I had the pleasure of meeting designer Jennie Lööf earlier this year at her studio in The Hidden Lane in Glasgow. Hailing from Sweden Jennie is an artisan in the Glasgow fashion network her passion for design, sewing and recycling ensures her collections are created with sensitivity and with a high quality that can only be guaranteed with hand sewn pieces. Each collection is derived from inspiration rather than according to season again adding to the individuality of the Jennie Lööf label. Jennie has kindly agreed to the following interview as well as exclusive images from her Family Chest collection enjoy…
The evolution of Jennie Lööf
Having two very talented and inspirational grandmas meant that I was surrounded by fabrics and design from a very young age. Being the youngest of six I always inherited clothes and wanted to make them look more up to date and my own.
I landed in Glasgow in 2005. I worked for six months in the Wardrobe department creating costumes for performances at the Tron Theatre while, at the same time, starting up my own brand. It was amazing to work across Scotland creating and designing theatrical costumes however trying to juggle a full time supervisor job and my brand just wasn’t possible. In November 2010 I resigned from the theatre to really focus on my brand.
My grandmas are my heroes, I love and am inspired by the colours and patterns from their youth. I always use second-hand and vintage fabrics mixed in with new linings and fastenings when I create. I crave originality and that is what I hope people love about my work. I give new life to old fabrics, leaving less waste in the world and producing new items of clothing. My inspiration can come from anywhere – a smile, a song, a stranger in the street.
Not knowing what is next is a real inspiration and it is how I build my collections. I don’t use sewing patterns and very rarely make toiles. When I start a design, I don’t always know how it will turn out. It’s more about the feeling in the finished design than the look that I focus on – that friend I bump into on the street on the way to the studio could end up being my muse for the piece that I’m working on.
The “Jennie Lööf” Woman
The Jennie Lööf woman is the type of person that likes to feel comfortable while feeling and looking stunning. She is sophisticated, special and unique. She knows that she is the only one in the world owning that dress. My dresses are for the woman that wants to stand out from the crowd, but they aren’t just for special occasions. I like to think they are comfortable enough to be worn everyday.
Since focusing full time on my brand, things have really started moving fast. Being a one woman operation I have done my best to keep up with it all. It’s all very exciting and I really feel like anything could happen right now. At the moment, there are big changes going on – building up my presence and organising my company for the future. I’m constantly working on new collections – I don’t create seasonal collections, but continuously create new pieces, all one offs, throughout the year – only showcasing a collection once before it hits the shops.
With the quickly developing interest in my work, I have to put all my time in front of the sewing machine, and have brought in assistance from a friend to help with all the other things that don’t involve a needle and thread! He’ll be helping with all my press, admin and web work while keeping me sane.
I have big plans!. I am trying to keep my feet on the ground and make all the right choices. Whilst keeping a strong presence in Glasgow I want my designs to be seen further afield.
I already have a new stockist in Dundee and have a shop in Stockholm awaiting my new collection “Family Chest” this summer. By the end of the year my goal is to find stockists in London and Berlin as well.
I am also starting a new brand called “Lovely by Jennie Lööf” this summer. I have so many ideas for my company and want to try new things all the time. To keep up to date with all my new adventures check my webpage or facebook
Images by John Johnston assisted by Ross Wilson
Models Christin Haussman and Julia Bell