Interview with Gitte Wetter
Samsøe Samsøe, a brand with a nod to Scandinavian heritage, is focusing on contemporary clothing, footwear and accessories for both men and women. It combines the utilitarian energy of Copenhagen street sytle with a quintessentially spirit of Scandinavia.
Gitte Wetter, Head of Samsøe Samsøe'smenswear, has been with the brand for almost a decade. Over these years she has seen the brand evolve from being a local Danish brand to an international brand with stores all around the world.
1. Gitte, tell us more about yourself.
Just after I finished fashion school I have had my own brand forlike three years. It was really good, but really tough. I did menswear,but it actually turned out to be unisex,because a lot of women liked ittoo. Itwas really tough to be on my own,so I decided to get a deal and then I got a job in a place that I didn't want to bein. One of my friends, who wasworking atSamsøe & Samsøe, told me there was anopeningat the brand and that's whenI started. That'snow like nine years ago. I enjoyitreally, really much.
2. Why did you choose fashion design and what made you do menswear in particular?
I think it's a classic story,I'm from countrysideandwhen I was a kid,I was I was really boyish in a way and I likedto dress a little bit different than others. I really liked the way I was dressing and I always loved drawing and beingcreative. So, I think that was my goal in a way. Then I went to fashion school.
When I started at the fashion school, there was nobody making menswear.Well actually, maybe it was kind of a rebel thing for me. I wantedto do menswearbecause nobody else wasdoing it. But I also really find it super interesting because of the silhouettes and because you can really dig into the small detailing compared to a womenswear,where it'smore like the whole look. You can really work with the small details,fabrics and colours.
3. What menswear trend do you see coming back into fashion?
For a while there's been this big focus on street wear and work wearand I'm really into workwear.But,I see a tendency for more classic mens work wear coming, withmaybe mixingit with the streetwear look. I also really see that young kids are much more into styling. It's not about one look, it's about finding your own look with mixing different styles together. I think that's very interesting andimportantfor the world as well, that people are more creative.Also,with all this mass production I think it's good that people keep mixingnew clothes with a lot of second handclothes.That they find their own way of expressing themselves.
4. What is it that inspires you the most?
I'm going a lot to the concerts, looking at upcoming bands. That's inspired me a lot. I Think they're really creative andspecial. I also travela lot to Japanand I think these guys are the most stylish men actually. From my perspective, I think the qualities and the shapesarejust you very unique and you don't find that anywhere else. So that's a big inspiration for me.
5. What is your favourite colour and why?
Ireally love black, but actually my favourite colour is blue,especially indigo blue.I think it's a classic colour, but it's also a colour which can just get more and more beautiful during the years. And if you wash it, the coluor will changeandI think that's very interesting. And I love workwear and the old school workwear was also blue.
6. What makes Samsøe Samsøeunique in your words?
Samsøe Samsøe as a company, especially because we have this family feeling, we are like one family. When I started it was a small company and everybody knew each other. But even though we have been growing a lot,we work in a structure where everyone is sitting close to each other andcan say whatever you wants to anyone at anytime.People are staying with the brand areallylong time,it's not only me that's been there for a long time. You really have a lot of good friends in the company and I find that really unique.
About the clothing, Samsøe Samsøeis a really Scandinavian brand.We're finding our roots in this Scandinavian design tradition. We always talk about the Danish design architects, which did all these furniture,like four moons. They have their ideas of how to make furniture with good qualityand clean linesandwe adapted that to our brand. That's the essence of the company now. The most important for us is to be trueto our customers, to give them a new development,but still keep the good qualities and a real good price as well.
7. Tell us a little bit more about the fall/winter 2019 collection.
The inspiration was taken from the North Sea andthe collectionis called »North Sea Nostalgia«. It's us thinking about how people are living today. Instead of traveling to Paris, New York and all these big cities, we really see peopleslow down when they go onholiday and maybe go into the natureor maybe to the North Seato relax and get some fresh air. Ithink as freetime is unique now,you really have to focus on that. So that was the whole idea,togo back to the roots to find some elements from the old fishermen's and thecolours from the nature. We're alsoworking a lot with structuresin this collection, so that's basically what it's all about.
8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
When I started at Samsøe Samsøe I though I'll stay here one year. Now I've been here fornine years, but I really see a big development area. Not one day is the sameas the other. Istill get a kick of a excitement to do these clothes for Samsøe Samsøe,and so I really see myself staying in the company and fight for the new things,with sustainability andchanging the world with fashion as well.
9. Where do you see the future of mens fashion evolving?
I think a lot of menswear brands aregoing into womenswear as wellnow. I really see all this gender free, unisex style and I think it'simportant that we're more open minded. I really love that because I love wearing menswear as well. I also see that men are more open nowadays and in the past men were boring and wore just classic menswear. But now, when I see cool young guys in Copenhagen, I'm so inspired by them.
Young kids are more daring in the way of mixing different styles,so I think menswear is getting more creative in a way.I'm really happy as at Samsøe & Samsøeas well we'reusing much more unique qualities than before. Also more feminine qualities,like tensile material,different linen, a bit of structuresand also with length and the silhouettes. We didn't do that like five years ago,so I really see something happeningandit's very exciting. I alsofeellike in the past we had to travel a lot to get inspired, but now you can just go on the street and find inspiration everywhere.
10. What are the plans for the future of Samsøe Samsøe? Where would you like the future to take the brand?
Thefuture is definitely to be more sustainable, We are working a lot on it at the momentalready. We just launcheda new denim line called »Blue belief«, which isall organic. The whole standard programis alsoto be organic now. More transparency is also very important for the customers. That's what I think is the future.
Besides that, I think the environment willhave a lot to say in what will happen in the fashion business. Maybe people will buy more secondhandinstead of buying fast fashion. I really hopethat people will spend more money on good qualities instead of just buying mass. At Samsøe Samsøewe are really looking into qualities and we're getting better qualities every season and we are very aware of where it's produced.We are really trying to get more production back toEurope from China, to buy a lot of fabric fromItaly againand Portugal. It's neccessary for the world to go back to the roots.
At Samsøe Samsøewe have a plan, we are going to conquer the world. Soon we will open storesin London and aris. We're looking forward to that and as a brand we're so lucky that a lot of cool stores are putting us on their shelves, we just came to Selfridges. We're slowly getting in the right direction and hopefullysoon,we will open a store in the States as well.
photos by Andreas Bach
Jana Letonja & Timotej Letonja