Louise Autrup Vinkel, ArtFusion Copenhagen
Making a real change in a fast-moving industry such as the fashion industry is not easy. However there are some strong women out there who are willing to give it a try and make a difference.
In our series Scandi Chic, we invite you to meet some very talented and interesting people, who all share a passion for Scandinavian fashion and style. In the last years, many new brands have entered the scene, some with a very interesting approach about what concerns both the traditional Scandinavian Chic in terms and cuts and colors, but also a special eye on sustainability.
ArtFusion Copenhagen is a young brand which has already gathered interest from shops and buyers in and outside of Denmark. We are very happy to have talked to Louise Autrup Vinkel, co-founder of ArtFusion Copenhagen, about her passion for design and art - and of course the color pink.
What was the idea behind founding ArtFusion copenhagen?
ArtFusion Copenhagen is founded by me and my husband Jesper. Jesper has about twenty years experience in the textile industry and I am a painter. We wanted to combine all of our ideas, passion and experiences, the best from both our worlds, and make something spectacular together.
ArtFusion is founded upon the idea to bring art and fashion together in one brand. We want to create original collections, full of personality, poetry and playfulness. We are working with a sustainable profile and have a strong wish to create Slow Fashion. Using high quality and sustainable fabrics, our garments are meant to last for season after season.
Sustainability is also about trying to change the over-production that is dominating the fashion industry today. We need to change our traditional perspective on consuming and shopping. This is why we only run twi collections per year. A long term vision for us is to contribute to a more sustainable industry and create an alternative to fast fashion.
What is your background?
I was educated from Copenhagen School of Art in 2014. The next couple of years I worked as an independent artist. I have mostly exhibited in Denmark, but have sold my work worldwide. In 2016, me and Jesper started talking about doing something together and this was the beginning of ArtFusion Copenhagen.
The lovely store at Ny Østergade, Copenhagen.
What is the balance of art and clothing? How are they connected in your brand?
I am making new artworks for every collection, this includes paintings, drawing, collages and poetry. Before I begin, I have determined colors and theme for the coming collection, other than that the artworks are created on its own terms. All of our print stories are developed from my original work, I also like to include some embroidery and poetry on selected styles. Our collections have about 60 styles and 3 different print stories. When transforming the artworks to print, it is important to me, that the narrative from the original artwork, is carried on to our print stories.
A long term vision for us is to contribute to a more sustainable industry and create an alternative to fast fashion.
Is the plan to use similar colors or will they change from season to season?
Our color palette will change from season to season. However the color pink is becoming a signature color for us and will be included in some variations in all collections. I love that the pink color has such feminine power.
You have recently also opened a shop. Why did you make this decision as a very young brand?
We had the opportunity to take over this great lease in Ny Østergade in Copenhagen. We decided it was too good to turn down. So we took a leap of faith. Having our own store, gives us the chance to invite customers in and experience the universe that surrounds our brand. I like being in direct contact with our customers, I learn so much on how they see our brand and what they are interested in. It is also my intention to invite other artists to exhibit in the store.
What did you learn from your customers that you didn’t expect before?
A thing I have learned and am vey pleased with, is that our print stories and signature styles are also what our customers are drawn by and select. Another thing is the customers' interest in our fabrics, supply chain and production. I see this as a positive thing. It shows me that there is a increased interest in quality, sustainability and ethical working conditions.
Do your customers have a favorite piece of clothing already? Which is exceptionally popular?
Yes, our striped Rio program in white/dark green and light/dark pink is very popular. Also our silk shirts with print and our pink silk chiffon dress are already favorite pieces.
The owner and creative director of ArtFusion Copenhagen, Louise Autrup Vinkel.
What did you learn in the process of founding the company?
It has been a crazy ride so far. I am so glad to have my husband as a partner, I think we make a strong team. And with the time and energy you need to invest in the business, it's nice that we can share it with each other and support each other.
Some of the most important lessens have been: Know your strengths and weaknesses, you can’t do it all by yourself. Say yes and thank you when people offer to help. Believe in yourself and your idea when people say no. Have a clear working strategy and know who is doing what. Negotiate all agreements and prizes. Have courage and believe that you will find solutions along the way. Celebrate the small successes.
Do you have some upcoming plans for the future?
We have a lot of plans, but the most important thing for us at this point is to create more awareness of our brand and become more established in the market.
Your five favorite instagram accounts for inspiration?
Thank you so much for the interview, Louise!
➸ Head over to ArtFusion's very inspiring Instagram account to keep up with what's new in store!
Interview & Photos by Mermaid Stories