nynne kunde

Nynne Kunde on karma and finding the sweet spot

Nynne Kunde is on a roll. Not only is her eponymous label, NYNNE, going well, but she also knows what she wants. As a 30-year-old, one may think of her as a new kid on the block – but she’s anything but new to the scene. TT talked to her about the modern woman, including her cosmopolitan lifestyle, sustainability, and the importance of keeping things fun.
Cover image: courtesy of NYNNE

In conversation with 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. The home-bound time may have forced her to rethink how 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 should fit the modern lifestyle. How has this evolved through the years?

‘It changed. It’s more about women on the go. My designs must be functional and glamorous. I’m 28 and 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. That’s the best explanation of what I mean by 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.’

What about sustainability? You’re part of the official Copenhagen Fashion Week schedule and must 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 them 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, and the production side are significant 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 miss out on a big part. It’s almost like greenwashing to me. Therefore, we don’t do massive collections and only two per year.’

She adds: ‘I’m a big believer in karma – you must always be nice. It makes life easier and better. It doesn’t make sense to do the opposite.’

I agree. By the way, NYNNE has a 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, I always tell them they can dye it themselves since they are pure cotton or pure silk. But mostly, my clients 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 because we’re about clothes you never want to get rid of.’

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 things 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 knew. It’s something I try to keep in mind.’

Those are wise words to live by. Some people need decades to discover this way of thinking honestly.

‘You need it to keep going. It’s about finding a balance – I always try to find it. For example, people like leather coats and some extravaganza, but I always combine it with something more wearable and approachable. The student in me tells me that the extravagant ideas are the cool ones. But 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.’