Last Tuesday, on the far end of a quiet courtyard just off of a busy street in Copenhagen’s city center, the Ganni girls were getting busy. Inside the brand’s multi-level headquarters, members of the growing team were meeting with buyers, sewing garments, securing the last-minute details for the show venue, and lining up shiny patent leather brogues in neat rows. Ganni’s head designer, Ditte Reffstrup, stepped into the showroom, dressed in a T-shirt and pencil skirt from the new collection, typing away on her phone. She was “a bit stressed”—Danes are enviably never fully stressed—due to the fact that a model was having trouble with her visa. “Everything was so perfect this morning,” she said with a sweet but slightly worried smile. “There’s so much going on!” Indeed, the brand was prepping for its Spring 2020 show and simultaneously, a major milestone: Reffstrup and her husband Nikolaj, the co-founder and former CEO of Ganni, were celebrating 10 years at the helm of the label. In her very charming way, Reffstrup brushed off the last-minute model crisis with ease in a matter of moments. She showed off pieces from the new collection, explained which parts of this now-big company were stationed in the building, and stopped for a moment to admire their glass-encased mushroom tree in the common eating area, grown sustainably from the leftover grounds from their coffee machine.
Upstairs in the main offices, Reffstrup sat down at a table near a seamstress who was putting the final touches on a mint green floral dress from the new spring collection. “It’s amazing to see how much Ganni has grown in the last 10 years,” she said, beaming. “The team has grown from two people to nearly 100, and it’s really special to think about that.” She added, “though, Nikolaj and I really try not to look back, only forward. But ten years feels magical, and for this collection I did look back to our first show, to everything that has happened since then. The new collection is still the same Ganni girl but more grown up.” For a small label based in Copenhagen, the immense amount of growth and expansion that Ganni has experienced in the last decade is wildly impressive. Not only has it received major financial backing from the private equity firm L Catterton, but this October, the label will open several new U.S. stores in New York and L.A. More than dollar signs or splashy brick-and-mortar shops, the true tell of Ganni’s success is its status as a global arbiter of cool.
The label's clothes are coveted by the masses, but also by women who drive trends online, like Emily Weiss, Pernille Teisbaek, and Leandra Medine. Ganni also counts Gigi Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski as fans. In Copenhagen, Weiss and Teisbaek, along with other tastemakers like Susie Bubble, Richie Shazam, and Chloe Wise, were all there to cheer on their favorite Danish brand as the Reffstrups made it, models and all, to show day. They chose the rooftop grass tennis court at the Hotel Mercur, the same spot where they showed their very first collection for Ganni a decade earlier, as this season’s venue. The Danish pop star MØ performed, singing her own soulful rendition of “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” by The Smashing Pumpkins, one of Reffstrup’s favorites when she was a teenager. Then, as MØ began to belt out her hit song “Lean On,” the skies opened up and it started to pour. The models ran out onto the field and started a dance party mosh pit in center court, with the Ganni girls and boys from the audience joining in and getting soaked. “I kind of love that the rain came at the perfect time,” said MØ backstage, while still drying off with a towel. She’s been a fan of the label since high school and was honored to perform at the show. “To me, the Ganni girl is not one specific thing. It’s about being yourself and I think that’s what the brand really stands for; it doesn’t have to be so stereotypical.”
Once everyone else dried off, it was time to hit the afterparty, which the Reffstrups held inside an 18th-century villa. Pizza was served, more dancing ensued, and model Carlotta Kohl was on hand to capture the entire rager. It wasn’t just another fashion show in Copenhagen, but a celebration of a label that has single-handedly changed the way the world looks at style coming out of the Danish capital. They’re on the path toward world domination and showing everyone that, in MØ’s words, “the Ganni girl has her own rhythm.”
Originally Appeared on Vogue