Art and fashion have always walked hand-in-hand, but Danish fashion brand ArtFusion Copenhagen has taken their intersection more seriously, and literally, than most. They base each collection on original art work created by their co-founder. Seeing the clothes next to the pieces that inspired them showcases the cohesiveness of each season.
ArtFusion’s clothes are easy to wear, with clean lines and timeless silhouettes. They use a surprising amount of color and pattern for a Scandinavian brand, but the result is artistic rather than simply loud or busy. They’re clothes you’ll want to wear season after season, but that will never feel boring.
We spoke with co-founder of ArtFusion Copenhagen, Louise Autrup Vinkel, about creating fashion from art and the importance of sustainability:
When did you launch ArtFusion?
My husband Jesper and I launched ArtFusion in 2017; our first collection was “The Future is Ours” for spring/summer 2018. Jesper had a long career in the textile industry, in procurement and product development. I was educated at the Copenhagen School of Art in painting, sculpture, and poetry. Prior to starting ArtFusion, we had wanted to start a womenswear brand for some time; a creative project combining our interests and passions. Jesper had the production know-how and I had the creativity.
We recently added a new partner who has experience in the fashion industry, particularly sales. I feel that we are now the perfect team: we have complementary skills and a shared passion.
ArtFusion Copenhagen is an expression of art through fashion. Every collection is based on my work in the studio, which gives each collection its own direction and substance. We strive to create original collections that are also high-quality. Our sustainability profile is important to us, and we make sure to advocate for better standards in the fashion industry.
You focus on the cross-section between fashion and art. How are these things related, and how are they different? Do you think people have a hard time accepting fashion as art?
All art forms comes from people with a desire to express themselves in some way. Most design is not meant to be art, and clothing design also has a practical function. For me, the fashion industry is fascinating, because it tells us so much about who we are, and who we want to be. It is a mirror of the tendencies in our society – both negative and positive – and a historical reference. It is a way of communicating with your surroundings, just as art is.
How should a person wearing your clothes feel?
I hope that every woman wearing our clothes does so because she likes them. Because she feels they
compliments her personality and make her feel good about herself. I hope our clothes makes her feel comfortable, confident, and ready to take on the world.
Do you think your clothes fit within the Scandinavian aesthetic?
The heritage of Scandinavian design informs the way I see the world. I think, however, that the Scandinavian aesthetic is changing. It’s going from a minimalist, clean look, towards more individual styling, with colors, prints, and more choices in general.
Explain the production process for your clothes; where is the textile sourced, and where are your clothes made?
We produce in India, Portugal, and Ukraine. We have a Danish supplier. We’ve established a strong relationship with our suppliers; we consider them partners who share our vision of sustainability. We try to use mainly nature fibers, so the textiles can last season after season.
A short term goal for us is to move more of our production to Europe. Within the next few years, we would like all of our production to be in Europe.
You are concerned with sustainability. What does that word mean to you, and how do you incorporate it into your clothes and production?
It is vital that the products I make are not only are beautiful and durable, but contribute to making a better world, where we care for both the environment and the people who make our clothes. We need to change our perspective on consuming. That’s why we have chosen to produce only two collections per year.
I see positive changes in the fashion industry happening on a global scale, but it’s happening too slowly. We are trying to create an alternative way of designing; our goal is to be a positive influence in the industry.
All of your collections are inspired by art that you make. That art is also for sale in your store. Take us through the process of creating art, and then using it to inspire a clothing collection. Is that the way you plan to continue designing the future?
I am interested in our perception of the world. Our imagination and dreams. I am amazed by the fact that we know so little about the universe and our souls. I try to create objects that moves in between the known and unknown, where new connections can be discovered.
When I start to work on a new piece, I try to do it in a strutted way, but it never works. Sometimes I have a picture in my mind, when I start to paint, it always come out as something else. I am often surprised by the result. It is a unpredictable process and that is what I love. Just to surrender to the work and forget myself for a while.
Find out more about ArtFusion Copenhagen.