Andersen-Andersen is a small family business founded in Copenhagen in 2009 by Cathrine Lundgren-Andersen and Peter Kjaer-Andersen. The designer duo built their business on the idea of creating just one single garment embodying the durability and timelessness of the classic sailor sweater.
As part of our recurring ‘Characteristics’ feature we asked the Danish brand to choose one garment and describe why it best represents them and their brand and tell us the story behind it. Andersen-Andersen chose to represent themselves by the first garment they ever created, the navy turtleneck sweater.
The turtleneck has been over two years in the making, and was inspired by a vintage Danish sailor sweater that, despite being tired and well-worn, told a captivating story about days past. The story of the old garment piqued the designers’ curiosity and sparked their desire to reinterpret the old classic – thus, a new rendition was brought to life.
Similar to its predecessor, durability is crucial and the quality of the feel, the material and the handicraft are obvious at a distance, and are all central to the quality of the turtleneck. The longevity of the material is as important as having a functional shape with a utilitarian aspect.
In order to achieve strength and durability similar to that of clothes used by sailors at sea, Andersen-Andersen sourced an exceptional wool from South America. The characteristics of the wool meant it was far coarser and had longer fibers than anticipated, posing an initial challenge. However, with the help and cooperation of local knitters who were familiar with the material the team developed a high-spun, worsted yarn with a high longevity.
The old original was symmetrical in fit, but the designers found it to be more ill-fitting than desired. After much research and together with their in-house knitter, Andersen-Andersen managed to develop a simple solution to the undesired issues of the traditional sweater. The team came up with a triangular pattern, which they could knit into the collar of the sweater, creating a more well-shaped and form-fitting outline.
Having looked back on the proud history of maritime knitting traditions and merging it with the best of modern advancements, Andersen-Andersen have created and continue to improve modern day artisanal knitwear while setting a proud example for the knitwear legacy.
Photographer Amanda Hjernø