Is Danish brand Blanche on your fashion radar? An interview with Mette Fredin and Melissa Bech

    Wonderful things come out of Denmark. Hygge, Lego and The Little Mermaid, to name just a few. But also sustainable womenswear label Blanche, which was established in 2018 by Mette Fredin (Creative Director) and Melissa Bech (Commercial Director). Both experienced profashionals with different skills, who met by chance and shared the same opinion; that womenswear simply deserves more transparency and better-quality fabrics. The label therefore produces mainly in Europe, primarily in Portugal or Italy. We caught up with Blanche’s two founders for a chat.
    Blanche
    Mette Fredin & Melissa Bech

    To start off, how did you get to know each other?
    We knew each other briefly from the Danish fashion industry and from when we met each other at a business get-together. We immediately started to talk about how we both love denim and fashion. As the conversation progressed, we soon discovered that we both felt that something was missing on the womenswear denim scene. This was the start of our partnership…

    …and how Blanche was born. How did you come up with the more specific idea for Blanche – also with regard to the sustainability aspect?
    We started talking about our jobs, the industry, our big passion for denim, what we felt was missing and what we wanted to do differently. At the time, we didn’t know of any womenswear jeans brand that was both sustainable and fashionable. The next logical step from there was to start up a sustainable jeans brand. Blanche is the female word for white in French. And like the colour white, it was important for us to start from a clean slate and then add colour. White is also a synonym for pure and clean – which is how we want our Blanche products to be. So it also covers the sustainable aspects. All in all, the name is actually what the brands stands for: a female brand starting up with an ethical mindset.

    Nobody buys a pair of jeans because they want a sustainable jeans butt, they always want a sexy jeans butt!

    Do you think – as a young label – that you have more benefits or more challenges when it comes to sustainability?
    We had the benefit of starting up with a sustainable mindset from the very start. We didn’t have to turn a running company into being sustainable. That was definitely a big advantage for us. In terms of a contemporary mindset, we don’t see it as a challenge as we are trying to create long-lasting garments that are not so season-driven. We believe that quality and production are more important than fast-fashion trends. Of course our products always have to be fashion-relevant. After all, nobody buys a pair of jeans because they want a sustainable jeans butt, they always want a sexy jeans butt!

    Within your brand there are two different lines: Blanche and Blanche Atelier. Can you describe each of them in your own words?
    The Blanche line is our core, classic and essential DNA that is always the biggest part of our collections. More or less all styles in the Blanche range are sustainably produced. Blanche Atelier is where we play and experiment and make more contemporary and seasonal pieces. You can say that this line is our playground and that Blanche is our home turf.

    Speaking of home turf: how much of your personality is invested in Blanche?
    Oh, a big part! If your heart’s not in it, you can’t show your true passion.

    Blanche

    From passion to fashion: we’re currently in the midst of SS19. What is Blanche’s look for this season?
    The SS19 collection is all about the cold dew on a summer’s morning. The collection combines a modern and progressive approach with a newfound familiarity of women’s ready-to-wear, echoing the ideas of feminism together with a curiously contemporary emotion. Contrasting in its expression, the collection joins together the rough touches of denim, both the raw and unwashed as well as the smooth and embroidered, with the refined elegance of cashmere, organic cotton, wool and suede, together painting our picture of the first seasons of a new year.

    And where is Blanche headed for AW19?
    Introducing our autumn/winter 2019 collection, we are interpreting the ideas of femininity into the context of stripping things down to their bare essentials. Timeless yet modern. Long-lasting but currently relevant. Feminine yet workwear-inspired. Echoing the ideas of sustainable design, the collection takes a minimal approach to modern-day women’s ready-to-wear, joined by an appreciation of industrial references and functional elements. Through fits that scale back on oversized proportions for a rather feminine expression, the collection reinterprets the timeless classics of coats, skirts and dresses in materials such as wool and tartan, combined with the industrial feel of herringbone across various outerwear pieces. Suits are presented in revised silhouettes with clean lines to embrace the female body, while coats, skirts and dresses are introduced in midi and maxi lengths for a perpetual character, joined by corduroy sets and sophisticated knitwear. Looking towards the denim segment, things are going in reverse with unconventional fits on outerwear alongside straight and wide cuts on jeans for a vibrant yet simple attitude.

    And last but not least, where do you see Blanche in the future?
    We hope that Blanche will continue being a relevant fashion brand – with more certifications like the Swan label/Eco Cert certification. But still with a high focus on our sustainable mindset and creating a lot of awareness for our end consumers in order to make it easier for them to do better and take a greener approach when buying garments.

    Thanks a lot for talking to us, Mette and Melissa. 

    Interview: Cheryll Mühlen

    Blanche Denim

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