Vogue CS in English

Checking in with Ditte Reffstrup of Ganni

For the last installment of the series, our International Editor talks to Ditte Reffstrup, the creative director of Ganni, about crochet berets, dressing for herself and responsibility over sustainability.
Hello! How are you? Are you in Copenhagen?
“Yes, I am in Copenhagen. Lockdown has eased up a little bit for us. I’m currently in our new office, Ganni House. It’s weird - we were all meant to move into our new HQ back in March just as we went into lockdown. We’d planned a huge office-warming party that we had to cancel – so, it’s a bit of an anti-climax but I am so happy we’re back together again. It’s even more special now seeing everyone – even from a distance!”
I’ve been at home in Prague with my family for the past three months but now that the borders have reopened we are on our way to Italy for a few weeks for a change of scenery. Have you ever been to Prague before?
“I haven’t been to Prague before but I would love to go. I have heard it’s beautiful. I miss traveling a lot. Meeting new people, the buzz of a new city and finding you feet, the smells and tastes and people watching. It’s where I usually draw most of my inspirations from.”
Ditte Reffstrup
You recently posted on Instagram about the importance of making an effort and having fun with dressing up even while working from home. How are you staying inspired?
“I’ve carried it through even though we’ve moved into a new phase of social distancing. I’m still dressing up more and making an effort to stay inspired. I really found out during lockdown that I dress for myself and no one else.”
What television shows or movies have you been watching?
“I’ve been loving My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante on HBO. It’s such a beautiful story and it’s slow moving. It’s transported me away to Napoli!”
Any favorite meals that you’ve been cooking?
“I love cooking Italian food. In lockdown, I was really missing my favorite restaurants like Mangia and Hos Fischer and cooking simple pasta dishes with amazing ingredients just made me feel like I’m on vacation. Also, the kids have been cooking and baking a lot which has been both fun and helpful.”
Any great books that you could recommend?
“With three kids and working on our upcoming collections, I’ve not really had time to read! I love flicking through coffee table books like Apartamento magazine. Kimberly Drew just published a book called This Is What I Know About Art that I’d love to read.”
What about podcasts?
“Well, Nicolaj and I actually started a podcast during lockdown called Ganni Talks! It’s just us chatting and checking in on our friends around the world. It’s been really great to see how differently it’s been in each city and to get a real grasp on what is going on. We’re going to keep up the podcast but invite more of our friends to chat to each other and keep the conversation going.”
Ganni’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection mixed favorite details from past seasons with new covetable items, including slouchy suits, that will have #GanniGirls clamoring for them as soon as they hit the shelves. What was your inspiration for the collection?
“The main inspiration behind our Fall/Winter collection is about using our resources as a positive power for the new decade. We live in wild times. Which couldn’t be more true given the turbulent times we are living in now. On one hand, there is a closeness that I find so touching. The world is so hyper-connected. We’re looking at each other through all these platforms, like windows of inspiration, bonding even though we’re at opposite ends of the world. You can feel so close. On the other hand, we’ve never felt so far away from each other. I feel like we have to find that closeness and hold on to it.”
What are your three favorite looks from the collection?
“I still love the suiting and offbeat proportions for a more sophisticated grown-up Ganni girl. The knitwear is beautiful. We introduced recycled wool for the first time. It’s made at an amazing supplier that we found in Italy. They use a circular model and collect old luxury wool knitwear and combine it with wool scraps to create a mix of 50% pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled wool, which is certified by the Global Recycle Standard.
The accessories pack a punch for me too. I love our collars and our crochet berets for a little art school edge. When you put these crochet berets on, they make you sit up a little straighter and walk a little taller.
For Fall/Winter 2020, it’s all about the stomping stomper boot. These are our accessory of the season. They give you the best walk. They make you look so self-assured and give you a bit of swagger. You can really march to your own beat in the mid-calf and the calf-high versions – they are such a flattering cut on the leg. You can go for phantom black or a flash of yellow or all out with the red and yellow styles. They are composed of 100% pre-consumer recycled rubber, which was waste – scraps and cut-offs from rubber shoe production.”
The Fall/Winter 2020 show also marked the beginning of a year-long curatorial project called 202020 in which Ganni is collaborating with twenty different female artists across various mediums (including art, photography, design and music) to upcycle and reimagine well-loved Ganni styles and materials. Can you tell me more about it?
“Yes, we wanted to kick off the new decade with collaboration. What we do at Ganni has always been a team effort internally but we’re also always looking beyond the company, working with outside forces. This year we’re stepping it up, growing a collective and creating with new talents. That started off with Copenhagen Fashion Week with over a dozen creative collaborations across our show, 202020 Kiosk and party. We rounded up a mixed group of creative visionaries whom I’ve admired for a long time and feel inspired by from the fields of art, photography, design, music and much more. We commissioned artists to collaborate through different mediums to create a holistic experience. We’ve carried on this concept throughout the whole year to broaden the talent pool we work with and we aim to keep doing this for the future. It’s so energizing!”
Selfishly, since I have a fashion-obsessed 10-year old daughter, is there any chance this project could include children’s clothing (fingers crossed)?
“Haha! My daughter is 10 years old too. There’s nothing in the works right now but never say never!”
Nicolaj Reffstrup, your husband and the CEO of Ganni, told British Vogue earlier this year, “We don’t talk about sustainability, but responsibility.” What does responsibility mean to the brand?
“We want to be the most responsible version of ourselves. We don’t call ourselves a sustainable brand because, honestly, how can fashion be sustainable when it’s driven by newness? But we believe that being more responsible is our moral obligation and we are striving to evolve. We’ve introduced certified responsible fabrics such as recycled polyester and 100% organic cotton into our collections. These are just a few stories we are excited to share. You can dive deeper and read more in our Responsibility Report 2019 at GanniResponsibilityReport.com.”
Lastly, now that we’re already six months into 2020, I pose to you the same question that you asked before your Fall/Winter 2020 show – “What do you think the 20’s are gonna be like?”
“Well, I think we can all agree, only six months in, it’s not gone anywhere near the way we thought it would be. This year has felt like we’ve been watching a movie, but we are looking for silver linings. Yes, everything has completely turned on its head but we’re so focused. Our teams are stronger than ever, we’ve reconnected with so many people. We’re ready for the future and Ganni 3.0.”
Dree Hemingway in Ganni on Instagram on June 15, 2019.
Emily Ratajkowski in Ganni at Coachella in Indio, California on April 15, 2019.
Gigi Hadid in Ganni at Coachella in Indio, California on April 12, 2019.
Beyonce in Ganni with Jay Z at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on July 9, 2018.
Laura Bailey in Ganni on Portobello Road in London in March 2018.
Dakota Fanning in a Ganni t-shirt launched in celebration of International Women’s Day on Instagram on March 5, 2018.
Adwoa Aboah in Ganni on Instagram on September 7, 2017.