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Interview with Hekne

Home > Designer Interviews > Hekne

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Hekne (H) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Hekne by clicking here.

Interview with Hekne at Monday 1st of May 2017
Anja Hekne
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
H: I knew early on that I wanted to do something creative, but it wasn't before I had graduated from high school that I thought about fashion design as an option. I decided to give it a try, and the more I learnt, the more sure I got.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
H: Hekne was established by Siglinde Lunde and I in 2013. We used the first three years to test, explore, research, and to create the concept and the brand, before launching our first collection in the autumn 2016. While I'm in charge of the design process, Siglinde is responsible for sales and PR. Everything else is shared between us.

FS: What is "design" for you?
H: Design is much more than deciding the look of things, it's the whole process from choosing materials to approve the final product. It's also about using the voice and influence that you have as a designer to make a statement and choice that you belive in yourself.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
H: Jackets and knitted sweaters!

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
H: My favourite design from what I've made so far is the Monteverde jacket from Hekne's first collection. It was inspired in an old anorak that I bought second hand and liked a lot. I made a wool version of it, with a cleaner look, but kept the oversized anorak style. It was just perfect in the cold winter when living in Copenhagen, as it has lots of space for extra layers. It also had space enough for my pregnant belly and later on for carrying my baby boy in a baby wrap - no need to change winter jacket!

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
H: I made a few designs that were selected for production when doing my internships. I don't remember if the first one was a dress or a pair of shorts. (The shorts proved to be quite a failure...it looked beautiful, but wasn't specially functional. Great learning experience!)

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
H: When being able to use my hands; being in direct touch with the medium I'm working with.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
H: The choice and combination of materials and colours.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
H: It varies, from pure excitement to a deep calmness, and with a portion of frustration once in a while. I often get so caught up that I forget everything else.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
H: I often feel proud, but I'm also self critical and might doubt whether it's actually good enough. It's always very exciting when the final products arrive from the producers, after waiting and working for so long.

FS: What makes a design successful?
H: When it's understood and loved by many people.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
H: Whether the shape and function works well, and whether the materials work as expected.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
H: As a designer you have a stronger voice than the consumer, and with that comes a great responsibility. You are a role model and you have to think carefully about every choice you make. To us personally there are no alternatives to keeping your company as sustainable as we can, but we are also trying to express our philosophy in order to influence the industry and consumer behaviour that we have today.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
H: Within fashion design we clearly see the wave of slow fashion growing and I sincerely hope that we can evolve into a more sustainable industry, with a more healthy buying behaviour.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
H: All our collections are inspired by birds. Every collection carries the colour of one selected bird, and this way they all belong to one greater visual concept. I get inspiration from the birds' colours, matched with fabrics and yarn, but also from many other different sources. It might e.g. be from books, films or nature, or from old garments and favourites from my wardrobe.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
H: I want to make clothes that can be used many times and for many occasions, and that can be easily washed. From that they naturally get classic and clean, and might be called Scandinavian style. My designs are also quite feminine and have few, but well thought details.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
H: I currently live in Barcelona, after a few years in London and Copenhagen. I left my home country several years ago, but still feel very attached to Norway. My childhood and cultural background, growing up so close to Norway's beautiful nature, clearly shows in the philosophy and concept of Hekne.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
H: It starts with finding a match between available materials and a bird, in order to set the colour palette. I then gather ideas that I've collected and work on them until I arrive to a ready set of designs. These are developed into spec drawings and then turned into proto samples. I correct the proto samples once or twice, before the final products are made.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
H: I have a one and a half year old, so I spend most of my day with him. I work while he's sleeping or when my husband or his grandparents are helping me out.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
H: Ask for help! And use enough time to test and search and research.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
H: The most positive is being able to do something creative. What some times feels hard and stressful is when there's too much other things that steel my time.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
H: Pens and paper, thread and needle, bird books, computer with Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
H: Doing internships in different companies.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
H: I hope Hekne can grow to a level that makes it possible to live from it.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
H: I do most of the work myself, but I always ask my partner for feedback. We work very closely.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
H: We have some projects in-progress, but they are secret!

FS: How can people contact you?
H: Through our web site or social media profiles.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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