Guðrun & Guðrun: Intuitive and natural designs with timeless appeal
By Trine Ejlskov Jensen-Martin | Photos: Tróndur Dalsgarð
Much time has passed since TV detective Sarah Lund wore ‘that’ sweater, popularizing the distinctive Faroese knitwear and design label Guðrun & Guðrun. The brand has grown steadily over the years, creating ethically sound and aesthetically beautiful fashion, while supporting and empowering women all over the world in the process.
“Guðrun works very instinctively,” Guðrun Rógvadóttir says about her partner and co-founder of the company, Guðrun Ludvig. “She often begins the initial design with the materials; sometimes the materials win and other times she wins!” she muses. It all starts in the hands. The touch and feel of the cloth and fabric are as important as finding balance between material and colours. “Finding just the right balance is a real strength of hers,” Rógvadóttir continues.
It is evident that this sense of equilibrium is present in everything they put their hands and minds to. Nothing is too heavy, soft, light, or dark, and balance plays a crucial part in their work and designs.
It is impossible not to mention the Vón sweater that first made Guðrun & Guðrun a household name amongst Nordic Noir aficionados, runway front-rowers and fashion editors alike. But whilst first and foremost a knitwear and lifestyle brand, the label is about much more than this. The success of its bestselling sweater became a springboard for the company to share both their designs and a deep-seated passion for equality and ethics in all aspects of their work.
At the heart of Guðrun & Guðrun is its investment in people. In a consumer-driven world where quality is often compromised for quantity, they actively focus on valuing every human being and animal that has been a part of the process. When buying one of their products you support their worldwide women’s empowerment project which helps the women who make each garment by hand. Their aim is to bring human decency back to the fashion industry, “one stitch at a time”.
The Orca chair
Guðrun & Guðrun’s latest exciting venture sees the label branch out into furniture design with the creation of the Orca chair. The chair is imagined and designed by Guðrun Ludvig in collaboration with renowned designer Timothy Jacob Jensen. His expertise and experience have helped with the more technical aspects of the chair and to bring the original idea to life.
Ludvig started thinking about the chair and its design during the pandemic, a period that for many lent itself to reflection, new ideas and a reset. “Each chair will be naturally unique,” says Rógvadóttir, explaining that Faroese sheep have spotted fur, and their colours are all shades and variations of white, grey, black, and brown.
“Each finished product will be one of a kind and very exclusive,” she continues. No sheep are identical and as a result not one chair will be the same. In a world of mass production, a truly bespoke piece is a rare joy and the initial reaction to the chair has been overwhelmingly positive.
Inspired by nature
“The shape of the chair is inspired by Guðrun’s childhood in Greenland, during which she often had to move with her family and take things apart,” Rógvadóttir says. “The chair is easily disassembled and put back together again when needed,” she elaborates.
The seat of the chair is made of sheepskin, while the sides are formed of plexiglass panels. “We tried many different materials, combinations, and ideas until we decided on this,” she continues. The Orca chair’s silhouette is inspired by the movement of the fin of the Orca whale when it is pounding into the waves. Staying true to their ethical values, and to reduce waste, they use weatherproof and beautifully spotted and rugged Faroese lambskins – a leftover product from mutton production.
“We have never been trend-based,” Rógvadóttir says, musing on the importance of timelessness at Guðrun & Guðrun. Indeed, its collections from ten years ago are still relevant and wearable today.
Using only the very best certified and natural materials to create sustainable, long-lasting pieces of clothing, the company is the antithesis of fast-fashion and of the throw-away culture that characterises the darker side of the fashion industry. Guðrun & Guðrun stays true to its values in every aspect of design and production, continuing to create everlasting and exquisite pieces of work.
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