iStyle: The designer is making a killing
Malene Birger is one of Denmark’s (other) greatest exports – and she’s celebrating 10 years in the business. By Harriet Walker
At the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, the designer Malene Birger is preparing for her 10th anniversary show. “There are so many expectations, we know everybody here. The nerves don’t go away,” she says.
This, despite having been named by the Danish Crown Princess as the best designer in a country that holds increasing sway in the global fashion industry and has something of a stranglehold on British consciousness.
Several icons of that culture-crush are fans of the brand – Sofie Grabol of The Killing, as well as Sidse Babett Knudsen and Birgitte Hjort Sorensen from Borgen, who attended the show and after-party – but Birger’s popularity pre-dates this zeitgeist.
She began her career at the Swedish clothing brand Marc O’Polo in the early Nineties and in 1997 co-founded the label Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Six years later, she set off on her own to launch By Malene Birger, a more honed vision of modern femininity, with signatures that include slouchy tailoring, eclectic print and pattern, bold use of colour but also an emphasis on monochrome.
“It’s the same values,” she says of the label in its 10th year. “I stick to my gut feeling and I don’t compromise, I don’t like that. I want to do new things.”
Ahead of her autumn 2013 show, Birger cites her references as “black and white, Arabian architecture and the universe” and the audience in the theatre can read those in a focus on men’s tailoring, symmetry and photo prints on ties and scarves.
“My whole life, it seems like the answers have come to me,” she smiles. “I don’t like to push things on people if they don’t like it... I like to be honest – my catchphrase is ‘cut the crap’.”
After the show, By Malene Birger hosts a party at which Birger herself DJs, moving to her own rhythm – just as she has done for most of her career.
Life & Style blogs
The mother who never gave up on her child abused by the Oxford child sex ring
Britain scrapes into top 25 countries in the world to be a mother in Save the Children report
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world revealed
Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...