ArtFusion Copenhagen is a new brand on the Nordic map advocating for quality standards and innovative design. Creative Director and co-founder Louise Autrup Vinkel, known for her alluring techniques as a fine artist, is now challenging the fashion industry by undertaking a new approach towards design. The playful and bright summer collection not only inspires through interesting patterns but stands up for ethical values. Together with her textile-industry husband, she created the brand in a city that she describes as vibrant and the source of eternal inspiration: Copenhagen. The label itself shows vividly the versatility and vibrant beauty of northern Europe. For their grand opening of their new store in Copenhagen, DANSK met Louise to talk about her upcoming label.
What was the initial idea to create ArtFusion?
ArtFusion Copenhagen was founded by me and my husband Jesper. Jesper has about 20 years of experience in the textile industry and I am a painter. We wanted to combine all our ideas, passions and experiences of both worlds, to create something spectacular together. The idea of the brand is to make art and fashion meet in the middle, to grow from an interdisciplinary practice.
We want to create originality within our collections in a rather poetic way. Ethically we design and produce with high sustainable standards to develop towards and explore slow fashion. Using high quality and sustainable fabrics, our products are meant to last season after season. This is our take on today’s fashion industry that is still dominated by a massive waste production behavior. We need to change our perspective on consuming and understanding. That is why we have chosen to run only 2 collections per year. A long term vision for us, is to contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry and create an alternative to fast fashion.
Who is involved in the process of creating the garments, as well as producing them?
I am the creative director in ArtFusion Copenhagen. I am not an educated designer. In some ways I think this is a strength, because I think in different terms and see the design process more freely. I’m a curious and open minded person by nature, which have helped me to learn and understand more about the design process. It is simply learning by doing. I have had great help from a close friend, who is also a designer, helping me to transform my ideas onto paper and final design. We are producing our garments in China, Italy and Ukraine. It can be difficult for a new brand to find good suppliers. Jesper´s long-term experience and network has been a great advantage for us in this way and we are very happy about our supplier set up.
How do you approach today’s challenge within the fashion industry, namely hype, fast fashion and loss of aesthetic value?
Before I start to work on a new collection, I find a specific theme that gives substance, and forms the design direction and creation of artworks. I choose a theme, based on my personal and artistic interest. It is important to me that it has a contemporary relevance. For our S/S18 collection the theme is “The Future Is Ours” and refers to our common future and the fact that we all share the same planet. The world is constantly changing whereas the title functioned as a reminder, to come together and seek common solutions. I witness worldwide, successful changes in the fashion industry, however it is happening too slow. As a brand we approach the challenges by being aware of their existence and focusing on our own vision and values. With that we try to create an alternative way of designing, to be of a positive influence in the industry and our society.
What is it about Copenhagen that made you use the city’s name in your brands name?
I love the free spirit in Copenhagen. It is casual and cool at the same time. When spring arrives, there is no better place to be, everything awakens and gives you this bubbly feeling that everything is possible.
What does art mean to you?
For me art is about transformation.
A good artwork leaves room for the viewer, an entrance you can disappear into – entrances to the world, stories, life and the present time.
What do you regard as innovative?
Being innovative is about changing status quo. For me it means having the courage to live your life the way you want to. Take chances, make changes, believe in yourself and your dreams.
What does beauty means to you?
Beauty is honesty.
Interview by Annika Hatje
For more information, see ArtFusion Copenhagen
If you’re well on the way to a more responsible wardrobe of organic, long lasting items in hemp for summer and alpaca for winter and are longing for a little (or a lot of) sustainable self-decor to go with it: don’t look further. BioGlitz, a company that operates under the formula “take the litter out of glitter” allows you to sparkle with good conscience. Independently women owned and operated, the company is based between Los Angeles and New York City. This week, the BioGlitz founder and CEO Saba Gray showcased together with Kimi Mok their glittery contribution to a plastic-free planet at this years Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
The 21st century is the century of movement, and this manifests no more vividly than in the field of travel merchandise. While household names like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Rimowa continue to expand and proliferate, new brands are shaking up the industry with innovative designs at accessible prices. Most prominently, it is Away that has turned the industry on its head since launching just two years back. Founded by friends and colleagues Jen Rubio and Steph Korey, Away offers innovative and stylish travelgear for a modern age, inspired by conversations with globetrotters and businesspeople for whom a suitcase is more than a container of your items. It’s a philosophy, a shelter, a home-away-from-home, and thus deserves the utmost attention and care. We sat down with Rubio and Korey to learn more about their joint venture, and how they see the future of travel.
Danish menswear brand Soulland is one of the biggest success stories in Scandinavian fashion of the past decade. Founded by autodidact Silas Adler, who began his design career by making home-made t-shirt prints back in 2002, the brand has become a household name in the wardrobe of many men in the Nordic region and beyond, their simple, street-savvy aesthetic resonating with teenagers and CEOs alike. Having presented at both Copenhagen Fashion Week and London Collections Men, Soulland has realized notable collaborations with the likes of Nike, as well as countless artists and designers, particularly in their long-standing commitment to merging fashion with the graphic arts. Now, the Copenhagen brand is ready to embark on a new adventure with the announcement of their expansion to womenswear as of this month.
In remembrance of the Rana Plaza collapse five years ago and in the occasion of Copenhagen Fashion Summit this upcoming week, here is our Q&A with co-founder of Fashion Revolution, Carry Somers. The global movement is with the #whomademyclothes campaign calling for a fairer, safer, cleaner, more transparent industry, demanding decent rights for both the people and the planet. We at DANSK encourage all our readers to read and sign the Fashion Revolution manifesto for a paradigm shift now.
“Heritage Fashion” has become one of the most definitive trends in the last couple of years. In an industry obsessed with its own newness, where the designer is expected to re-invent the silhouette 2-4 times a year (resulting in quite a bit of amnesiatic “borrowing” from each other, as reported by our favorite instagram, dietprada), it’s soothing to see brands diving into their own growing history. It started with pre-Raf Calvin Klein launching reviving the 1990s iconography through their #mycalvins campaign – while emerging Euro subversive brands like Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy initiated hyped collaborations with a series of iconic and forgotten brands from the romanticized 80s and 90s. Shortly after, both Miucca Prada and Donatella Versace unabashedly revisited their textile and accessory archives in celebratory new collections for both men and women. Of course, no one does self-indulgence better than the Americans, and one of the most iconic American brands of today is of course Tommy Hilfiger – and now, you’ll be able to enjoy a #throwback moment with the all-American designer as well.
The annual Met Ball is a bewildering, spectacular, and often highly amusing intersection of the worlds of celebrity, haute couture, and institutional fashion curating. Marking the opening of the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition, the highly mediatized event serves as the biggest fundraiser for the museum, masterminded, of course, by the incomparable Anna Wintour. At no other occasion does the entire Hollywood jetset follow the dresscode of a fashion scholar just to get in to the good party, and with its red carpet matching the branding value of the Grammys and Oscars, it’s a moment where designers do their utmost to deliver the best gown for the ball. In previous years, the themes has caused quite a bit of confusion among celebs and their stylists – see the atrocity committed by the entirety of last year’s Rei Kawakubo-inspired gala, with the exception of Rihanna – but sometimes, academia, money, and art seems to triangulate beautifully on the stairs of the Upper East Side Museum. This year, the call was for Catholicism in all its baroque iconography, marked by the exhibition “Heavenly Bodies,” curated by Andrew Bolton, featuring historical dress from the Catholic church alongside contemporary fashion inspired by this loaded erotic visual vocabulary. Sadly, it wasn’t all horny nuns on the red carpet – but there were a couple of truly incredible responses to the theme. Here, in true DANSK irreverence, we present you a ranking of the 10 most notable – ranked from bad to pure excellence!
The most stylish music video of 2018 is also the most political: behold “This is America” by Childish Gambino, the elusive alter-ego of Donald Glover. The actor/rapper/producer/writer has given new and more complex representation to contemporary black American identity through his hit show Atlanta (2016-), and has been shaking up Hollywood with his subtle acting skills with appearances in SNL as well as in the Starwars franchise. In This is America, we see Glover paint a dystopian picture of America, where guns are treated with more respect than bodies of color, and where violence commingles with entertainment, celebration, and community. Directed by Hiro Murai, who also is a frequent collaborator of Atlanta, the video features a wealth of dance genres, stellar acting, and even a couple of cameos, for example by Sza, who sits reclined on a chair towards the end of the video. Who ever said that pop culture isn’t the space of politics? Must watch for your Monday morning.
Fashion’s politics rarely go beyond the statement of a t-shirt, opaquely mass-produced in a sub-contracted sweatshop in far-away countires. Beyond the sphere of eco-fashion, the fewest designers understand that production – that is, the way in which garments are made – is also political, and that a revolution of the industry must begin there. This week, we’re remembering the 2013 atrocities of Rana Plaza, the garment factory outside Dhaka where 1,138 people lost their lives in the collapse of building—a dreadful accident that could have been avoided if the building had been looked after properly. Producing garments for the likes of Gap, H&M, and Zara, it’s a tragedy that extends its responsibility all the way to your wardrobe – and mine.
Much like fashion, photography is a temporal art form, skilled in capturing the spirit of its time as it freezes the present into a durable image. A photograph is important because it gives representation to things, people, and moments that would otherwise be forgotten my mainstream history—and this spirit pervades in the seductive work of American photographer Michael James O’Brien, who is currently subject to a new retrospective exhibition in Savannah, Georgia.