Fashion Talk
Susanne Guldager

Susanne Guldager

Designer
Label - La Femme Rousse

I am inspired by art, a current social debate, or people I observe

La Femme Rousse is a Danish visionary fashion company established in 2019 by Susanne Guldager. The core values that La Femme Rousse represents are originality, recycling and quality. The majority of its styles are produced from recycled textiles such as tablecloths and sheets. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, Guldager discusses her intricate designs and gives insights about the fashion industry in Copenhagen.

Fibre2Fashion: How would you define fashion? Could you tell us about your experience in the field and the development of your brand?

Susanne Guldager:

To me, fashion is more about adorning the body rather than following ‘the new’, as the word fashion means in a literal sense. La Femme Rousse creates fashion that makes women feel confident, positive, inspired, feminine, and beautiful. We not only want to make women feel beautiful today but also confident about the fact that their fashion is creating a better tomorrow. We call that connection “Beautiful Today… Beautiful Tomorrow”.

I started La Femme Rousse in the fall of 2019, and it has been a wild and exciting journey so far. For the last year, I have been working full-time in the company, which has had great importance in relation to developing the brand. As an entrepreneur, there are a lot of bumps on the road, and I have also made quite a few mistakes. It’s a long learning process but I love every step of it.

Fibre2Fashion: What does the name ‘La Femme Rousse’ suggest?

Susanne Guldager:

La Femme Rousse means the red-haired woman. For me it was important that the name was personal and since I myself am a redhead and probably often described as “the red-haired woman” it was obvious to call my company La Femme Rousse.

Fibre2Fashion: What inspires you to design such intricate designs? What fashion do you follow?

Susanne Guldager:

As such, I do not follow a specific kind of fashion. I am rather inspired by art, a current social debate or people I observe in the streets.

I think inspiration is something that occurs on a deeper personal level. I have never found meaning in imitating other people’s designs. It is important to me that my design exudes originality and that it is filled with details in terms of a print or embroidery that leaves the user with a tactile experience. It creates meaning in my work as a designer and is the essence of my company.

Fibre2Fashion: Could you give us some insight about fashion in Copenhagen and how the industry has evolved over time?

Susanne Guldager:

There has always been an international focus on Copenhagen fashion and the concept of ‘Danish design’ and Nordic minimalism is enormously valuable abroad.

It has largely been the bigger conventional fashion houses that have shaped the fashion scene in Copenhagen, but in the recent years there have been more and more start-up companies. Most of these have a focus on sustainability, just like my own company, which for me is the way forward for the fashion industry.

Fibre2Fashion: How does the design and production process undergo since your collections are produced from recycled textiles such as tablecloths and sheets?

Susanne Guldager:

Since I work with recycled textiles and deadstock fabrics, the design process is very material-driven, which means that the material choice comes first followed by the rest of the design process. That approach is a creative challenge which I greatly appreciate.

Regarding the production, there are quite a few challenges with all the manual work involved in working with recycled textiles. My factory in Portugal has a production system that fits into conventional production with fabrics on rolls. Whereas working with sheets and tablecloths is a much more manual way of working and differs a lot from the conventional way of producing clothes. It therefore requires completely different processes, which creates challenges along the way, but we learn and become smarter each time.

Fibre2Fashion: What challenges have you experienced developing a brand with the motive of conscious and sustainable clothing?

Susanne Guldager:

The biggest challenges have by far been in the production process.

Fibre2Fashion: Suggest five tips for fashion fanatics willing to adopt sustainable fashion and lifestyle.

Susanne Guldager:

I think it can be said in one sentence: Think about your children’s future.

Sustainability definitely doesn’t have to be boring.

Fibre2Fashion: Tell us about your few favourite projects that you did?

Susanne Guldager:

I am currently participating in an exhibition at the Design Museum Denmark. The exhibition is called AKUT and it means acute in English. It is about sustainable fashion, and I am exhibiting together with three other Danish sustainable designers.

Furthermore, I am starting a collaboration with a socio-economic sewing studio with local production here in Denmark. The idea is that they will take over the production of a few styles as a supplement to the production in Portugal. This is something I’m looking very much forward to.

Tell us about your few favourite projects that you did?

Published on: 25/08/2022
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