in a healthy way to ensure a stable future with a continuous focus on international expansions and great partnerships.