Meet Gudrun & Gudrun - Knits Inspired by Faroese Nature
Gudrun & Gudrun was founded in 2002 by two Faroese women whose hand-knit collection is created in the homes of women knitters on the tiny islands located between Iceland and Norway. The label can be characterized as both whimsical and natural, known for its open-knit fabrics, relaxed silhouettes, and slight irregularities.
The designers hope to make a difference in the lives of their customers, both with the hand-knit, female-empowered source of the clothing and their focus on environmentally friendly natural resources. Gudrun & Gudrun is produced from untreated Faroese wool, lambskin, and fish leather. While modern fashion trends inform each collection, the label's designers treasure their sequestered home and the singular creativity that results.
What's your name?
I am Guðrun Rógvadóttir, one of 2 Guðruns. The other Guðrun's last name is Ludvig. She is the designer.
Where are you from?
We are from the Faroe Islands.
Describe your signature design style in five words.
Simple, sustainable, handmade, designed, responsible.
What's your biggest source of inspiration?
Faroese nature, old stories and pictures, daily life, and travels. After being absorbed, these can become a new source of inspiration. Big scenery or busy city life can take the form of a new color or a splash of color from a color palette we've seen somewhere.
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
Locked in a black box a creative person can still be inspired. A lot of it comes from the inside, from deep within your soul.
What role does the commercial aspect play for you? Does it limit your creativity?
Initially you don’t create from a commercial place, but later in the process you adapt products so they also meet commercial needs.
What other art forms inspire your collections?
If you are open and awake, the Faroese landscape is a new painting every day with new colors and textures, and art can fill you up and give new perspectives.
Do you prefer to follow or subvert trends?
We prefer to strive for style, not fashion. We never look to micro trends but rather watch where society is moving.
Do you thrive off of spontaneity or careful planning?
The two must go hand in hand. There are calendars and seasons you have to be aware of, but too much planning can drain the spontaneous flow of creativity.
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
Aesthetics is essential, and it’s always better when clothes are wearable as well :)
How do you think the fashion industry is going to change as automation takes over?
As we specialize in handmade goods we will always need hands and good craftsmanship. That can never be automated.
Are your designs connected with or inspired by your heritage?
The Faroe Islands and the inherited knowledge of knitting are embedded in our designs. There would be no Gudrun & Gudrun without the Faroe Islands.
Did you undergo a formal design education?
Yes, our designer has a formal design and crafts education, but she learned the most from working with designer Sabine Poupinel in Copenhagen.
Do you think collaborations between companies and designers are cash plays or real attempts at innovation?
Very often cash and attention plays, but of course there are occasionally good projects that lead to something new.
Do you gravitate more toward designing for men or women?
Designing for women is more natural for a designer than creating for men, and you have to be very careful that men’s designs are not too feminine. Women can more easily adopt men’s designs than the other way around.
What first made you passionate about fashion?
Our designer grew up in a small place with very little fashion, and she searched in every drawer. Seeking beauty, she went to the ferry port to look at new people.
Once you’ve mastered a certain style, is it difficult to continue evolving it?
If you have a strong sense of style, this will always be evident in what you do, even when you get older and fashion changes.
Do you work better alone or on a team?
Mostly alone or with people we've known for a very long time and to whom we don’t have to explain too much.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
The designer is longing to see Bhutan.
Do you have any rituals when starting a new design?
It all starts with an idea and some materials. It’s always a struggle, as the yarn may take over and seduce you, leading you to something different than what you initially wanted to do.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of fashion?
Art exhibitions, old movies, and doing nothing.
What's your favorite month or season?
Winter on the Faroe Islands is very dark and rough. It gives you time for reflection which is nice.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
Check out Gudrun & Gudrun's new collections here