The Trendsetters: The creatives behind the buzziest consumer trends
Creative director, Ganni
When Ditte Reffstrup and her husband, Nicolaj, took ownership of then 9-year-old fashion label Ganni in 2009, they transformed the small Danish brand into a global household name. In just under 15 years, Ganni has evolved into a destination for consumers looking for the “cool girl” aesthetic.
As creative director, Ditte Reffstrup is behind the brand’s signature playful and colorful Scandi designs, as well as its strategic collaborations. It most recently created jeans with Levi’s, in August.
“Everything we do comes from the heart, and a lot of our brand building has been organic because it’s grown out of a genuine community that includes our team, friends, collaborators and colleagues,” Reffstrup said. “We always strive to make people feel included, and that’s also how the brand develops.”
Community has played a large role in Ganni’s success. Since the #GanniGirl hashtag was born in 2015, it’s been used nearly 100,000 times on Instagram and has over 4.4 million views on TikTok. Celebrities including Beyoncé, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kylie Jenner have been photographed wearing the brand.
The brand’s accessible luxury pricing and commitments to sustainability and inclusivity are among draws for shoppers. And for Reffstrup, they are also driving factors behind her design choices.
“Historically, fashion and luxury have been built on exclusive behavior. But we welcome everyone into our universe, regardless of gender, age or demographic. It’s all about staying open. We learn so much from our community that helps us be the kind of inclusive brand we strive to be,” she said.
Those efforts have paid off. In 2021, the company reported a 58% growth in sales and announced plans to open 20 stores in 2022, with at least 10 in North America. So far, it’s set up shop in cities including New York City, Los Angeles and Ontario. Private equity firm L Catterton, which acquired a 51% stake in Ganni in 2017, currently values the company at $700 million, according to Reuters.
On the sustainability front, Ganni launched a rental service, “Ganni Repeat,” in 2019 and is currently exploring a foray into resale. In 2021, the brand joined forces with sustainable change agency Circular.fashion to create guidelines for designing a circular fashion product and committed to designing 20% of its fall 2022 collection according to the set criteria. Notably, Ganni received B-Corp certification in September.
“Our entire team has worked so hard to get to this place for so long, and I couldn’t be more proud. For us, it’s always about progress, not perfection,” Reffstrup said.
Moving forward, Reffstrup aims to lower the brand’s carbon footprint and remain committed to its sustainability efforts.
“We continue to stay really optimistic about the future, and we want to keep our focus on meaningful partnerships and innovation,” she said, noting the brand’s Fabrics of the Future initiative centered on researching and testing new responsible fabric alternatives.
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