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A NEW COPENHAGEN as well
A NEW COPENHAGEN as well as providing an expression for a somewhat peculiar national identity. “Our nature is understated in the sense that it’s a flat, calm country surrounded by the sea. So we find beauty in this as designers and also as a people. We don’t do drama. We don’t do ’loud’. We look for beauty in what others may find uninteresting. This is a very Danish thing; a love for our calm surroundings, and the acknowledgement that this is, to a certain extent, also how we are as a people.” As opposed to Welling, Manz has chosen to work from the inner city’s old quarters. “I know that a lot of people are moving out to the former industrial hubs. But for me, working here means I can get the best of both worlds. Copenhagen is a small city, and walking around you get a feeling that you are ’included’, that you are a part of the city. I love that about it – everything blending in this beautiful mix of old and new. But you can always find something real, something with real soul.” BEYOND NEW NORDIC In times when everything Scandinavian seems to come pre-branded as “cool”, the individuality and variety of Danish art and design risks being overlooked. The "New Nordic" moniker has been applied to everything from TV shows to gourmet hotdogs over the past decade, and reporters from across the world have travelled to Copenhagen to investigate what “WE RESPECT the term really means. But to those working at the Danish creative LONG-LASTING frontier, it seems to mean very DESIGN AND little. Rather than a unifying force or a branding tool that can help CRAFTSMANSHIP” push products, it’s more of an outsider’s invention, a way of ADAM BACH boxing together that indefinable knack for taste and refined elegance that characterises the city’s creative heartbeat. “There are certain values attached to the whole New Nordic thing, but we don’t really think about it. We are us, and that’s really enough,” says designer and entrepreneur Rikke Overgaard. Together with her partner Adam Bach, she founded Mismo, a designerbag brand, based in yet another post-industrial factory hub in the eastern parts of the city. From here, the couple runs the entire operation of designing and selling handmade bags, including web-shop maintenance and worldwide shipping. Their bags are stylish and elegant, and quite clearly inspired by Danish design’s decades-long love affair with symmetry and luxury. “We don’t do anything to be particularly ’Nordic’ or Danish for that matter,” Overgaard says. “Our inspirations in terms of design – the nature, the serenity THE FASHIONISTAS RIKKE OVERGAARD & ADAM BACH Partners Rikke Overgaard (43) and Adam Bach (39) founded luxury designer-bag brand Mismo in 2006, and have worked to develop their business ever since. Starting as a garage enterprise, Mismo is today a household name in Danish fashion circles and a regular fixture at fashion weeks across the globe. Overgaard and Bach both hold degrees from Copenhagen Business School and have been professional and private partners since 2003. They live in Copenhagen and have two children. FAVOURITE PLACE “The Kvæsthusmolen pier is located right in the middle of the city harbour and is one of those new places that now connect the city centre with the open waters and canals in a very beautiful way. It’s right across from the Royal Opera House and will soon host a series of cultural events, free for anyone to join.” BEST TIP “If you are at the canals, you should rent a small boat and go for a day tour with a picnic basket. Copenhagen is a beautiful city, but it’s even prettier from the water. Boating around is easy, inexpensive and safe. Anyone can do it and it’s definitely worth it.” mismo.dk of the long Danish winters, our relationship to the sea and its light, the architecture around us, the chairs we sit in – it all just so happens to provide us with a language that many see as very Danish.” “We do identify ourselves as being informed by Danish design language, but it’s not a marketing stunt or something we’ve done after some sort of meticulous business analysis,” her partner Adam Bach says. “It’s how we felt we’d be able to offer the best bags to our customers. I think this is actually what makes us or anyone else particularly ’Danish’; we respect quality materials, long-lasting design and craftsmanship. In a market where a lot of people are looking for quick wins and low-hanging fruit, we try to offer something with real substance and soul.” 74
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