In the Instagram era, nearly any ascent to fame is possible. Immediate, random success can prove confusing: Even for a soft-spoken duo of Danish girls whose luxury label of playful fur coats, clothing and accessories has rocketed to acclaim — all thanks to the visual platform.
Saks Potts, a Copenhagen-based fashion brand, marked its first New York Fashion Week presentation Thursday at The National Arts Club. There, founders Cathrine Saks, 25, and Barbara Potts, 24, exhibited their ninth collection — which introduced an array of new product categories, including eveningwear and an expanded ready-to-wear offering, as well as their first foray into the blue-chip handbag category.
“I think from the beginning of our company we had some really good supporters over here. Emily Weiss and Leandra Medine — girls like that — their followers saw our things and we got a following. Because we are two young girls, we think very visually. We use Instagram a lot as a way of p.r. for our company — our photos really get out there so quickly. Our things really pop out,” said Saks. The label currently counts more than 64,000 followers on the social media app.
Saks and Potts met in kindergarten and founded the brand at age 19, while pursuing degrees in tailoring and art history, respectively. Their label has since been worn by Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, and has been picked up by retailers including Net-a-porter, Boontheshop, MatchesFashion and Brown’s.
That is not to say their feminine designs are entirely wonk. “You feel comfortable but you are still not looking like everyone else,” said Saks.
For the presentation, the brand paired its debut handbag — a mink hobo style with a nylon logo strap — with matching outerwear. Saks Potts had retained girl-about-downtown stylist Stella Greenspan — a frequent collaborator of Gucci muse and photographer Petra Collins — to style its show.
Saks foresees handbags eventually growing to a large share of the company’s sales. Last season, the brand introduced a plastic logo tote as a test of the market — and noted that sales performed better than expected. This season, they have expanded upon that tote idea (priced at about $80), while amping up with this new, more finished style — expected to retail for about $750.
“We want to do everything, but I think it’s still important for us to keep focused. If we didn’t have a good idea for a bag, we wouldn’t do it. We do things as long as it feels right for us, and I just felt like bags were so right for us to do right now,” Saks said.
The brand decided to stage its show in New York as a play to the U.S. market, where it sees an opportunity as a result of analyzing its web site’s traffic and sales. Other key markets for the label include the U.K. and South Korea.
Saks Potts is part of a growing contingent of Copenhagen-based labels gaining attention for original styles. Brands including Ganni and Astrid Andersen, as well as jewelry designers Sophie Bille Brahe and Charlotte Wendes, are creating buzz for the Danish capital.
Saks explained of the creative groundswell: “I think that, especially for young girls, there is a movement. You are not so afraid of starting your own label. I think a lot of attention is being given to Copenhagen, especially in America, everything from our food to furniture. Our clothing has been so minimal for such a long time, the whole minimalist Scandinavian style, and now it’s just becoming more fun and younger.”