LONDON — Ganni was doing just fine before the pandemic, with store openings across the U.K. and U.S.; a legion of influencers who couldn’t get enough of its quirky, leopard-printed collections; runway shows that were the hottest ticket of Copenhagen Fashion Week, and some pretty epic after parties.
Consumer interest has been sustained despite the challenges that ongoing COVID-19 restrictions pose — its extra-large collars, roomy knits and staple leather separates ticked many work-from-home needs. Still, the buzzy Danish label wasn’t afraid to go back to the drawing board and press reset.
For one, it’s all about embracing more inclusive presentation formats instead of holding on to tradition or trying to mimic the runway format on screen.
“We love to take a more upbeat, inclusive approach to fashion week and with a digital concept we are able to put everyone on the invite list,” said Ganni creative director Ditte Reffstrup. “Last year we grew so much closer to our community and this year we wanted to continue that to say thank you and let them know that whatever they are going through, they’re not alone.”
Even last summer when the brand had the opportunity to throw a physical show, they opted for a phygital exhibition format that showcased lockdown art, photography and writing by female creatives around the world. Now that Copenhagen is under lockdown and fashion week had to shift to a digital-only format, Ganni is keeping spirits up with a virtual music concert in place of a show.
The ultimate aim? “To make people feel something,” said Reffstrup, who has always had a love affair with the music scene. “Music is my biggest source of inspiration, it has been since I was a teenager growing up in a small fishermen’s village, where my only window out into the world was MTV,” she added, recalling the label’s 10th anniversary celebration where she joined her guests to dance in the rain, as Danish pop star MØ performed her hit “Lean On.”
Reffstrup tapped three female musicians for the virtual concert — including Copenhagen-based Coco O; Zsela Thompson, who is a New York-based singer and songwriter, and L.A.-based Deb Never, best known for her mix of grunge guitar and moody hip-hop beats — getting them to record a mix of cover songs and original tracks especially for Ganni.
The behind-the-scenes process has been teased on the label’s Instagram feed and will culminate today with a performance that will close Copenhagen Fashion Week.
In what has evolved to be a “brand moment” over a collection presentation, you get to see glimpses of the label’s fall 2021 collection, including pops of ’90s-inspired electric energy, body-hugging dresses, metallic denim or a paisley dress that pays homage to Princess Diana.
“Everything is a little less comfy, more fitted and sexy — ready for when the world reopens again,” said Reffstrup.
In the spirit of change, the label is also making some bold sustainability commitments. Despite sustained consumer appetite, it has committed to cutting down the size of its overall collections by 40 percent, with “more frequent product drops that better reflect the season we are in.” It is also steadily increasing the amount of responsible fabrics in its collections: For fall 2021, 80 percent of fabrics used were either recycled, certified or organic and the ultimate goal is to reach 100 percent.
Its Ganni Kiosk line, which drops every fashion week, has also been reimagined in the form of rental-only “stage” pieces, created from upcycled materials in collaboration with young Copenhagen creative Nanna Bernholm.
Watch the Ganni show live here: