Tell us about the shop...
It has been open for three years in this location, but the brand is a little bit older. It started like many other brands, in a workshop tucked away on the second floor with no public appearance. We opened the shop on Skólavörðustígur when the crisis loomed over Iceland and to rule out the danger of going bankrupt, we put both the workshop and the shop in one location. You retail a variety of accessories as well?
The golden rule is that we can retail what we can’t make ourselves. For example, our socks are made in the USA from recycled materials and when they arrive in Iceland we hand dye and print them here. We want everything that we retail to have some connection to the policy that we set for our own clothing. Is the handmade quality and sustainability important to your own work as well?
It is. But at the same time it’s not the biggest selling point. I want people first and foremost to fall in love with what they see and to feel more beautiful by wearing my clothes. I simply choose to work with organic fabrics and natural dyes because I don’t want to feel responsible for putting more crap out into the world. It’s already filled up with enough crap.
However, it has affected the overall look of my clothing. For example, because bright colours are in general made with either synthetic dye or synthetic materials, there is little of that. The pastels that we are known for are the result of our using natural dyes. So these two things together have become the look for the brand. What is your new collection based on?
The summer collection, Dans-Dans-Dans, was very much inspired by professional dancers. We have a lot of jersey layering, which is easy to build up and build down. Catsuits make the first layer that covers the whole body, and then the next layer is very open and would actually show everything if there wasn’t a catsuit underneath. We are working with a dance theme this summer and it suits this beautiful weather that we’ve been having!Is there a single concept behind every collection?
There’s not a particular concept behind every single collection; the overall concept is to be natural and to minimise people’s consumption. And to make sure of that, we make things that can be used in many different ways so that people might actually buy less. So in a way it’s the worst business plan ever, promoting buying less! That would typically be a suicidal business plan for a store, but it works really well for us. I feel like our customers are aware of what they are buying; it’s not a moment of impulse.
When you walk up Skólavörðustígur you might notice a little shop at 17a. It bears the name of its owner, designer Jet Korine, who makes a conscious effort to leave the smallest possible imprint on the world through her design. From her hand-dyed socks to a versatile ‘life coat,’ her garments are perfect for the modern nomad, ready for anything. The style is beyond trends and fads, and even though the clothes look light and delicate, they are made to last.