Kicking off day one of an unusually rainy Copenhagen Fashion Week in a space set up like a chic house of mirrors, the founder of REMAIN, Denise Christensen invited audiences to reflect both physically and metaphorically. To not only reflect while wearing the brand’s shimmering sequin looks on a silver runway but also a call to reflect on the meaning of originality.

This season, the brand goes back to where it took root, with a collection honouring heritage craftsmanship in tailoring and leather. Featuring interesting plays on traditional proportions, think cropped shirt jackets, maxi skirts hitched up as dresses and XXL shoulders nipped in at the waist the SS24 collection is a bright start to this season's collections.

Because caught up with Denise Christensen ahead of the show…

Can you tell us more about your SS24 collection? What were some of the key inspirations and how has it evolved from previous collections?
This season, we have chosen to reflect on the concept of originality. Less so in the clothing itself, but in the wearer and how the owner of a garment can bring life and individuality to it in a way that one could never imagine when seeing the pieces hanging. The collection is crafted to empower the wearer, with elegant, simple shapes with specific, illusionary details. In this collection, we step away from trends and present a range of beautifully crafted, timeless pieces, with contemporary and creative twists. Whilst REMAIN is foremostly a brand that specialises in leather and tailoring, and this collection is no different, here we explore intensely modern silhouettes, finishes and fabrics whilst embracing our heritage.

Can you share with us the inspiration behind starting REMAIN and how your vision for the brand has evolved over time?
The idea for REMAIN came when I was a Buyer and CEO for Birger Christensen, and so I was out on the floor, seeing what was available. Whilst there was a place for simple, elegant, sophisticated but modern design in the luxury sector, I felt that this was missing from contemporary fashion, something special but without the high price. We started REMAIN in 2019 as a capsule collection, with a focus on tailoring and leather, creating pieces that were designed for working women. Naturally, during Covid, we experienced some difficulties. As a brand catering to people on the go, we had to adapt to the times. We started to introduce more casual, knit styles that people could wear at home in bolder colours that would brighten the mood and attract attention when shopping digitally. But now that Covid has subsided we are dedicated to getting back to our roots and redefining REMAIN for what it set out to be, a brand that celebrates the utmost craftsmanship in tailoring and leather. Creating unique, but staple pieces that have longevity in the wearer's wardrobe.

Your brand focuses on designing pieces that are cut for permanence and can remain in wardrobes forever. What are some key design elements you employ to ensure the longevity and timelessness of your collections?
Evolving from the Birger Christensen house, leather is an area we have great experience and credibility. Each season we are creating new silhouettes, as well as reworking existing models in new colours, or finishes, using leather and suede as a base for designs that go beyond what is expected of traditional leatherware. We honour classic shapes, but also play with new forms to add freshness and uniqueness each season. Not only are our pieces created from high-quality, durable materials, but they are also silhouettes that go beyond trends and seasons, pieces that can be built on and form the backbone of a wardrobe.

Copenhagen is known as the epicentre of sustainable fashion. How does the city influence the design philosophy and direction of REMAIN?
Copenhagen Fashion Week has had a great influence in encouraging and coaching brands about more sustainable practices. Their regulations are strict, but necessary to ensure that Fashion Week is as responsible as can be. We have a big responsibility to our customers, to ensure that we produce with certified suppliers, support NGOs, and choose the best fabric options. We are also starting to integrate the 3D sample platform, CLO 3D into our design process, to reduce the over-production of samples and minimize waste.

REMAIN is available in more than 120 stores across 35 countries worldwide. Could you share some of the challenges and opportunities you faced while expanding into different markets?
Since we are a global brand, and our core business is within contemporary fashion, our biggest challenge has been catering for the different seasons and climates in each market we work within. In Denmark, our Fall Winter caters to beautiful shearlings, heavy knit and wool coats, but in other markets, it is summertime and very hot, which was a real challenge to begin with. On the other hand, you are not dependent on just one market – and so this has also been an opportunity for us to develop and create more varied collections.

In today's fast-paced fashion industry, how does REMAIN stand out and maintain its clear-cut voice amidst the noise of trends and constant change?
Right now, we feel a shift back towards quiet, quality fashion after a rush of trend-based fashion, you can see the influence of ‘quiet luxury’ when you walk down the street or open social media, and we can also see it in our customer patterns. So for us, it is an amazing moment, people are embracing the idea of a refined and moderate wardrobe, choosing high quality, stand-out pieces over fast trendy items. REMAIN is about allowing people to embrace their unique style through simple but sophisticated designs, and I think that this is the biggest trend right now.

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