The Vintage Dream – GESTUZ by Sanne Sehested

Words:
April Ru Wan
Photographer:
Jannick Børlum

“I feel like I deserve a glass of wine,” Sanne cheekily said as we sat down for a quick lunch amidst the bustling Copenhagen Fashion Week schedule. It was the day before the AW24 GESTUZ show, and she had just come from a last-minute model casting. Sanne founded the brand 15 years ago, aiming to create a lasting, vintage-inspired wardrobe emphasising her signature silhouettes: pronounced shoulder pads and cinched waists. GESTUZ has since become a highly anticipated show of the week. This season, we witnessed a “sexy and effortless version of a GESTUZ woman” grace the runway, featuring smudged eyeliner from the night before and tousled curls, juxtaposed with oversized blazers that blur the lines between night-out and office wear. In addition to crafting vintage-inspired designs, Sanne has launched a resale platform for GESTUZ pieces, enabling these durable items to be cherished by successive generations. The team has streamlined the resale process online, simplifying it for customers. Sellers only need to provide the serial code of the pre-loved GESTUZ item they wish to sell, eliminating the need for photos or detailed descriptions. Scroll through our chat below to discover Sanne’s favourite look, her most memorable moments, and how the brand maintains an eco-friendly approach throughout its processes.

April Wan: You founded the brand back in 2008 with a heavy focus on sustainability, what drove you to create a brand of your own? Did you feel that there was a gap in the market?
Sanne Sehested: I wanted to create a closet for myself. I was missing a brand to offer me all the rock and roll and vintage-inspired pieces that I loved so much. So I created it myself! It was a way for me to expand on all the inspiration I had gathered from my travels and my life, and GESTUZ felt like the essence of my style put into new designs. 
AW:Shopping vintage has certainly become the norm over the last few years. You’ve spoken on being a vintage lover yourself! How does your passion for pre-loved goods reflect in your designs?
SS:I think it reflects in several ways; We are always very aware of the quality to ensure that the pieces can live a long life and be worn season after season. Furthermore, I am always inspired by vintage and earlier decades when creating our collections. Always big shoulders, pinched waists, worn leather and great denim. There is something quite beautiful about paying tribute to earlier decades – I feel like I am embracing my younger self in a modern way. I praise the pieces I find in my closet from the 80s and 90s, and I hope to create designs now that will give me the same feeling not just now, but also in 20 years when I pull it out of my closet again. 
AW: Your AW24 show is tomorrow, are you excited? What can we expect?
SS: You can expect a sexy and effortless version of the GESTUZ woman. We were very much inspired by the indulgence of luxury otherwise saved for special occasions, embraced in the everyday. Blurring the lines between going out and office-core. We wanted to create a collection where festive moments merge seamlessly with everyday; Not caring about being over or underdressed, but rather embracing effortlessness and indifference towards what other people might deem appropriate or not
 
AW: Gestuz prioritises sustainability by sourcing materials that have been certified and documented, along with launching the brand’s resale website. Where did the inspiration come from for having a platform for second-hand Gestuz?
SS: First of all, we see that the market for resell is growing and we believe it will only continue to grow. Furthermore, giving new life to old pieces matches the vintage core of GESTUZ. One of the things I adore about vintage pieces is that often the quality and material allow the pieces to live for so long and be passed on for generations. High-quality pieces are so important for us because that means that the pieces can stay in your wardrobe or be passed on through generations. Therefore, we hope that our resell platform is only something we can keep expanding in the future.
AW: The brand values quality while maintaining an affordable price point. How have you made this work without sacrificing one or the other?
SS: We don’t feel like we are sacrificing one or another. Of course, it’s a constant balance, but maintaining our price point is important for us to also make GESTUZ attainable for everyone. For us, it is all about continuously improving our work, but also through amazing collaboration with our suppliers and partners. It is all about balance and choosing where to invest and what materials work. 
AW: What’s been your favourite moment after launching Gestuz?
SS: Oh, there are so many. We have been around for 15 years, so there are so many memorable moments. But actually, I have never been prouder of GESTUZ than I am right now. So I believe the time we are in right now with the brand evolving so fast will be a time to remember. I try to stop up sometimes and enjoy.
AW: What’s your favourite look that’s going to be on the runway tomorrow?
SS: I love all the looks, so it’s hard to choose one, but we have this one look with grey faux fur and the perfect flared suiting pants paired with a leather top. This set represents the core of this collection. It is a nod to the late 70s, but it is done in such a modern way. I like to see it as a representation of GESTUZ. It is sexy but in a contrasted and mature way. Furthermore, it is a mix of all the elements that I think we are best at: outerwear, leather and suits.
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