By Noemi Plaza & Daisy Wallis
March is all about celebrating female empowerment and womanhood, especially during these uncertain times. To continue with our interviews on the amazing women from across the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries making a difference, we wanted to sit down with one of our favourite sustainable designers championing the importance of female empowerment.
Ahead of Copenhagen Fashion Week, our founder, Noemi, joined Nynne in her Copenhagen studio via Zoom to get a first look at the latest collection and talk all things female empowerment and sustainability in this new age of digital fashion weeks.
Thank you so much for speaking with us today, we are so excited to find out more about your new collection! Could you tell us what your inspiration was for the AW21 collection?
Nynne: The biggest inspiration for this season was how do we make clothes approachable to women in the time of a pandemic. How do we make clothes that are exciting but still wearable? So there is definitely a focus on classic styles and wardrobe essentials, like the trench coat, the shirt and the dress. We have put a lot of time into creating pieces that are long-lasting and classic. You could buy one or two pieces and have a minimal wardrobe that would last you a very long time.
“Timeless but with a kind of conceptual twist to it!”
We also introduced a new texture for this season. I was especially inspired by Ricardo Bofill’s geometric architecture. His structures really helped me find inspiration for all of the textures in the collection. For example, our new jacquard is made up of odd shapes which is something you see a lot in his architecture.
That’s so cool! Your collections and your brand also have a strong focus on female empowerment. What message would you like people to take away from the collection and the campaign?
Nynne: From this particular collection and campaign, we want to show that NYNNE is a brand for all women. We want to help women feel comfortable but also more empowered in what they wear. The campaign and the collection are all about celebrating womanhood. And especially with the campaign, it is all about celebrating the many different ways each of these women approaches womanhood.
There is not one specific woman in the NYNNE community. Instead, it is all about women celebrating themselves. The campaign features incredible women all doing amazing things and finding their own way of being a woman. And that’s why I chose these women. I felt like I could really relate to these women and their experiences really resonated with me too.
We also wanted to showcase the incredible women that are working to help other women succeed. The women behind Female Invest, Anna, Emma and Camilla, for example, are helping women invest – something that has stereotypically been seen as a man’s game. We also have Simone who is climbing the ladder in a medical company in IT, which is also known to be a male-dominated industry. I really admire each of the women in the campaign for being themselves and doing it in their own way.
“You know, there’s no one way of doing it, but they’re still doing it. I think that’s… what’s really cool. And I still think super excited about it as well.”
Noemi: That’s amazing, I feel like they all have power in their own individuality.
Nynne: Yeah we wanted to pick women that were being themselves and being real at the same time. I think, of course, we all have doubts and I wanted to showcase the women who are being open and honest about these. We also have a comedian, who has her own podcast and openly talks about her experiences and how she deals with it too. The realness of these women is something I really like.
As well as the incredible women in your campaign, I know you usually have a muse that you are inspired by. Was there a particular muse for this collection?
Nynne: For this particular collection I didn’t have a specific muse. But I do still come back to strong female characters for inspiration. The ’40s, for example, has always been my era of women – I find them so cool. Last year, I was inspired by Peggy Guggenheim for example.
I think I have always been drawn to these strong female characters, especially for inspiration for the big, dramatic outerwear. They are always in my mind and on my mood boards.
For this season, however, I didn’t have a specific muse in mind. It was definitely thinking more about the clothes, their formality and how they would be worn.
Amazing! NYNNE has a strong focus on sustainability. For your AW21 collection, 65% of the fabrics you have used are recycled. What qualities do you look for in sustainable fabrics?
Nynne: We have used sustainable materials in the past, but it is definitely a work in progress. This season we have used a lot of recycled wool, recycled polyester and also recycled organic cotton too. Instead of silk, we have used viscose, which is more sustainable. And then, of course, the rest of the collection has sustainable practices and certifications from the factories. This season it was definitely important to us to explore how we can get closer to our sustainable goals.
When we look for the materials for our collections, we definitely still look for that glow, that special feel. I think a lot of people think because a fabric is recyclable it means it shouldn’t look. But, of course, that is not the case. Sometimes these fabrics are just as beautiful as the original ones.
“I think it’s maybe an old fashioned way of thinking. That recyclable things are not as nice as the proper thing.”
There will always be small differences but I have found that sometimes even nicer textures come out of the recycled products.
And what would you say are the biggest sustainable challenges as a fashion designer and business owner?
Nynne: The budget of course. Textiles are getting less expensive when it comes to sustainability but it’s still very expensive in certain areas. Sustainability doesn’t happen from season to season. It’s a slow process of trying things out and seeing what works best. I would say as a new brand it is definitely a process.
This season, I’m actually working with mills where the majority of their product is sustainable. It makes me think if one mill can do it then other mills should be able to do it too. But, of course, it is all about demand. Are enough people asking for these sustainable products in order for the price to come down?
We really want to grow with every single season, in terms of sustainability and diversity too. This is also a really big goal of Copenhagen Fashion Week too. I think sustainability is definitely one of the top points in the business to do something about.
Of course, since the beginning of the pandemic fashion weeks have had to go digital. We loved your digital presentation last summer and we’re excited to see this season’s presentation. What was it like creating a digital presentation? And has the experience changed the way you might present your collections in the future?
Nynne: You have to take into account different things when going digital. With digital presentations, you can’t touch and feel the clothes. You can’t see the movement of the fabrics as well as when its a physical presentation. When you create a digital show you have to think about what you want to show.
Our presentation for this season is sort of a multi-project. We wanted to show the collection but also introduce these incredible women, and their stories, at the same time. With this season as well we have posted the women and their stories on our Instagram. It was important for us to have that personal touch this season during these hard times.
“I do like the digital format because it almost makes me a bit of a storyteller.”
I think there is more storytelling with these digital shows and fashion weeks than there has been before. At Couture Week, for example, there were so many different ways of presenting a collection. Everybody has a different way of presenting digitally. We can all learn from each other and make it as accessible as possible.
It’s so true. And as a new and up-and-coming designer, what would you say are the pros and cons of the digital format?
Nynne: I think a big pro is that you can reach a bigger and broader audience. With physical shows, it was always a lot more exclusive. But with the digital shows, everyone is seeing the collections for the first time together. When I was younger, I was always like “how can I go and see this show? How can I get in?” So for the younger design students, digital is a lot more approachable for them as well.
“I think it is a great tool as well for the brands to create a different narrative than just making a catwalk show.”
With digital, we can definitely think about what we can say without shows and think of new ways to present our brands in a different way.
Of course, a con is that it is harder to see the clothes. There’s also the fact that no one is sitting upfront watching the show in person like physical shows. Before you could talk to different people, like buyers, after the show directly. We just really miss the engagement and being able to have those different conversations after the show.
We are missing the engagement too! So where would you like to see NYNNE in five years?
Nynne: I would definitely like to be more grounded as a brand and hopefully be more well known. I also hope to expand into shoes. At the moment, we are doing clothes and a little bit of jewellery, so I would definitely like to expand.
Last season, someone wrote an article talking about the ‘house of NYNNE’, which was such a compliment. At the moment, I’m a studio but maybe we will be a house in five years. Hopefully, we will be more organic in five years too!
And where do you want to see the fashion industry in five years?
Nynne: I think it is heading this way, but I hope it will be more open and inclusive. I know that the digital and hybrid formats were introduced because of the pandemic but it would be nice to have a mix of everything in the future. A system that is more open to having so many different ways of showcasing a collection. It is something that Copenhagen and London are trying to do but it would be great to see other fashions weeks do this too. I think it would be inclusive and interesting too.
Maybe in the future, there could be an International Fashion Week platform to showcase all of the presentations in one place. I don’t know if the fashion week system could be made even more international, but I think it would be really cool. That could be the future, you never know!
You never know! Thank you so much for speaking with us. It was so interesting to get to know you and NYNNE more and we cannot wait to see the AW21 collection!
We love Nynne’s emphasis on female empowerment and sustainability and fell even more in love with the brand after hearing all about the collection. It was amazing to hear all about the women behind the AW21 campaign and we loved how Nynne celebrates the many different approaches to womanhood and femininity.
This interview has been shortened and edited by Daisy Wallis.