CAPE TOWN TO COPENHAGEN: Scandinavian minimalism got a dose of South African sass when one of the vanguards of Copenhagen style, By Malene Birger, collaborated with Cape Town-based ethical jewelry and accessories atelier Pichulik to create a pair of earrings and a limited edition belt in two colorways that was launched online on International Women’s Day.
By Malene Birger, now under the helm of design director Maja Dixdotter, is known for its spare and feminine aesthetic interpreted through luxurious fabrics. Pichulik, founded by Katherine-Mary Pichulik, is recognized for its distinctive use of rope in a rainbow of colors combined with metal and stone. Both brands share a handcrafted approach to fashion and attention to detail. The brand’s Kathlin belt in black and chanterelle is sinuous and dramatic, consisting of rows of rope with a wraparound knot and gold-toned hardware. The sculptural earrings have an earthy and bohemian feel, two-tone rope detailing and gold-toned hardware, offered in a black, gray and taupe combination, as well as a chanterelle and rust orange version.
“I have always appreciated the understated elegance and wanderlust of By Malene Birger,” said Pichulik.
“It feels like we’re quite aligned, actually,” Dixdotter added. “Pichulik’s pieces fit seamlessly into our woman’s wardrobe, and our two aesthetics speak to the same woman.”
Pichulik described that woman as “a considered woman.” By that she means a woman who is intelligent, curious and intentional about how she lives her life, which encompasses the objects, activities and people that form part of it. “She is conscious of her impact, and how her decisions affect others.”
Dixdotter admitted that some parts of her business have suffered in the pandemic; By Malene Birger scaled down collections and scaled up its qualities and sustainability focus, while finding “new ways of working when it comes to production.”
The By Malene Birger x Pichulik line is available online and in By Malene Birger stores for a limited time period. The belts retail for 1,499 Danish krone, or $232, while the earrings are priced at 599 Danish krone, or $95. The brand will donate 100 Danish krone, or $16, of each piece sold to Women for Women International, a charity that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives.
“We’re super happy that it’s been well-received, with the earrings selling out online on the first day,” said Dixdottir.