Make meets with Karin and Sofia, the sisters behind the beautiful and ethical brand, House of Dagmar.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your background, where you grew up and what you were interested in when you were children. Did you all have different interests etc?
A. We grow up in Gothenburg on the west coast. Our mother’s grandparents are from Värmland where we spent a lot of time hiking in the forest. In the summer our family were always out sailing, and in the winter, we always went skiing during our holidays. As a Swede, you are always close to nature and that is the strong heritage we bring into our work with Dagmar.
Q. Can you tell us about your grandmother Dagmar and why she was your inspiration for creating your brand?
A. She was a tailor and model of confidence with an extraordinary sense of craftsmanship and style. Not only does her name carry the brand, but her sense of quality and her ambition to create high-quality and timeless fashion is also still very much alive. She was also a fantastic person, and her soul is in our company with us.
Q.How does it work being sisters and having a company together? Has it changed your relationship?
A. It has definitely strengthened our relationship. It can of course be challenging sometimes, however, with our different areas of expertise we contribute to the company in different ways. Sofia decides the creative direction and Karin is the CEO, and we always have each other as a huge support.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration for your collections? Do your collections have themes?
A. We get inspiration from the Dagmar woman who transitions effortlessly from day to evening, always confident and right for the occasion. We look into our daily activities mostly social ones, and what we need and want. In addition to that, the sustainable aspect always plays a significant role in the development of our collections. Our ambition is to create products with a minimal environmental footprint, while still ensuring a premium and modern design. Having this said the theme of the collection is always very subtle as the priority for us is to create a timeless yet modern design that will stand the test of time.
Q. What are your favourite pieces in the collection? Do you have pieces that you always feature in the collection because they are part of the DNA of the brand?
A. We have so many garments from previous years with us at House of Dagmar that we bring in and restyle for a new season so it almost becomes a new product because the customer gets to see it with new eyes. We have many pieces that are continuing season after season because we still like them, but I think it differs from season to season which one is my favourite. I think our outerwear is always strong and easy to fall in love with. It is also a garment you wear every day so it is so important that you feel effortless, relaxed and chic. –
Q. You are known for being a very sustainable brand. How do you think other brands could improve what they do?
A. For us, sustainability is crucial in everything we do, both from an environmental and social perspective. We know that the fashion industry faces a lot of challenges and that it requires hard work to source the best textiles, manufacturers and logistic solutions sharing the same sustainable values. However, it’s more important than ever to be responsible throughout the whole supply chain. We encourage other brands in our industry to invest in knowledge, measure their environmental footprint, as we do, and be up to date with the latest innovations and solutions.
Q. Do you have a muse or a woman in mind that you design for? Is there someone you would love to see wearing your label?
A. The woman who we see as our muse when we design our clothes is based all around the world and usually lives in the big cities, but of course, the Swedish woman is our biggest source of inspiration. Not only in the way she looks but her lifestyle and how she wears her wardrobe and her items. She is very understated, she is very relaxed, but she also has an edge to her. We have this Swedish minimalistic side to House of Dagmar but with quite a feminine touch as well. We want you to feel sensual and minimalistic but also very effortless. There are so many fantastic women wearing Dagmar, and we are so happy for everyone one of them. I think the greatest thing is when we wear our clothes in Stockholm and the same clothes are worn by women in London, New York, LA, Paris, and Shanghai.
Q. Scandian counties are known for having a distinct design style. How do you think being Swedish has an impact on your design or aesthetic?
A. I think Swedish design and architecture never really goes out of time. It is clean and raw, based on a simple but elegant design. High quality is also something that defines Swedish design. But you also can’t wear so many different things during a period in Stockholm because the weather is awful! In November you want to wear cosy clothes that hug you and give you something, therefore the materials are so important for us, they have to be loving.
Q.If you weren’t designers, what would you be doing?
A. We would probably work in an organization with the climate challenge, here we can do a lot both towards consumers but also B to B and politics
Q. What is next for the House of Dagmar?
A. Next up is the roll-out of our new design and identity, to continue our growth globally with a focus on USA UK, and China. We have a unique position of being a premium sustainable brand from Scandinavia, Seeing the first reactions we believe we have a really exciting journey ahead of us.