Gitte Wetter, Head of Menswear at Samsøe & Samsøe chats to Superette about the brand’s story, style and her hidden gems in Copenhagen...
Gitte Wetter (left) with Samsøe & Samsøe Creative Director Mia Kappelgaard
What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?
Samsøe & Samsøe was founded as a menswear concept store in Copenhagen in 1993 by two brothers. Over the years they opened a handful of stores in Copenhagen and launched their own private label of clean and crisp staples. They eventually left the company in 2000 and since then, we’ve moved more and more in the direction of becoming a fashion house with full ready-to-wear collections for both men and women including shoes, accessories, swimwear… still with a nod to our origin. We now do four collections a year and have a runway show in Copenhagen twice a year. It is important for us that the mens and womens collections are aligned and that they somehow merge the universe of young, urban creatives from Copenhagen with kindred spirits all around the world. We love to be ambassadors for the Scandinavian way of living – and for us the Scandi lifestyle is about three things; balancing your work life and private life, balancing an urban lifestyle with a strong link to nature, and some kind of non-hierarchical order where social classes and gender is not so important. At the end of the day this means that we all dress in a very effortless manner where social rules are not so important and where there is room for moving both mentally and physically – for example we all ride our bicycle everywhere.
How would you describe Samsøe & Samsøe in three words?
Current, accessible and Nordic.
What inspires your collections and aesthetic? How do you keep it relevant?
We are a Scandinavian based brand and have our roots in the Nordic design heritage, which reflects in our collection and our brand aesthetic. Our design is about clean lines and pure qualities, both classic and innovating in the expression. For example, our Autumn 19 collection we were inspired by the fishermen of the West coast of Denmark and currently we are working on a collection which draws references back to the Danish architects from the 1950s.
To keep on being relevant, we travel around the world to collect new fabrics and discover new tendencies. It is important for us to stay updated on what is going on and then translate that into our brand universe.
Is there one item or perhaps a collection in particular that is your all-time favourite?
I am very proud of the collection we did for Autumn 2019. We worked with many new interesting fabrics and yarns from Korea and Italy, for example recycled wool and a mix between tencel and linen. One of my favourite pieces is a beautiful multi-coloured rib pullover, which is inspired from an old fisherman knit.
What is something not that many people know about Samsøe & Samsøe?
To work for Samsøe & Samsøe is like being part of a big family. We are based at Nørrebro in central Copenhagen in an old warehouse. When I started working for the company we were only 25 people at the head office, today we are more than 100 and 800 worldwide. Even though the company has grown that much, everybody is still invited to the yearly Christmas party in Copenhagen. I think that is very unique and special.
If you were to describe your own style, what would it be and what couldn’t you live without?
I am a bit boyish in my way of dressing and are often inspired by the clothes, we are designing for men. My favourite outfit is a workwear jacket together with a pair of jeans or a full skirt.
What do you do to switch off?
I listen to a lot of music and love to investigate in new upcoming bands. Going to concerts is also a way for me to switch off and clear my brain.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Trust you first instinct, it is always the right one… and go with your dreams… then your life will not get boring.
What are some of your must-go places or hidden gems in Copenhagen?
The city is extra fantastic from May until September, were the days are long and bright. I just love bicycling around town, take a swim in the harper and eat outside in the open with my friends. Maybe I’ll end up at my friend’s wine bar – Rouge Oyster or at the fantastic V1 Gallery in the meatpacking area.
Rogue Oyster, Copenhagen
Where is your favourite destination of all time and why?
Tokyo is my all time favourite and the place I will always go back to. It is a big inspiration for me both work wise and personally. The Japanese people are so friendly and helpful. They have a beautiful design aesthetic and amazing way to dress. The city is so calm and quiet and the food is amazing!
You’ve already achieved so much, what’s next for you?
At the moment, Samsøe & Samsøe is on a fantastic journey and to work here is a huge privilege. Everyday there are new interesting challenges to conquer and that makes my job innovating and interesting.