Words Sandy Aziz
Lucky for us, a good power suit never goes out of style and is always a great investment. And, if you are in pursuit of the perfect power suit, look no further because Scandinavian fashion brand Brøgger has mastered it in every form. Giving simple Scandinavian design diversity and vibrancy, Julie Brøgger gave OVERDUE the details about her life, her inspiration, and her pursuit of creating her dream brand.
Growing up in Denmark, Julie completed her fashion degree at The Royal Danish Academy of Art before spending a year in London doing internships. “I fell in love with London,” said Julie, “with its eccentricity and boldness.” After completing her MA, Julie worked for various brands in London and took that knowledge and applied it to her own vision, a vision laced with offering women pieces that would brighten their wardrobes. And, in this pursuit, the Brøgger brand was born.
Sandy Aziz: What does luxury mean to you?
Julie Brøgger: Expression of individuality has a higher meaning of luxury to me than an obvious show of wealth. A show of wealth to me is the lazy form of luxury.
Agreed! So, how would you then define design in the current social and
Julie Brøgger: Although fashion design is often perceived as superficial, it has always been a greatly underestimated zeitgeist. Fashion is like no other cultural phenomenon — closely linked to the social conception of identity, gender, sexuality and understanding of self — it is important that we discuss fashion and take its effects, on both individuals and the world we live, in serious, current debates ranging from sustainability to sexuality. Fashion can work both for and against issues and it can be a powerful expressive tool and we should absolutely utilize it.
Sandy Aziz: What sets your brand apart from others (especially other Nordic brands)?
Julie Brøgger: I think Brøgger is a bit bolder than most Scandinavian brands. The Brøgger aesthetic is rooted in both Scandinavian and London traditions, and it creates a duality of the functional, Nordic and also the ornamented, floral London.
Sandy Aziz: Which other designers, if any, inspire you? Why?
Julie Brøgger: The 1980s couture designers — like Erik Mortensen for Balmain — who did some iconic dresses for H.M the Queen Margrethe of Denmark. His use of colour and combinations of contrasting fabrics was very inspiring. Also, Emanuel Ungaro’s mid-1980s collections that display bold prints and bright tailoring. These inspired and reminded me to trust my vision for the Brøgger collections — to be bold, bright, and colourful.
Sandy Aziz: Tell us about one of your favorite designs and why that one is your favorite.
Julie Brøgger: I love a well-cut blazer. It is always a cornerstone in my collections, and I think it works with everything – either as a suit with matching trousers – or it takes a dress into a much cooler direction. I love that look of wearing a man’s blazer over a long dress.
Sandy Aziz: If you could reach your younger self now, what would you say to them and why? And, do you have any words of wisdom you would like to give to other designers who are up-and-coming?
Julie Brøgger: Luck loves hard work and dedication — so trust the process. And breathe! I was a bit intense when I was younger! In terms of advice, first of all, find why and what you want to bring into the world. Second, hold onto your authentic stance. Listen, yes, but don’t change your course every time someone tells you to — trust that gut feeling.
Stressing that the brand is about longevity and against overproduction and overconsumption, Julie also highlighted that the price point for the brand is just below the high-end luxury prices that break the bank.
With this in mind, what is next for Brøgger?
“I’m not a big fan of fast fashion, so maybe a bit of disruption from the inside,” Julie told OVERDUE. Julie’s desire is to partner up with a mid-market and high-street oriented retailer to prove that it is possible to create “well-made pieces at more achievable price points.”
Most recently and notably, Brøgger created a different type of suit — surgical gowns — for NHS and front-line workers in their fight against Covid-19. Julie even created a digital version of the PPE patterns and these are being shared across the UK with NHS trusts, hospitals and care homes in hopes more pop-up factories can be set-up.