Nynne Kunde is on a roll. Not only is her eponymous label NYNNE going well, but she also knows what she wants. As a 28-year-old, one may think of her as a new kid on the block – but she’s anything but new to the scene. TTM talked to her about the modern woman, including her cosmopolitan lifestyle, sustainability, and the importance of keeping things fun.
Cover image: courtesy of NYNNE, shot by Mar Dexter
Interview Nynne Kunde
A couple of years ago, Nynne Kunde debuted at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Her signature style has been loved by every fashion insider ever since. Kunde hasn’t sat still, during the pandemic. The home-bound time may have forced her to rethink the way she creates, but above all, it made clear that her designs are timeless and appeal to many. We had a quick chat in her showroom during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Your clothes are for the modern woman, and they should fit the modern lifestyle. How has this evolved during the pandemic?
‘It definitely changed. It’s more about women on the go. My designs must be functional and glamorous. I’m 28, and I’m looking at women younger than me but also older. It’s all about layering, being on the go, putting something in your bag, dressing up and down – things you do on a busy day. I also created timeless pieces that you can style and wear in multiple ways. I think that’s the best explanation of what I mean with the modern woman; it’s about the cosmopolitan woman, always on the go. My clothes should be versatile and easy to wear, for any occasion. They have a cosmopolitan feeling.’
‘My clothes have a cosmopolitan feeling.’Nynne Kunde
Sustainability at the core
What about sustainability? You’re part of the official Copenhagen Fashion Week schedule, so you are obliged to have strict sustainability policies and plans.
‘We’re improving along the way. We’re constantly updating what we do and thinking about how to be more sustainable. This season we worked with silk-lyocell and non-violent silk. We’re testing it to see how it works out. We also upcycle old materials as well and listen to what people want. If there’s a certain dress they like, we create a spin-off. We use things we have; if we have a lot of meters left from a previous collection, we incorporate it into the next one. We dye it in a different color and see whether it works. Of course, the numbers to be ordered from the particular item are small, but at least we’re using everything we have. Our leather is a by-product from the meat industry, by the way.’
And how do you take care of ethical labor?
‘I produce in both Italy and London. We’re collaborating with family-owned factories. They’re all very proud of what they do. Sustainability-wise, we store the finished products in either Italy or London, to minimize our footprint. It allows us to check every item by hand before it goes to clients. Both the labor, as well as the production side is very important to me. They’re equal – therefore we know whom we work with and that these people are treated well. When you only talk about materials, you’re missing out on a big part. It’s almost like greenwashing to me. Therefore, we don’t do massive collections and only two per year.’
‘I’m a big believer in karma.’Nynne Kunde
She adds: ‘I’m a big believer in karma – you need to be nice all the time. It makes life easier and better. It doesn’t make sense to do the opposite.’
I totally agree. By the way, NYNNE has a strong signature look, making it timeless and sustainable in its very own way. How do you view that?
‘It’s funny how people still like to buy into something they already have. Take for example our signature dress. If someone likes it and wants a different color as well, I always tell them they can dye it themselves, since they are pure cotton or pure silk. But mostly, my clients just want another one. It’s a thing about the cut – our dresses look good on everyone. If you find a dress in which you feel great and fiercer, you want to keep wearing it. That’s the aim of our collections. And actually, it’s all about sustainability as well, because we’re about clothes you never want to get rid of.’
Finding the sweet spot
Before you started NYNNE, you used to work for Rejina Pyo. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned there?
‘Not to give up on things, keep chasing. As a designer you get turned down a lot – people have opinions and a thing to say. You can get quite lost in others’ opinions. It’s a fair thing when you put yourself out there. The trick is to figure out what makes sense to you and what doesn’t. Leave the rest out. Rejina was very good at it. She knew what direction she had to go, and she still knows. It’s something I try to keep in mind.’
‘I learned not to give up on things – always keep chasing.’Nynne Kunde
Those are wise words to live by. Some people need decades to truly discover this way of thinking.
‘You need it to keep going. It’s about finding a balance – I try to find it all the time. For example, people like leather coats and some extravaganza, but I always combine it with something more wearable and approachable. It’s the student in me, who tells me that the extravagant ideas are the cool ones. But every now and then it’s good to have people around who are more commercially focused.’
I can imagine it must be hard to find the sweet spot.
‘Yes, it is. It’s a journey – and I’m still evolving.’