Interview by Anano Shalamberidze

Meet Sara Sode, the Creative Director driving the essence of Notes du Nord, a quintessential Scandinavian brand. With an innate ability to fuse modern flair with timeless class, Sode has propelled Notes du Nord to global acclaim. In this interview, we unravel Sara's journey, exploring her design philosophy that marries innovation and tradition, capturing the contemporary while honoring Scandinavian heritage.

Let’s start from the beginning…what is the story of Notes du Nord and how did it first come about?

We could see that something was missing in the market, and we wanted to create a high-end brand with affordable prices. 

But my love for fashion began when I,  as a kid,  read my Mom’s fashion magazines… I have also danced on a professional level for many years, where outfits made a huge difference and I sat with my Mom and Dad and designed and sewed costumes for years. As an adult, I got a job in the fashion industry and just knew right away – that this was what I wanted to do. 

What does the brand name refer to?

We wanted a name that could be pronounced in English, that had a French vibe to it, and was ‘showing’ that it’s from ‘The North’ – Scandinavia…

Can you describe the core philosophy behind your brand’s unique take on femininity and how it aligns with the brand’s values?

Notes du Nord has created its own take on femininity, shaping a clear modern identity with a strong Nordic vibe for women around the globe. Like a delicate croissant consisting of several layers besides what is visible to the naked eye, we know that all women are wonderful whole individuals composed of a variety of distinct roles we play in our lives. Notes du Nord is a brand that aims to strengthen and empower women. We design for women who don’t want to compromise and don’t want to be limited. 

We shift seamlessly from carefree socialite to serious career woman – from loving mom to sensual lover. Each layer is carefully manicured through life’s experiences, creating a beautiful, complex creature that is the modern woman.

Notes du Nord creates pieces with impact, whether you’re at home, at work, or glamming up for a night out. An attention to detail and exceptional materials, paired with balanced feminine and masculine design codes, define every Notes du Nord collection.

“I only create pieces that I would wear myself.. That’s my formula :)”

Sara Sode

Can you describe the typical customer who resonates with your brand’s style?

I believe that Notes du Nord is an attitude… So our core values resonate with customers who adore quality, elegance, and fit, over hype and here-and-now trends… 

Are there any signature pieces or designs that have become synonymous with your brand?

Dresses! We love a good dress, whether you’re off for work or going out…

How do you balance staying true to your brand’s roots while adapting to current fashion trends?

I only create pieces that I would wear myself… That’s my formula 🙂

Can you share some insights into the brand’s design process from concept to final product?

We begin with an inspiration.. this would most of the time be a piece of nature, a smell, a piece of art, or music – and from that the ‘tone of voice’ or the theme of the collection is created. From there we work from a place of what we would like to wear ourselves and what expression we would love to show… Colors are carefully chosen, we draw all prints ourselves, materials are created, silhouettes are sketched and made into the first proto samples, and from there the fitting for us is crucial… The fit needs to fit a woman and needs to be as perfect as it can be… We have different fitting models, that vary in age, shape, and size… And when we’re done with the final product, it’s being wrapped lovely in themed visuals, that being photos and videos… It’s an amazing process…

How do you handle sustainability and ethical considerations in your brand’s manufacturing process?

For us, we’ve focused on creating 100 % sustainable styles and getting a sustainability certificate on the fabrics, before we call it sustainable. Setting the bar high and keeping to the true meaning of the word. If we break our collection down and look at the number of styles that contain sustainable elements/fabrics – we’re very far. 

You recently took part in the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair. What was the experience like?

It’s always hectic and fun! I love meeting up with people that I haven’t seen in a long time, enjoy meeting new creative persons and also meeting the boutique owners and onliners that we work with.

Finally, any exciting drops/projects we should look out for?

The FW23 collection ‘Ode to the Moon’ has just dropped in stores now… I really love that collection, the color range, the delicate prints and the amazing coats… I typically find my inspiration in nature or the elements. And it’s always about contrasts… The inspiration for FW/23 is drawn from the Moon, it’s a powerful symbol of femininity, intuition, and creation ‘and just like the Moon sheds light and enhances the beauty that is already there, I want this collection to do the same for you. To enhance the beauty that you already possess.