Since the start of the 21st century, the contemporary market in the fashion industry has become lucrative. Sitting between high street and designer labels, contemporary brands cater to the demands of the middle class for high-quality fashion with affordable price points. While many luxury labels have set up their own diffusion lines to help answer this demand, such as Versus by Versace and Miu Miu by Prada among others, a lot of them are still too expensive for the average consumer. Contemporary brands aim to produce fashion-forward pieces that can by affordable yet still trendy, and a mix of consumers have already embraced such labels, most prominently, Ganni.
The Humble Beginning of Ganni
Established in 2000 by art collector Frans Truelsen, who was in search for the perfect knitwear, Ganni is a Copenhagen-based contemporary brand specializing in women’s ready-to-wear. In 2009, a team of husband and wife, creative director Ditte Reffstrup and company CEO Nicolaj Reffstrup, took over the company and slowly introduced it to the international fashion market. Although slightly pricier than that of fast fashion brands like H&M and Zara, their products are still affordable for the everyday consumer in search of luxurious and high-quality clothing. As of 2018, their products are sold in over 400 retailers around the world, as well as a select few stores in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
The company insists that unlike luxury and other contemporary brands, they don’t have a specific customer in mind. They aim to offer a diverse selection of pieces that any type of customer can find to their liking. In an interview with Vogue UK, creative director Ditte said of the label, “There’s a lot of different influences all in one, but it’s what makes it fun to work with”. She explained that she has been inspired by different style icons, from Kirsten Dunst during her “The Virgin Suicides” days to Vanessa Paradis in her music video for her 1992 song, Be My Baby. “It’s possible to dress in Ganni from top to bottom without like you’re only wearing one label” Ditte emphasized.
In 2012, the company branched out in the UK market, while in 2014, they started selling in the United States. Having navigated two of the biggest fashion retail markets in the world, the label has become a streetwear favorite among many women. There’s even the hashtag #GanniGirl, where thousands and thousands of Instagram-users post their OOTD’s wearing the contemporary label. While the overall style of the brand is feminine and pretty, a lot of their pieces are democratic in it that it can be styled to fit a very different look. Similarly, women of different ages and social groups have all been seen wearing Ganni on the street, especially during the ever-so-hectic fashion weeks.
In 2014, they were awarded the Brand of the Year award during Danish Elle’s annual Style Awards. They’ve also released shoe, lingerie, and accessory lines to further broaden their brand and literally dress their customers from head to toe. They’ve also held fashion shows during Copenhagen Fashion Week, showing amongst some of Denmark’s top designers.
Among their many pieces that have since become their signature items are cashmere knits (from which the label started from), floral midi-dresses, tailored denim tops and bottoms, and a few logoed t-shirts and sweaters. A lot of their collections center around a positive theme, such as “Love Society” of Fall 2017, which focused on finding the love during this heavily-political time, and “Global Citizen” of Spring 2018, an ode to the travelling woman and the unity of various countries and cultures to be one global society. While they don’t go overly-political like some brands have in recent years, their clothes always have a message of optimism.
Currently, their newest offering features flouncy dresses and pajama sets with ladylike-prints such as florals, cheeky animal prints, and quirky polka dots. A lot of them are juxtaposed with more rigid pieces like their denim, which were made in collaboration with interior brand Magniberg designers Bengt Thornerfors and Christopher Svensson. They both plan to release a capsule collection with denim giant Levi’s. Among the collaboration’s pieces for Spring 2018 are oversized jeans and cropped denim jackets, offered in both classic acid-washed blue and the more vibrant orange and pale yellow.
With the industry having a major magpie moment, where wearing layers upon layers is the hottest trend, Ganni may be on its way to becoming the hottest contemporary brand. They’ve already amassed a great following, especially on social media with the hashtag #Gannigirl, and is credited by many in the fashion press as redefining Scandinavian style. Before, the fashion sense in these countries was more minimal and androgynous, but since Ganni came onto the scene, Scandinavian women of different ages began dressing more femininely and more elaborately. If this brand was able to do that in a subcontinent, what more can they do on the global scale? The fashion world will just have to wait and see.