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Behind the brand with founder Emilie Helmstedt

Copenhagen based brand Helmstedt has become a prominent favourite where the world of art fuses with fashion. Combining artistic flair with astute clothing the brand has forged a revolutionary path combining colour, pattern and whimsical themes, with a focus on quality and craftsmanship. The collections transport you to a realm away from the everyday world which is why is it no surprise that A-listers and influencers are being seen head to toe in Helmstedt. Since founding the brand in 2018 Emilie Helmstedt has been awarded the Magasin Du Nord Fashion Prize in 2018, shortlisted as a semi-finalist for the prestigious LVMH Prize 2020, and named as one of Forbes 30 under 30in 2021.

So, who better to tell you everything you want to know about Helmstedt than the creative mastermind behind it all. Here is our exclusive Q&A with Emilie on her inspirations, her views on sustainability and the show-stopping collections...

#1 Hello Emilie, how would you describe the style of Helmstedt and the ethos?

Adventurous, playful and dreamy. I love to express my imagination and stories in everything from poems to sculptures and clothing. The Helmstedt universe dissolves the space between illusion and reality to let imagination run wild without being limited by rules and expectations. The Helmstedt brand doesn’t follow trends – it creates spaces and universes to set free creativity. And it is not as much a fashion brand as it is a universe of colours, shapes, abstract thoughts and emotions - and a way of expression.

 #2 Where do you get your inspiration from to create such captivating collections?

I’m inspired by sounds, colours, shapes, words and emotions – my inspiration often comes from deep within, and I often dream about my designs before creating them. I walk, brainstorm, let my mind run free, and colours appear to me in my dreams, or they simply pop up in my head. Afterwards, I’ll choose fabrics and translate my art into comfortable garments. I work very intuitively, and I prefer desolation to immerse myself into creativity, which is why I often leave urban life and withdraw into nature to work.
paint pushes and paint on a plate

#3 Would you say there is a Helmstedt customer?

I never did a market segmentation plan since I wanted my work to be an authentic way of expression not aiming for a certain customer. My collections are for anyone with a love of colours, imagination and art, and designs are comfortable and playful. Helmstedt customers are typically not fast fashion consumers. They have a very personal style, and they like to buy unique design pieces they can keep for a lifetime.

#4 What does sustainability mean to Helmstedt?

We are constantly working to improve all processes, both in terms of social and environmental sustainability. For our SS22 collection, we strive to become as sustainable as possible when it comes to production and materials. Our choice of material is the most important part of our design process. We always strive to choose the materials that are most environmentally friendly and produced in factories with a high social standard and good working conditions. To name some, we are currently working with sustainable polyester, organic cotton & GOTS certificated materials. We are working remarkably close with all our suppliers to ensure that the whole chain is working most securely and optimally as possible. We source all products, trim & label ourselves, and put a great honour in controlling and securing all steps, big as small in the production. Striving to create products that can last a lifetime, both in the material we use and in the design. Our products are not trend-based with a short lifetime, they are meant to be used year after year. A women wearing Helmstedt in street runway

#5 You recently got nominated on the Forbes list 30 under 30-art & culture - Congratulations! Do you have an achievement you are proudest of so far?

I was deeply honoured to be nominated on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and words cannot describe how proud I am. It feels completely surreal to be categorized with so many talented people around the world. I was quite a loner as a child, and I never received good grades in school. Dedicating myself 100% to creating the Helmstedt brand and being an artist was the best decision I ever made – and I am beyond grateful for the great reception my brand has received. It motivates me to keep going. I am, however, not a big fan of ranking achievements, since I am proud of so many things that have been amazing and humbling in each of their own ways. Comparing them is – at least for me – unnecessary and not possible.

#6 Helmstedt has been spotted on Kendall Jenner, Brie Larson, Bella Hadid and Leandra Medine to name a few, how important are influencers to the brand?

Influencers are an excellent and powerful resource when it comes to creating instant brand awareness and reaching millions of potential brand fans. I’ve been very lucky to have some very influential celebrities fall in love with my designs - and it has brought attention to the Helmstedt brand, which I could have never created on my own on a start-up budget. 
A women getting into a car where a large bag

#7 With every collection having its own story, do you have a personal favourite?

I really liked our SS20 collection, Breeze. The brand expanded across borders for the first time, and we started cooperating with big international influencers and distributors. The strawberry-themed items were everywhere on social media, and our capsule collection “Staycation” also made quite an impact. While creating the collection, I had lots of creative energy, and I worked day and night on the designs.The SS21 collection, Emotions, is different from my previous collections. It’s more balanced in its colour tones and more calm in its design. Our FW21 collection is just perfect, if you ask me – it combines quirky, cute, fun and beautiful. I love to move in different directions and let my imagination run wild. But what is common for all my collections is that the designing process also is a learning process where I evolve, learn and improve my ways as a designer and artist every single time. 
Two women wearing pink leaning on eachother

#8 To someone who is starting out, what would be your advice?

It sounds like such a cliché, but it is nonetheless my very best advice: Follow your intuition, stay true to yourself and your dreams and team up with amazing people possessing professionalism and a high level of integrity.



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Holly Thompson
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