If you know fashion, you'll most definitely know ANNI LU. The Danish jewelry brand is particularly noted for its delicate pearl bracelets, decorating the wrists of women worldwide. “I felt like I was missing a jewelry brand, which followed current trends and fashion. With ANNI LU, I wanted to fill that gap,” Helle Vestergaard Poulsen explains. In 2013, she swapped her seat as Art Director at the weekly lifestyle magazine Alt for Damerne for the role as entrepreneur in her start-up jewelry company. At ANNI LU, she designs quirky jewelry that are rich in both colors and details, while still leaving space for the wearer's unique personality. Inspiration is sourced from paintings, travels and surroundings, and colors and color combinations are an integral part of the label. “I love colors, and I’m very fascinated by the ability to create completely new universes when combining colors in different ways,” Vestergaard Poulsen says. ANNI LU jewels are an expression of personal style, as well as the courage to mix jewelry in new and different ways. The ambition for ANNI LU is not to imitate a traditional jewelry brand but to create a universe where you can mix and match the pieces in numerous ways – according to taste. “We don’t think of ANNI LU as a jewelry brand but more as accessories you match with your personal style,” Vestergaard Poulsen says. Her hope is therefore for everyone to wear the pieces and feel like they have been designed precisely for them.
Originally, ANNI LU came about as Vestergaard Poulsen’s side-project but as the jewelry became increasingly popular, expectations for the brand grew correspondingly. For the designer, it was important that her brand was traded at the best spots. The Scandinavian market was top of the list, and once conquered, the international was next. Today, ANNI LU is sold in places like ILLUM, Selfridges, Browns, and Harvey Nichols, not to mention the online marketplaces Farfetch and Moda Operandi. The extensive growth has also evolved ANNI LU into a true family business. In 2018, Vestergaard Poulsen’s husband, Morten, quit his publishing job to become co-owner and CEO of the label. “The fact that ANNI LU has grown this much, and is sold in the best shops worldwide, is something I had never dreamt of. Neither the fact that both my husband and I would be able to work full time with the label,” Vestergaard Poulsen admits, while simultaneously expressing her gratitude for the company’s success.
And although ANNI LU has grown much bigger than the initial pearl bracelets in vivid colors, pearls and the reference to laid-back beach culture is still the heart of the brand. “We use pearls because they are fun and can be mixed in countless variations with different colors, sizes, and materials,” Vestergaard Poulsen tells. “Even though we now have styles where pearls aren’t the main element, I always try to include them in the design, as they just make the jewelry more fun and not too serious.” And to Vestergaard Poulsen, that's exact what ANNI LU should be; a fun, light-hearted accessories universe.