In terms of Instagram-affirmed brands, Ganni is ruling the game, with an instantly identifiable aesthetic, scores of the most stylish Scandi social media stars as unofficial ambassadors aka #gannigirls and ever-growing international popularity that shows no sign of abating.
Founded in 2000, the cult Danish label was completely revitalised in 2009 when it was taken over my husband-and-wife duo, creative director Ditte Reffstrup and CEO Nicolaj Reffstrup, who have transformed the brand in the past few years with a curated edit of print dresses that are worn by all your favourite dressers, playful denim and affordable accessories. Ganni is now available in more than 400 retailers around the well as well as through 21 concept stores across Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
One of the final shows on the last day of Copenhagen Fashion Week, the Ganni Spring/Summer 2019 collection, entitled Paradis, was a final hoorah to summer as rain clouds fast approached Denmark, following 69 consecutive days of sunshine. The carefree mood of adventure and freedom was inspired by the Scandinavian tradition of wild camping.
“For me this season was about chasing a feeling… of being outside at sunset, barefoot on the grass listening to dogs bark and friends cooking and laughing around the fire. In Copenhagen in summer it’s tradition that friends get out to the forest or the beach at the weekend. It’s about being in nature with friends. By the end you want to live in the woods,” Creative Director, Ditte Reffstrup explained. “And clothes for camping is exactly my aesthetic. I like to mix it up, to put a nice dress with a too-big sweater or chunky sneaker. Like when you’re pulling out clothes out of your back-pack, it’s unpredictable… and that’s how Copenhagen girls dress.”
Having grown up in a small fisherman town in Denmark, throughout the collection, Ditte reflects on nature being at the centre of her upbringing but also how it was something she took for granted. Soft pink, flower prints symbolise the naivety and romanticism of her childhood mixed with blouses and dresses in black broderie anglaise which hint at Ditte’s ominous thoughts about the future of the natural environs she once adored. ”The collection gets a little darker too, paradis as a concept of the past. It’s hard to think about nature and the future and feel positive. I have three small kids – I don’t think they will have experiences like I did. The wilderness is disappearing.”
In the signature Ganni mix-and-match way, Ditte clashed prints, pairing familiar slip dresses with anoraks, hiking boots, bucket hats, fleeces and gilets. Vests were emblazoned with the word ‘Nature’ and tie-dye denim was a highlight of the collection, rebellious and fresh with modern touches, like three-colour jeans.
With a front row including international press and many of the most powerful fashion influencers in the world right now, from Pernille Teisbaek and Veronika Heilbrunner to Susie Lau and Linda Tol, as ever the Ganni show was all about starting Danish micro trends that quickly proliferate through the fashion chain, courtesy of the ever-engaged audience.
Thus, hiking boots are soon to be the footwear of choice for the style set, accompanied with bucket hats and tie-dye denim. Anoraks will replace the ubiquitous puffer jacket and racer back vests are in. And if you take one thing away, it’s to keep an eye on the leopard print slip dress which will undoubtedly be the most wanted piece from the collection when it eventually drops in-store and online.
On the subject of stores, for the duration of Copenhagen Fashion Week, Ganni opened a pop-up shop in the form of a Danish kiosk, offering an eclectic curation of locally sourced products and go-to items carefully selected by Ditte Reffstrup. Next, the pop-up will travel to New York Fashion Week and launch exclusively in the high-end concept store Totokaelo for a limited period. So, with a small team now based in London, will Ganni be popping up on this side of the pond any time soon? “We are planning and wishing for at least one store in the UK,” Ditte confirmed, backstage after the show.
In Ditte’s own words what has been the key to Ganni’s meteroic success? “I think it’s very much because we do what we love. I think you can see that it’s made out of love. I try not to think about it too much. I think in a way it’s very honest and that’s why people like it.” Couldn’t agree more.