Back in August last year Lovechild 1979 pushed the pause button, when the brand invited Fashion Week attendees to Helgoland Badeanstalt, at Amager, for its SS20 show titled: Out of Office. “The overall inspiration was this about needing to get away and stop time for a bit,” says Anne-Dorthe Larsen, founder and creative director of the fashion brand Lovechild 1979. For the designer, it came down to a lack of a peaceful place. Away from reality and the city where you’re always on. On the go. On your phone. On a job. “It’s like, especially in the fashion industry, that we’re all running as if we have to reach something. But we don’t,” she says. Anne-Dorthe, who grew up in the northern part of Jutland, has a calm, laid back person. As she says, she not stressing because things take whatever time they take. And it portrays a designer with her legs firmly on the ground in an industry where speed is essential.
But thereby not said, that the designer simply leans back, awaiting opportunities to fall on her lap. It has taken both ambition and hard work to stand where she does today. “I started my own company when I was 27, and that was probably fairly young, but by then I had the experience needed to do it,” Anne-Dorthe says. At first she opened the Nué stores, selling, among others, her own label Nué Notes. But after some years she felt locked in a price segment that was constraining her from working with more exclusive styles and materials, and off that Lovechild 1979 was born. “People expected Nué Notes to be cheap so we couldn’t really work with silk and other materials, where it became too expensive to create. So we thought; then we’ll just start a new label,” she tells. But to be self-employed with stores and two labels has also demanded many working hours. “I’ve made it to where I am today, because I have been doing it for so long. But I do sometimes regret that I wasn’t a little more young and a little less ambitious on my own behalf,” she admits. Anne-Dorthe’s creative talent arose early on, and was brought on, in particular, by the time she spent at her grandma’s, where she learnt to both sew, knit and embroider. “You should never be bored when you were at her place,” she tells. The interest for fashion came creeping through her teenage years, and Anne-Dorthe, who comes from a family, where you had to work for what you wanted, quickly became creative around her clothes and its compositions. “I remember, in Aalborg there was a store where they had a skirt and I really wanted it, but I couldn’t afford it. So instead I got a pair of my dad’s old trousers and then it was just home to my grandma and make them into this little skirt,” she tells.
From there the road to fashion was mapped. And after having moved to Copenhagen, back to Aalborg and to Copenhagen again, as well as with employment at brands such as Bruuns Bazaar and Mödstrom under her belt, Anne-Dorthe was ready to start her own. “It is not so much the thing with drawing fashion, but more the materials and finding out how to create something from that, which fascinates me,“ she says. And this is also clearly reflected in the Lovechild 1979 collections. Anne-Dorthe designs from her own intuition and what she feels is missing in her closet. For her, it’s important that a collection can build on the existent styles in your wardrobe. And then it’s especially important that it’s usable. Clothes should last for both cycling to work, a trip to the warehouse and whatever else everyday life might entail.
And this is also the thought behind the brands exclusively female design team. Together, they set the frame for creating fashion that embraces all types of women. “It has never come to mind that we should have a man in the team, but it is more about the fact, that we are different women in the team, with different body types, different style and such things. So we inspire each other,” Anne-Dorthe says. In the Lovechild team it’s always up for discussion how women carry the clothes differently, and how women tend to use clothes in different ways. Because there is no doubt, it will always look good a tall skinny model, but it should also look good on the plus 40 woman, who might have a bit more on the hips.
Lovechild 1979 has existed for ten years now, and both Anne-Dorthe as well as the brand have grown up. This means new ambitions for the brand. And they start with the brand’s new head of design, Laura Meldal Nørgaard, who will be designing Lovechild 1979 under the direction of Anne-Dorthe. “It’s going to be really exciting because then it can no longer be what I imagine or what I want,” she says. The appointment of a new designer comes in the wake of the brand’s ambitions to take on the international marked. Anne-Dorthe has with both her stores and two labels built a flair for designing for the Danish marked. And she is sure, that with the combination of what she can do and what Meldal Nørgaard – who has a history of creating fashion for the global marked – can do, the two are ready to lift the brand internationally. “Lovechild is going on a journey and where that journey ends, I don’t know. But I’m sure it’s going to be interesting and full of loads of usable clothes. By women for women,” she says with a smile.