Central Saint Martins grad, former model and fashion director for Cover Magazine, Stine Goya introduced her eponymous fashion brand in 2006. And now, in 2019, the designer is one of the leading figures Danish fashion, helping to popularize both Copenhagen Fashion Week and the idea that Danish fashion doesn’t always have to mean minimal. With Stine Goya, she experiments with lots of prints and daring silhouettes with a genuine commitment to sustainability. She’s attempting to answer the questions we all have about consumption right now: how can we combine our love of fashion and sustainability?
For All The Pretty Birds, we chatted with Stine Goya about Copenhagen, conscious design, and what’s next for her brand.
All The Pretty Birds: There’s an emergence of Scandinavian designers, how can you explain the appeal of this new wave?
Stine Goya: The fashion industry is built around newness with everyone hungry to discover emerging talents and ideas, which is why I believe Scandinavia and Copenhagen in particular have been such a focus in recent seasons. And honestly, it’s about time! Our approach is unexpected — it’s practical, it’s comfortable, but it’s also unique as we aren’t afraid to explore challenging silhouettes and color palettes. What I love about the Danish fashion scene is the way we support one another. We’re a small city and it pays to encourage and drive talent further.
ATPB: How would you describe this transformation from the perspective of a designer?
SG: In the last 2 years or so the change has been absolutely phenomenal and “we” – as in the collective of Danish / Scandi designers – definitely owe that to social media. While the industry has always been hungry for new talent, the means of reaching a large & meaningful audience has been controlled by certain gate-keepers. Now with social media, there is a democratization of access that enables and promotes a new method of discovery.
ATPB: What’s your earliest memory of Danish style?
SG: Danish style for me is often completely misunderstood and often clumped within an oversimplified understanding of Scandinavian design as synonymous with minimalism. Danish style is first and foremost considered. The Danes are comfort driven but design focused. There’s a playfulness in approach to pieces but thoughtful execution. We are more casual than the Swedes but also more explorative – our designers drive to challenge and showcase a new approach and mindset, which is refreshing and intriguing. In that way it’s very exciting to be a part of it.
ATPB: Sustainability is a big topic in fashion right now. How are you making strides to change how the fashion industry creates clothing?
SG: We are reevaluating our output and operational processes to initiate real change across the company. In June 2019, we released our long-term sustainable policy which outlined our seasonal goals looking at areas within product, planet and people. As a designer, with product at the core of what I do – it was very important for me to analyse our materials and understand our shortcomings in terms of sustainable fabrics and means of production. We looked extensively into the fabric matrix system to identify the environmental impact of specific products and research alternatives. We have established a seasonal collection produced 100% from sustainable materials. We have also tested and introduced water-free digital printing into our main line, and by 2025 will completely shifting our material use to those identified/certified globally as minimally impactful.
On a personal level, I am of course hugely concerned as to where our society and planet is headed. We need to band together to initiate change. We need to hold each other accountable. I do not intend that the evolution of Stine Goya comes at the expense of the world we live in, and strive to create a brand with longevity. The policies we have initiated today are only the first step, each day becomes another opportunity.
ATPB: I was in awe in front of the pictures and videos from your last show in Copenhagen. As a Black woman, there is a lack of representation in the catwalk, so I was thrilled. Do you personally emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusivity in your vision of fashion?
SG: I am so pleased to hear of your reaction as the SS20 Show was a labour of love for everyone involved and we were very conscious that our casting reflected our duty to showcase the breadth of individuals in our society. I do hope that our followers and customers feel our messaging and content emphasizes, promotes and celebrates diversity and inclusivity. As a brand, we have never designed with a specific ideal person in mind – there is no Stine Goya woman that I hope my customers strive for – rather we approach collections with the hope that they are used as means for our customers to explore what they wish to emphasise in themselves.
Image Credits: Rasmus Weng Karlsen, Stine Goya, Iris Humm, James Cochrane