LABEL TO WATCH – CECILIE COPENHAGEN
With her keffiyeh inspired pieces, Copenhagen-based designer Cecilie Jorgensen is creating quite a stir amongst editors, fashionistas, actresses and it-girls as we speak. Not because of the fabric’s controversial political history, but because of the way she re-invented it…
Rumor has it that the label Cecilie Copenhagen was born out of necessity in 2011. We all know that dreading moment: a stuffed wardrobe but nothing to wear. When facing her personal styling dilemma, Cecilie, a student at the Danish Design School back then, came up with the idea to turn a couple of worn keffiyeh scarves into a dress – the rest is history.
“Because I think we are different from other labels in this industry. The CECILIE Copenhagen team is young and not afraid to try doing things differently than usual. We go big and we are excited to show you our future collections and our universe“. Cecilie Jorgensen
WTL: Which three words sum up what CECILIE COPENHAGEN stands for?
CJ: Identity. Ambitious. Energy.
WTL: How would you describe the signature of your work?
CJ: A combination of relaxed and uncompromising, with character.
WTL: You work with a politically controversial fabric, known from the keffiyeh scarfs – what made you choose this particular fabric and why did you decide to create your label around it?
CJ: The fabric has been used as a clothing item for decades. For me, I got inspired by the beautiful pattern and its originality. I love different cultures and get inspiration from all over the world.
WTL: What does the future of your label bring – will you include other prints and fabrics?
CJ: Right now our focus is on the prints you see now and I don’t believe we have seen all the expressions for that particular print yet. But I have a lot of ideas and work I want to do for the future, and my eyes are always open for new things.
WTL: What kind of woman is wearing your clothes?
CJ: Women who are confident, has identity and not are afraid of something new.
WTL: In a dream world, whom do you want to see wearing your designs?
CJ: Difficult question. I think there are many, but a woman like Erin Wasson would be pretty cool!
WTL: If you could describe your label as a single piece of clothing. What would it be?
CJ: A T-Shirt – with the right fit you can use a t-shirt for almost everything.
WTL: How does Scandinavia influence your designs?
CJ: Copenhagen is my base, but not my home. I love the Scandinavian and minimalistic way of thinking. But different cultures and their character also inspire a lot of my ideas – I love the mix.
WTL: How would you describe the Scandinavian fashion scene?
CJ: There are many Scandinavians designers during the last 10-15 years who have done really well. At the same time, a lot of new names are coming up and it is super exiting to follow their work.
WTL: What are, in your opinion, the most influential Scandinavian fashion bloggers?
CJ: Right now, I think Pernille Teisbæk is most influential blogger in Scandinavia.
WTL: What are your top 5 Instagram accounts?
WTL: How important is social media for you personally and for your work?
CJ: For our work social media is definitely important. Back when it all started our Instagram account had a huge effect on our expansion and it still has. Personally, I think social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are fantastic! I love that you can express what you like in pictures and emotions instead of text.
WTL:…so you prefer images to text?
CJ: Yes as I am dyslexic – so basically I only look at photos.
WTL: What current trend do you follow?
CJ: I love that the 70’s are back!
WTL: Talking about Trends. You only work with a few cuts, prints and materials. How do you stay ahead of the game?
CJ: At CECILIE Copenhagen it is our culture always to observe and be aware of what’s new or next in the industry. However I believe, that if you want to do something great you can only do what you think is great. What I mean is that as a designer I need to express my self and my thoughts – not the one of others. But the combination is excellent.
WTL: Who is your style icon and inspires you?
CJ: Phoebe Philo.
WTL: What are the milestones in your life that have inspired you to become a designer? Did you always want to be a designer?
CJ: I started drawing dresses and girls wearing designer clothes before I could walk! It has always been very interesting to me and now being a designer is a dream come true.
WTL: If you could start all over again – what would you do differently?
CJ: I have learned a lot since the beginning of CECILIE Copenhagen but honestly I wouldn’t change anything – but I will use what I have learned so far to do things even better for the future.
WTL: What was the biggest lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?
CJ: That you pretty much have to work 24/7.
WTL: What advice would you give to young designers who want to launch their own label?
CJ: To follow their own ideas and visions and be ready to give all it takes.
WTL: Which fashion designers have inspired you on your journey?
CJ: Designers like Phoebe Philo, Isabel Marant and Jonny Johansson will always inspire me.
WTL: What was the best advice someone ever gave you?
CJ: To do what you like the most – I believe that’s what makes you happy.
WTL: What in life makes a fire burn inside of you?
CJ: If people are unfair to each other and are not willing to look at the bigger picture.
WTL: What describes you better: daydreamer or realist?
WTL: What style advice would you give?
CJ: Do not dress in clothes you might think you look good in or what other people say you should wear – wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Nothing like your personality looks better on you.
WTL: What do you like to do when you are not designing?
CJ: When I have the time a love to travel – it is always exiting for me to discover new cultures, arts, styles and people and whatever that makes your wiser on the particular country I am visiting.
WTL: What is your idea of happiness?
CJ: In my opinion love is all you need to be happy.
WTL: What is your present state of mind?
CJ: Excited about the future!
WTL: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
CJ: Trust, honesty and humor.
WTL: What is your favorite band and what music do you listen to?
CJ: I do not have a particular band I listen to, but I love the jazz genre – especially when I work.
WTL: Which movie would you watch again and why?
CJ: “Howl’s moving castle”, a Japanese animated fantasy film.
WTL: What is your dream destination you love to travel to?
CJ: I have a lot of places I like to visit! Right now, my next big travel will hopefully be to Sri Lanka…
WTL: Do you have a favorite restaurant?
CJ: I don’t have specific places that I visit again and again because I like to always try something new. But during the last year I have spent a lot of time in London and I think that this city has it all!
WTL: If you could shop anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
CJ: New York – because everything you need you can get in New York.
WTL: What are the three items you couldn’t live without?
CJ: My weaknesses are shoes, bags and coats.
WTL: If you could leave us with one thought, what would it be?
CJ: Keep an eye on us! We have a lot to show you.
Picture Credit: Naomi Akvama