Baum und Pferdgarten

Oliver Marshall
Sofi Chetrar

I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of Baum Und Pferdgarten, a Copenhagen based brand run by two female designers- Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave. To me, and many others, it is the definition of Danish fashion and partially the reason for the locals dressing so cool. Having their head office and creative space located next to the Queen’s palace in the heart of Copenhagen seems rather suitable to the theme of the AW23 show inspired by Wes Anderson’s film The Royal Tenenbaums. Every day they get to enjoy a traditional musical performance by the Queen’s guards outside their windows, and the space looks like a Royal palace that compliments the beautifully curated pieces I got to see in person.

Sofi Chetrar: Firstly, congratulations on the beautiful FW23 collection! I loved the entire show, and have to start my question with the theme of this collection, The Royal Tenenbaums. Are you big admirers of Wes Anderson’s work, and why this film in particular?
Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave: Thank you so much. And yes indeed, we are big admirers of Wes Anderson’s work. It’s a pleasure to watch how his aesthetics come to life. We chose The Royal Tenenbaums because it is one of many of Anderson’s movies that have had such an influence on the fashion world. We fell in love with the colour palettes and intricate details throughout the movie. Each character in the movie has their own iconic style which we wanted to explore with our AW23 collection.
SC: I especially loved the twins in sports suits and the tennis ball bag, which all came as a reference from the film. Is this the usual process when designing a collection for you to get inspired by so-called “characters”?
RB&HH: Yes, we quite often find inspiration in characters but not only fictional characters like in movies. We also find inspiration in artists, music, art and architecture. For example, for our SS23 collection that has just launched, we were inspired by Madame Gresm, the renowned couture designer. That collection also explores the beautiful work of the late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
SC: When I came down to your studio, I was fascinated by the space you work in. Does such a beautiful location inspire your creations?
RB&HH: We are incredibly lucky to work in one of the most beautiful locations in Copenhagen with the Queen as our neighbour. So of course, that brings some kind of magic to our office. As you saw when visiting our space, we feel very comfortable there and thrive in our organized mess. Haha!
SC: What are the key principles you stick to when designing clothes? And are there any principles that define BUP?
RB&HH: Baum und Pferdgarten loves playing with contrasts, beautiful fabrics and memorable prints. Our vision is to deliver uncompromising aesthetics while remaining ethically responsible and inclusive to all.
SC: I couldn’t help but notice some street-style inspirations in your studio. No wonder, because I’ve never seen so many well-dressed people in one place as I saw in Copenhagen! How do you plan to implement this into the collections?
RB&HH: We are always inspired by the people around us, especially the people in Copenhagen; you cannot avoid getting inspired by the style you see in the streets.
SC: How do you find the balance between creating something functional but also interesting and unexpected?
RB&HH: This is a great question! It has always been important for us that women can look fashionable but still be able to cycle to work; we personally have had those issues! So whenever we design pieces, we get our lovely office family to test the clothes, wear them, bike in them, pick up their kids in them and whatever daily tasks there might be, so we are sure that our designs can be worn by anyone on any occasion.
SC: What message does Baum und Pferdgarten carry?
RB&HH: We want to design clothes that help people tell their own narrative. The clothes are created for people who want to play and have fun with how they express themselves; the collections can be worn in many different ways by many different people.
SC: As two female designers who built and have grown a brand to the heights you are at today, do you have any advice for young designers who might look up to you and wish to build their brand in the future?
RB&HH: Learn your craft. What is it that you are designing and what do you want people to feel like wearing your design? Also, take your time and believe that you own your career as a designer. Don’t stress if you find yourself in a funk during the design process; trust your instinct.
SC: How do you see the future of your brand?
RB&HH: We want to keep inspiring people with our clothes and continue to contribute to our industry in the best way possible. Most importantly, we never want to stop improving when it comes to sustainability.
Photography: Oliver Marshall
Words: Sofi Chetrar