Copenhagen-born-and-based Emilie Helmstedt studied design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, something which has shaped her artistic womenswear label and confident expansion into furniture and homeware. Having launched in 2018 and just shown for the second time at Copenhagen Fashion Week, eponymously-labelled ‘Helmstedt’ is on its way to establishing a playfully feminine aesthetic filled with sweet silks, vibrant florals and glamorous pyjama-come-evening wear.
Her distinct brand image attracted board member of Magasin du Nord, Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, who awarded Helmstedt the Magasin du Nord prize in 2018: “She made us dream, we were all very impressed by her creativity and storytelling ability. We see her as a strong representative of Danish design with great future potential,” Wedell-Wedellsborg says.
Here, ORDRE spotlights Emilie Helmstedt for a quick designer debrief...
ORDRE: How do your dreams translate into your designs?
Helmstedt: “I don’t use my exact dreams, I draw various illusions from them and create an abstract motif, pattern or colour combination. It’s why my prints seem to appear naive and childish. Then I paint the designs with watercolours and oil paints, we create all of the set designs for our runway shows too.”
ORDRE: Who are you designing for?
Helmstedt: “Myself, I think of what I would love to wear as a woman. Although, interestingly, we have also had a lot of men approaching the brand too. I think men tend to like my brand because we have a lot of silk shirting - we receive a lot of orders from men for events when they want a unique look.”
ORDRE: Do you think your brand transfers Copenhagen’s aesthetic?
Helmstedt: “It’s hard to say if I fit the Scandinavian aesthetic because it has changed entirely since five years ago. It used to be entirely about minimalism; black, sharp tailoring. But there’s been a change and I’m seeing people wear very colourful clothes in Copenhagen. Although, I would say that I very much have my own aesthetic.”
ORDRE: Beyond Copenhagen, where is your biggest market?
Helmstedt: “We’re bigger in the US than in Denmark actually! We sell really well in Illinois, Brooklyn, Los Angeles then Canada and we have a huge market in Australia. I find that the America is very Scandinavian in a way, surrounded by nature. I can assess these via our webshop - the styles that sell best are those with the most wearability like our long silk dresses and the long sleeve and short sleeve shirts.”
ORDRE: How is your range with Mads Nørgaard being received? Do you have any more collaborations planned?
Helmstedt: “The pop up with Mads Norgaard went so well as we reached a much broader audience than usual, and we sold out partly online before the store even opened! In regards to the future, we have a collaboration with another retailer coming for Christmas with some one-of-a-kind items. We are also doing something with a Danish interior brand, but I can’t reveal anything just yet.”
Emilie Helmstedt’s wholesale collection will be available to view online at ORDRE.com on 27th September