Words Mia Thornemann
Pictures Ida Natalie Lampe
A while ago I went to visit the Danish textile designer Stine Linnemann in her studio in the Nordvest borough of Copenhagen. Her amazing space, which is part of an artist collective, is situated on the third floor of an old office building with a gorgeous view overlooking the authentic neighbourhood which has not yet fallen victim to urban renewal.
I was welcomed by a most genuine and loving woman with bright scarlet hair, and she was quite eager to show me around. The walls of her place were decorated with inspirational imagery, old textile swatches and mood boards telling the story of her personal evolution, and it was hard not to be mesmerised by her creativity and ability to push the boundaries of old weaving traditions. Her story unfolds on the walls surrounding a large wooden centerpiece, the loom where her creative ideas come to life.
Stine has since her graduation from the Royal Academy of Art worked with a wide array of textile suppliers and as a consultant with many established international fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Paul Smith, and she also interned with Alexander McQueen. She established her own eponymous label “Stine Linnemann Studio” in late 2014. In 2016, Linnemann set up the sustainable luxury lifestyle brand, ‘Linnemann’, dedicated to solid craftsmanship and design.
Her latest collection entitled ‘Norn’ is based on the old Nordic mythology where norn-women spin the thread of life and destiny of women. The collection is made in collaboration with sustainable and ethical production partners and consists of one-size-fits-all gender-neutral pieces including robes, pants and various accessories.
What is striking about Stine is not only her talent and the way she has mastered the old trade and techniques - she is also an avid advocate of sustainability and transparency, and champions fair trade and proper working condition and pay rights for workers.
The fabric for the collection is entirely handmade, where women spin the thread and men weave the threads together in Sabhar, Ethiopia. The finished material is then transported to Denmark, where the collection is manufactured in collaboration with the socially responsible and sustainable production workroom Huset Venture in Ballerup. Finally, the products are assembled by hand by ‘I Traad Med Verden’ which is a locally based integration project working west of the city.
The collection is made-to-order in order to minimise waste, staying true to the core values of Stine Linnemann's design mission.
Lately the designer has taken on a new project, making purses out of recycled paper which are then assembled by inmates in Vestre Fængsel. She recently collaborated with Trine Lindegaard on the project ‘Weave Nordvest Together’, where they aimed to engage the borough in the production of a giant ragtag made from recycled textiles.