ELLA – Icelandic Slow Fashion

The ELLA show at the Reykjavik Fashion Festival was all about class and elegance. With the woman who travels with style as leitmotif, Elinrós Lindal (Creative Director and Founder) and Katrín María Káradóttir (Head of Desing) showed what slow fashion looks like with a glamorous mise-en-scène.

I had the opportunity to ask Elinrós some questions about their first experience at RFF and the brand.

What are your feelings after taking part on the festival? Has it been a good experience for you and ELLA as a brand?

I have a very positive feeling about the festival. I decided it was very important for us to take part. We are a new brand and we wanted to get feed back from journalists but also the general public. We got to know more people in the fashion business here in Iceland. We got to know professionals that we would consider working with in the future – with make up etc.

It was also very important for ELLA the team; we decided to start the journey together and we did not finish until everybody in the team was happy with the results. I think that the energy within the team was very positive, and we worked stronger together than each of us would do separetly. Thats the best measurement of success for me and gives me confidence that we can grow professionally.

Is there anything you would change for next year?

Yes – I would. But in the end of the day we were honest and true to our values. I hope we will be able to show bigger line and that we have grown next year; we are only on our first year in operations. I started working on ELLA four years ago. I know that within ten years we will be where my vision for the brand is. But I´m enjoying every minute of the day and taking a learning out of everything we do.

Was there any surprises for you during the RFF?

Yes – I believe that the fashion industry in Iceland is very young so I did not expect a whole lot from it. But what surprised me was the talent and good work of many of the young desingers in the fashion business here. Many that have limited capital to work with, used great fabrics and showed collections that were beyond what I would have expected. I truly believe that the fashion business here in Iceland can help rebuild the economy here – and I hope that the government will share my believe and do the groundworks of helping young companies grow. We should have learned by now that leverage is not the way to grow; creating value with designs is definetely more tangable then numbers on balance sheets.

Ella is not only clothing but also, perfumes, home fragrances and candles. Is the brand planing to expand to any new market? Maybe home design?

Yes – definetly. Next year we want to offer few items for men. Some of my manufacturers make beautiful children clothes, so I would like to make few items for children also. But we do it very slowly. Iceland is a great test market and you can see pretty fast if things work or not. Home designs are very dear to my heart, so why not?

As representative of slow fashion in Iceland, could you give a piece of advice to the new/young designers that are starting their brands?

I´m no specialist when it comes to fashion designs; and I am too focused on learning myself. But my experience is that being a fashion designer is a lot of work. Establishing your own business is also huge work, but because I´m so passionate about learning I would advise young designers to choose an advisor and learn as much as possible before they establish their own brand.

Two of the key players in our team have great passion for teaching. Hopefully they will be able to mentor young people that will later put their marks on international fashion market.

Slow Fashion is the only way to go for me. Emerging markets are in Asia; Europe is really suffering now for most of the fashion houses are manufacturing in Asia. This is something young designers can capitalize on, because they can manufacture low quantities with very good companies in our economic zone. If you are from Europe, offering European designs, why not do it in the cradle of high quality fashion? That’s my advise.

To learn more about ELLA and buy online click here.

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One Response to ELLA – Icelandic Slow Fashion

  1. Pingback: Behind the scenes: ELLA summer 2012 look-book |

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