Brave design for brave women
Anyone who knows just a little about the fashion industry will probably agree that the decision to take a brand in a new direction just four years after it was launched requires a good deal of courage and level-headedness. And the road to where HVISK is today was not without its bumps.
“Our customers had come to know HVISK as a jewellery brand, so of course it took a bit of getting used to, when we decided to shake things up and do something totally different. It was also a huge upheaval for me as a designer. But fortunately, it was a good one. I have really hit the nail on the head here, and so has HVISK.”
What started as a gamble has since become the cornerstone of HVISK’s DNA. In 2020, the portfolio features everything from purses and mini bags to big shoppers – everything in the daring colour palette that three years ago set them on track towards what kind of brand they should be in the future and, more importantly, who their customers should be.
“HVISK creates accessories for women who dare to go for a different, brave look. Women who don’t believe in conforming. We believe that a bag should be a playful, fun part of your outfit. That’s exactly the kind of detail that helps a woman stand out from the crowd.”
Anne Sofie Øhauge started out as an intern at HVISK in 2013 and has been involved every step of the way from its development from jewellery to bag company. Today she is Head of Design and the creative brainchild behind the colourful designs that have won the brand international success in record time.
For many years, Nordic style was synonymous with subdued colours and a minimalist idiom. But with the new generation of designers, more colours suddenly made a breakthrough. The Danish company is a perfect example, and much would suggest that they have really fulfilled a need.
In just three years, the brand’s colourful bags, purses and hair accessories have become a permanent feature on the shelves of more than 600 select retailers in 15 countries across the globe.
If you ask Anne Sofie Øhauge about the reason for all the hype, she has no doubts. She immediately stresses the fact that HVISK’s effervescent colour palette allows customers to stand out from the crowd and lend their outfits a personal touch. As she herself says:
“There’s nothing more wonderful than when people are true to who they are and feel great about it.”
From gold and silver to shiny bags
HVISK started out as a jewellery brand – and a very successful one at that. But, after a few years, when the design team wanted to try their hand at other types of accessories, they quickly found that one in particular won the hearts and minds of customers – bags.
The small, shiny, brightly-coloured cross-body bags were a huge hit in shops, online stores and the feed on various social media sites – particularly because of the brand’s choice to deselect animal leather and manufacture all their products in 100% vegan materials.
“From the outset, our mission was to create a brand that would evolve in a sustainable direction. Our first natural step was to become PETA certified [ed. the world’s biggest animal rights organisation], and today many styles are also made from recycled materials,” says Anne Sofie Øhauge.
“We’re not there yet. We always dream of getting better. But we can sense that our green initiative means a lot to our dealers, consumers and staff.”
What can you tell us about this season’s bag trend?
“We’ve already seen a number of trends that will remain must-haves. For example, we’ll still see lots of oversized bags with quilt patterns, box-shaped bags and mini bags. The crocodile surface in brave colours also still plays a major role in the fashion scene.”
Be inspired by Anne Sofie Øhauge