“This is late for L.A.,” said stylist Kate Foley, one of a handful of hosts Copenhagen-cool contemporary brand Ganni enlisted to help celebrate its arrival in the U.S. with a 1,800-square-foot store on Melrose Avenue and a 1,600-square-foot store in New York’s SoHo.
The affair started at 9 p.m. on Thursday and went into the early morning at Los Feliz’s Dresden Restaurant & Lounge.
“What I love about L.A. is there’s so many places like this that have so much history,” continued Foley, who recently relocated from New York. “Super old-school.”
Guests sipped on dirty martinis and snacked on fried calamari and shrimp cocktails inside the kitschy and beloved restaurant, a landmark that dates back to 1954 and was featured in the 1996 cult classic “Swingers.”
“It’s perfect for us,” said designer Ditte Reffstrup, who created Ganni with husband Nicolaj. It fits the vibe of Ganni, she added, as she made her way through the crowd, which included Miles Gerber, Luka Sabbat, Salem Mitchell, Devon Lee Carlson, Sydney Carlson, Alana Hadid and cohosts Ganna Bogdan, Juliette Labelle and Richie Shazam, donning pieces from the label.
“They are such a beautiful, dynamic brand that’s encompassing of femininity, of persons within the feminine spectrum,” said model and artist Shazam. “I’m really obsessed with their politics on sustainability, how they connect people from all walks of life.”
“I’m born and raised in New York and now I’m in L.A.,” Shazam continued. “It’s so great to connect with my other creative fellows here. The beauty of being in Los Angeles is space. There’s so much space for creativity and to expand and explore avenues. You can wear different hats and uncover different facets of your identity in this landscape. And it’s such an international scene. It’s a great space to work and has such a deep history of creativity. For brands, it’s vital to be in Los Angeles.”
Musical duo Elayne and Marty Roberts, who have been performing their lounge act at the restaurant for almost four decades, kicked off the night with a jazz performance, before Lykke Li took the stage to sing hits like “I Follow Rivers.” The night then turned into a dance party as DJs played classics by Madonna and Blur.
The party capped off a cross-country Airstream tour for the accessible-chic brand that’s been worn by Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Beyoncé and a ton more celebs, which popped up in Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, Nashville, Dallas, Austin and other cities, after opening the first Ganni store in New York City.
“We knew we wanted to do the U.S. For a while, we’ve been seeing our wholesale clients here doing extremely well online and in physical stores. It just made sense,” said Nicolaj earlier in the day during a tour of the L.A. store, which is next to Palace streetwear and down the street from Acne Studios.
The cheery interior uses a lot of sustainable materials, and borrows design elements from the designers’ home, with Klint light fixtures, recycled poured plastic displays and rugs made from deadstock Ganni fabrics. Photographs of the Danish capital taken by Serbian photographer Ana Kraš cover the walls. So far, the brand has not made a foray into home design and accessories, but you never know, Ditte said. “Maybe someday!”
The L.A. store features a special capsule collection, including an upcycled leather patchwork jacket and a logo T-shirt with the longitude and latitude of the Melrose location.
The brand has been on an upward trajectory in recent months, with 80 million euro in global sales, and the designers are feeling bullish about retail growth, seeing potential for 20 to 25 Ganni stores in the coming years. Said Nicolaj, “Our biggest challenge is growing the business without diluting the brand.”