Danish brand MarMar Copenhagen is one of our most loved brands. We met with their owner and head of design, Marlene Holmboe to learn more about the brand.
How did the idea for MarMar Copenhagen come around?
I really wanted to make kids wear that would last beyond a single season and be used by more than one child. Slow fashion using great qualities. When my kids were born, I spent a lot of time trying to find high quality basics, in solid muted colours, without much luck. Back then prints and bold colours were everywhere. So, I decided to make them myself. Modal being the first line of products I designed.
Can you describe the moment when you realized that this is what I’m meant to do?
Surely my first fashion fair and the response to the first collection, confirmed my gut feeling that MarMar Copenhagen was a great idea and designing something that was different to everything else and that other parents were looking for these products too.
Who are the people behind MarMar Copenhagen?
Today we are 14 in our office in Copenhagen, Denmark. Anna, Line, Mariah, Cecilie, Carina, Ditte, Ida, Maria, Kristine, Karen Marie, Cecilie, Vibeke, Malene who’s currently on maternity leave, so Henrik is filling in for her and myself. Then of course there are the extended MarMar-family of everybody making MarMar a reality, not least all the lovely retailers selling the clothes to families all over the world.
Where do you find inspiration? What inspired the current collection?
My forever sources of inspirations are old movies, books, photos and medieval circus. Often collections are based on feelings and childhood memories. The current collection in shops now, the Autumn/Winter 20 is inspired by the Highlands, the beautiful autumnal wild nature and moving close together indoors to keep warm. We call it High Hopes. High hopes for the season and for the future. The new outerwear, inspired by nature’s colours and shot on location in beautiful Iceland is also in shops. Oh, and our Celebration Collection was also released recently, we’ve called that collection A celebration in the woods. It’s a selection of the party wear we want to celebrate in and our favourites in perfect brown tones. It’s also the collection for little Christmas elves.
Describe your work with production and sustainability?
My focus is to make an effort in everything I do, also with MarMar Copenhagen. We work with sustainability and responsibility in a great many ways. From making products with a quality and design that last for way more than one season. To making products in certified fabrics and yarns and ensuring we can trust the certificates. To only produce what we sell, limiting overproduction. Producing with partners, that have same standards as we do. As well as choosing the most responsible ways of transporting our products. Everything has an effect and we work really hard every day and, in every way, to ensure our products are the very best we can. It’s always been that way and it’s so obvious to me work like that, I sometimes forget to share these thoughts.
Who’s your typical customer?
It makes me so happy that we have so many different types of customers, of course they are all parents with a fondness for quality and the understated luxury of MarMar Copenhagen. Some are really into our basics and our leopard print, for others we are their favourite brand for dresses and festive wear. I love it when we are baby’s first outfit and we get to grow up with the child. Also, I love it when I see kids wearing a mix of pieces from old collections, preloved by other kids and then mixed with new pieces.
“I love it when I see kids wearing a mix of pieces from old collections, preloved by other kids and then mixed with new pieces”.
What’s on your work desk?
Haha, I would say an organized mess. There’s of course my computer and my pencase, working both with hand sketching and on the computer. As I’m both the designer and the owner of MarMar Copenhagen, there are always different things related to running a business on my desk too. Looking around right now I see my calendar, a calculator, a selection of pretty colours, pieces of fabric I need to choose from for the upcoming collection, trinkets my kids have made for me, a folding ruler, a coffee cup and a glass of water, some post-its and some photos from when we celebrated our 10 year anniversary around two years ago.
What are your favorite pieces from the current collection?
So happy you said pieces and not piece – I have a lot of favourites, in fact everything is, that’s how it ended up in the collection. I love the new Modal colours, our denim pieces are so cool, the embroidered sweater in super soft yak and the new soft dot quilted Thermo, oh I could go on. Haha so many favourites.
Describe your brand using three words!
I would say responsible, everyday luxury.