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Interview – fashion designer Nynne Kunde on her latest collection

nynne ss21

Creative director Nynne Kunde is a fresh face in the fashion scene. Since she started her eponymous brand, things have gone fast. In 2018, Kunde won the Womenswear Designer of the Year award. For the record: this happened during her graduation year. Soon after, she got scouted to show at Vancouver Fashion Week, for which she created twenty looks in a killer pace. We talked to this lady about NYNNE’s SS21 collection (shown during Copenhagen Fashion Week), her admiration for women and how living in London has formed her as a designer.
Cover photo: © NYNNE SS21

Nynne Kunde

NYNNE’s collections have a focus on craft and develop around the idea that women need to feel confident and powerful. With a strong love for “women fighting for what they want“, NYNNE is a brand for the brave. Creative director and owner, Nynne Kunde, designs for all those brave women, no matter size or shape. Based on the design philosophy less is more, NYNNE is a brand for everyone. Discover everything about the latest collection, Kunde’s sources of inspiration and watch the latest show below.

NYNNE SS21
© NYNNE SS21

NYNNE SS21

First of all: congratulations on your SS21 collection! What was the main source of inspiration for this collection?
Nynne Kunde: “Thank you! I am very happy with the final result. Creating the collection under the circumstance that I did this time was super challenging, so I am very pleased with how it turned out. I created it while in lockdown in London and I kept dreaming about the danish summer, how I would spend my time if I was home in Denmark and not be able to travel anywhere, which most people haven’t been this summer. So, the collection is really dedicated to the danish summer; spending time in the city during the week, maybe going sailing, to the beach or have a dip in the harbour, take a trip to the countryside in the weekend. The colours are inspired from the cornfields and the sea, and then I have used black, white and beige which are colours I almost always incorporate in my collections.

How has the pandemic influenced the SS21 collection? And how did the development go?
NK: “We were very affected in the beginning of the pandemic as we were not able to work from our office when we had to start the first work on the collection. We do the pattern cutting for all samples in house, something that is not possible to do from home, so that was super challenging. After a while we were able to come back to the office. We are such a small team so we could work from there while still following the government guidelines. We were lucky that we were still able to work with our sampling studios, fabric mills and everyone else we collaborate with on a collection, although in a very different way than normal. In a way it has been rewarding to figure out that even in the most difficult situations we can make it work and we are super lucky to work with so many great and dedicated people. It also gave me the time to really sit back and think about what I want NYNNE to be, therefore this collection is also smaller and more focused on the things I think we are good at. It felt wrong to put loads of unnecessary looks out there in a time like this, so I am super happy with this more concentrated and focused collection.

“It felt wrong to put loads of unnecessary looks out there in a time like this.”

What’s your favourite item?
NK: “I always love our Diana dress; it has been in every collection since I started and has become our signature piece. This season we made it in a cornflower yellow, a color similar to the first Diana dress I created in my graduate collection. We also reimagined the dress into a crisp white jumpsuit which is also one of my favorites, I think I will live in it next summer. Another favorite is the yellow dress with cutlines on the top part and a wave print that changes its colour slightly from top to bottom. It took us so long to get the fit just right and I am so happy with how it turned out in the end.

NYNNE SS21
© NYNNE SS21

A brand for the brave

Your collections usually revolve around female empowerment. Why is this theme so important to you?
NK: “Yes, it is a returning theme in my collections. I believe dressing is a form of language. You can so easily see if a woman doesn’t feel comfortable in what she is wearing. I want to make women feel comfortable and empowered in their own self. When I graduated from university the collection was about solving an issue I tend to hear from a lot of women, which is shape. I found out I really want to represent women and support women in their daily and evening wardrobe.

“I believe dressing is a form of language.”

Can you tell a bit more about the women you admire?
I admire women who express amazing confidence and bold expression, that’s where I find inspiration. I sometimes have a muse from either an art or film movement, always a woman who is almost a bit ahead of their time in a way.

NYNNE SS21
© NYNNE SS21

How has living in London formed you as a designer?
NK: “I moved to London when I was 19, and the city I have developed me a lot as a creative and designer. I have been surrounded by amazing people from all over the world with different narratives and skill sets. Being in London and in a design university in London helped me challenge myself, my previous values and aesthetics. There is constant inspiration in London and so many other creative individuals to engage with and collaborate with. I have found a great formula between my new formed design practice which I developed London and my Danish heritage which works for me and thankfully people have noticed as well.

Sustainability

NK: For this collection, you worked with a wide range of sustainable materials. What does sustainability mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your designs besides material use?
Yes, for me sustainability is important, it can be super hard and expensive to implement and we are definitely not where we want to be yet, but we try to push ourselves a little bit further every season and think about how we can work more sustainable and create more sustainable pieces. Sustainability for me is not a choice, it is something all brands should be aware of and try their best to implement throughout the supply chain. As you mention we have included some more sustainable materials this season, recycled polyester and Tencel, but I also try to think sustainability into the design. Last season for example we had a leather skirt where I included some cut lines which would make it easy to alter into a shorter skirt in case you would find it more interesting as a mini skirt in a few year’s time. And then in general we like to emphasise buying less pieces but buying better quality. Pieces that you can wear across seasons and trends. I believe that clothes should be worn, not just hanging in a closet, and I try to design so that each piece of clothing can be worn for multiple occasions.

NYNNE SS21
© NYNNE SS21

Which changes would you like to see in the fashion industry?
NK: “I think it is time for a pace change in the fashion industry, the amount of collections coming out every year both from high street but also luxury fashion brands are unnecessary and unsustainable. I think and hope we are at a point now where the consumer also starts to realise this and start asking questions about where and how their clothes are made as well as thinking about the amount of consumption.

I would also love to see more focus on craft and alternative ways of presenting collections such as Copenhagen Fashion Week has done this season. The digital format works great for smaller brands like us and even the hybrid option has proven to create some great fashion moments as well. The classic catwalk is a beautiful way of presenting the clothes, and a great way for the audience to see the clothes in real life, but it is not an option for everybody.

Near future

How do you see the label within five years? Any special plans or collaborations coming up?
NK: “At the moment our plan is to expand our wholesale network. We are especially focusing on Scandinavia and Europe where we would love to build a strong presence. We are so lucky to already be in some key cities and stores across Europe, including Le Bon March in Paris, Nørgaard Paa Strøget in Copenhagen, Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm, Macondo in Italy and Luisa Via Roma online. Then we are also focusing on improving our own website and webshop. With the global situation at the moment we have seen how important the digital channels are so that is something we really want to expand on and create a better connection with our online costumers.

Also read: Interview – Lilay Yuzgulen on finding inspiration in everyday objects

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