Gudrun Sjödén ~ Profile of a Spirited Designer
By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Chief Wife
I don't quite remember how I came across the Swedish brand, Gudrun Sjödén. Most likely it was through an online ad that I saw.
Still grieving over the loss of my favorite brand, Oilily for women (it went under in 2009 and has since been resurrected in Europe only), I was ecstatic to find another brand that knew how to skillfully and irreverently apply color and patterns to women's clothing. Besides that, I was immediately attracted by the fact that this brand has a complete disregard for age, skin color and body shape. And I mean that in a good way.
Gudrun Sjödén has been making garments under her eponymous brand name for over 35 years and has been a designer for 50 years. She knows what she's doing. But more than that, Gudrun makes happy and anxiety-free clothes. Here's what I love about the brand:
Comfortable & colorful: When I mentioned that Gudrun's clothes are anxiety-free, it's a lot because of these two factors. As opposed to clothing that hugs every curve and calls for shapewear, this whole line boasts an easy-going silhouette that is forgiving to figure flaws (which I have a feeling, don't even exist in Gudrun's world). There's relief right there, knowing that you don't have to worry about needing to camouflage this or that body part. These clothes don't care about that. It's about comfort in the clothes and comfort in your own skin. And then, the colors will have a way to cheer up anyone. There's a color for every woman and for every mood.
Mix & Match: From collection to collection and season to season, color palettes and prints are easy to combine. Gudrun encourages mixing prints. It's fun, unexpected and the combination will certainly be unique to each wearer.
Eco Minded: Gudrun Sjödén cares for the craftsmanship of its product as much as it does the provenance. The designs are not only inspired by nature but are sourced from nature as well. Organic cottons, sustainable fabrics and fair trade products… Gudrun gives first consideration to the environment with every design choice.
Timeless: Besides all of the above, I love the philosophy: “These are clothes that you are going to love for a long time and use until they are completely worn out.” As Gudrun mentions, she has to tread carefully between the business world that demands constant new products (and increasing sales) and the dangers of the modern world of endless consumerism. Designing and producing clothes that her customers will love and wear until they are threadbare seems like a good model to me. She calls it “Design with a Long Lifespan”. It's clothing doesn't fall for trends. Instead, it remains impervious to the latest fads and reflects the personality and creativity of the wearer, not the dictate of the designer-of-the-moment.
Housewares: And don't stop with clothing. Gudrun has a colorful and creative line for the home as well. Make a room happy and comfy with Gudrun's fun colors, prints and patterns.
And I love this video taken at a photo shoot in 2011:
Fun. Colorful. Spirited. Carefree. Has a conscience. Gimme some of that. Here's her website.
P.S. There's now a store in SoHo. Woot!