Celebrating odd and unique with maxjenny!
Meatpacking District is one of Copenhagen’s most popular places to go out. It used to be home of the capital’s meat industry and is made up of three separate areas, named after the dominant colour of the blocks. In recent years, it has transformed itself into an exciting creative cluster. Today this area is well known mostly for its nightlife and restaurants, but this is also where MaxJenny, daughter of a fashion designer, mother of two, woman who loves playing with numbers and enjoys living in colors materializes her vivid ideas and opens the doors of her showroom wide to inspire friends and strangers.
Central Copenhagen is filled with various boutiques. So why did you chose to have your shop in this area instead of the city center?
I always wanted to be here. Not only because I live close by, but I had a dream to work somewhere with open doors. Just take a look at my workplace! Here you have hipsters, moms, old people buying food or royalties dining in fancy restaurants, you have everyone! I opened my shop for a large spectrum of different people.
Your mother is a fashion designer so I guess you grew up with an idea following her footsteps.
I grew up seeing my mother working in this field, but actually I never thought I would become a fashion designer. I graduated from The Royal Danish School of Design in 2003 with a major in Furniture and Product Design. But one thing led to another and I established the fashion brand ‘maxjenny!’ in 2013. Since then I have been doing what I love to do – create everyday garment made from high-quality materials in a huge variety of colors.
Before that you were working with big textiles and furniture companies such as Kvadrat or Capellini, how would you define the interference between fields of fashion and furniture?
When I worked in the furniture field I use to hear that fashion business is on a parallel track to furniture, because both fields are always keeping pace and following same trends, texture-wise and colour-wise. I witnessed how furniture was looking at fashion industry and now when I am working on the other side I am still looking at furniture. I would guess they are just using each other and always goes hand in hand in a way.
So do you see the transition as a big professional turnover?
While working in furniture business I made huge handmade carpets in vivid colors, embroidered sofas and screen printed stackable stools etc. Textiles were always included in my work so my change of fields was not an abrupt… I don’t think that these fields are far from each other – same same but different names!
Main traits that make you stand out from most other scandinavian designers are patterns and colors. Why do you refuse to use black?
I am just trying to educate people to wear colors! The ground idea of my brand is that everything should be possible to combine with your common black and blue jeans. You have to look fun and stylish at the same time. I would describe my design as ‘life at its best, translated into patterns and prints then interpreted into cuts to complete unique garments.’ I never wear only black, because I want to be noticed… However, my strategizers say that I have to make more black and that is funny because my stomach simply says “Don’t do in black!“
Do many people acknowledge that?
I have a loyal fan base over the world, even far as Australia. And I am so happy that people are discovering and appreciating my style.
We saw sewing machines in your shop. Are any of your products made here?
No, it is only a place where ideas are born. When it comes to production I rely on traditional methods. My clothes are made in small factories where clothes have been produced for decades. The interesting fact is that most of my clothes are made in Lithuania. I remember visiting Baltic countries back in my teenage years with my mother who was producing in Estonia. Lithuanians are so lucky! They have production, they have fabric – they have everything! I am so glad that I can call this country my backyard!
Are you familiar with Lithuanian brands?What is your impression of them?
They haven’t shown themselves in fashion fairs with their own designs in the past. I mean, I am so glad that more and more interesting brands are coming, ones who are making clothes not only from common linen. But why did it take so long? Now Lithuania has those super duper brands, which I would love to know more about.
When looking at other local designers’ work, what it is the most interesting/intriguing for you as a designer yourself?
Independent designers have their own language and because of that you can get to know and feel what is special about their cities. I want to meet local designers, real ones! It is a first thing that I want to see when I’m in a new city. I want to see their language and what unique fabric they use! I am amazed by independent way of fashion production. That is why I would love to see more independent designers in the Meatpacking district.
How can you describe your language?
I am not so spacey as it may appear at the first sight. My designs are classical – clean surface, without many details so the textures and patterns of the textile can do the talking. Style that I make is super tailored, sometimes a bit chic. It has loads of avant-garde and expressionistic patterns as I think it has to be fun to wear, flamboyant but not to make me feel insecure – I want to go on a street and feel that I own that stage!
What kind of goals are you are achieving now and what are your plans for the future?
I am so small and so young in this business, but I am convinced that my time will come. I am taking baby steps now as I do not have a big team behind me. I am really interested in making collaborations with other names and I would love to start making clothes for men too. It is a long way to go, but I believe that I am on a right track!
What message would you like to send to people who are afraid of colors in their daily outfits?
I want to invite you to a colorful place. Let’s celebrate the odd and the unique, the fabulous and the fantastic. Let´s be weird and proud, and lets have fun and not take things too seriously!