Softly spoken and strong-minded. These words are often used to describe the Danish fashion designer, Stine Goya. But it is because the description is so accurate. With her red hair and graceful person, she steels the attention without even asking for it. The same is true when we meet her at ILLUM’s campaign shoot, where she – in between camera flashes, clothing change and anticipating eyes – she still manages to express exactly who and what Stine Goya stands for. A thank you for having her, she also has time to insert before the camera’s next click. Humbleness and staying true to herself, are, as she explains, the best advice she has gotten – and one the designer without a doubt has followed unconditionally.
Why did you decide to pursue fashion?
My interest in clothes and design began when I was quite young, where I made clothes for my parents and myself. I studied at Central Saint Martins in London, and while I was studying I worked as a model for some of the big fashion houses. Then I took a job as fashion editor and the saw the industry from that side. All of these experiences was something I could use when I started my own label.
What was your vision when you started Stine Goya?
My vision has always been to encourage women to express themselves through their clothing and style - with beautiful color palettes, sculptural silhouettes and a feminine look. I wanted to make my own designs and a brand that stood out from the crowd. Therefore, colors and prints were my way. By cultivating this I created a space, which didn’t really – at that time – exist on the Scandinavian fashion scene. When I started, the style in general was more minimal, simple and subtle – especially among the Scandinavian brands. Something I didn’t identify with. I want women to stand out more, attract attention and feel what it does to a person when you get compliments because you dress more expressively and noticeably than most people are used to.
What was the inspiration behind the SS20 collection?
This season, we took inspiration from the international Ball Room scene. A movement known for its extravagant aesthetic and strong values regarding inclusivity and freedom of speech. Something both I and we as a brand identify with, and hereby the idea to launch HOUSE OF GOYA arose. The collection consists of reinterpretations of earlier styles, but it also explores new proportions, colors and materials, which makes the styles feel bolder and more extreme than previously. We wanted to explore and challenge ourselves, as well as expand the space we normally find ourselves in. SS20 is therefore for many more experimental and expressive, but it still carries the strong Goya DNA.
Stine Goya is a brand known to, aesthetically, stand out from the stereotypical expectation of Scandinavian design. Is your Danish heritage and Danish design culture something you use in your work in other ways?
In a way I think your heritage and cultural background will always be defining for the way you work. Whether it’s because you produce in extension of these traditions or because you rebel towards them. In my case, it’s probably a bit of both in the way I work. For me, the subtle color palettes, minimal designs and classic silhouettes aren’t necessarily particularly Danish, but it’s true there is a tendency to look at it that way. So in that way I’m made to stand for a sort of rebellion against it.
What characterizes Danish fashion in your opinion?
First and foremost, I’m experiencing Danish style as very well-considered. Danes are driven by comfort but at the same time they’re design-focused. We are probably a bit more casual in the way we dress than Swedes, but also more experimental. Our designers are driven to explore and show a new approach and thought-process, which are both refreshing and exciting. But even though I have roots in Danish design culture, I have from both my time in London and numerous trips abroad, learnt to find inspiration in different cultures, countries and international art environments. I’m therefore, today, very much attracted to artists and designs from all over the world, which have a big influence on my design, which always build on a concrete theme, artist or piece that has awakened my curiosity.
In recent years you have taken your brand in a more sustainable direction – what made you choose to be more sustainable?
It is essential for me that we as a company have maximum focus on sustainability by implementing changes in the way we run our business, so that we gradually get more and more environmentally friendly collections. After a conversation with Eva Kruse, the CEO of Global Fashion Agenda – I realized that there is nothing to wait for. I don’t want Stine Goya to exist at the cost of the world we live in. I strive to create a company with a long lifespan – and it was therefore necessary that our next step was to incorporate sustainability in to our internal and external processes.
Sustainability is such an umbrella term. Which areas of sustainability have you chosen to focus on and why?
Sustainability is an overused term, and it risks being misused in different contexts. You cannot say Stine Goya is a sustainable brand, but it’s of the highest priority to implement sustainable solutions that will bring us in a positive direction. In June 2019 we published our long-term policy regarding sustainability, which outlines our goals within the areas; product, planet and people. As a designer it was important for me to understand our materials and the process behind our production. We have established a capsule collection produced 100 per cent from sustainable materials, which is being a sold at Net-a-Porter and ILLUM.
What excites you about the fashion industry at the moment?
I’m experiencing changes on the way. A swift where the industry, to a greater extent, acknowledges the need to take responsibility for the negative consequences production and sale of clothing entail. A more open approach to new messages. A democratization of the industry, the public’s access to our processes and the open dialog between brands and consumers, are all very exciting changes, which hopefully will gain even more traction in the future. I have never before witnessed so many facets of this industry and business out in the open, and I see that as a very positive change for everyone.
What are your goals for 2020?
We will focus on achieving our goals regarding sustainability, which means a bigger part of our materials must be sustainable, as well as a need for us to incorporate sustainability in more of our actions and processes. That has very high priority. At the same time, we will continue to have a strong international focus on developing existing markets and exploring new ones.
Find Stine Goya's collection in our women's department on the 2nd floor.