Saks Potts Ole! Or how the Young Danish Designer Duo took over the World!

Saks Potts Ole! Or how the Young Danish Designer Duo took over the World!
By Ekaterina Larsson

Since Stockholm Fashion Week SS20 was officially cancelled, I decided to go to Copenhagen Fashion Week SS20. I was super excited, jetted with the Press bus or walked all over town to the shows. I know, I should have been biking everywhere – it is the Danish thing to do! Although, it escapes me: how do all these fashion ladies bike so effortlessly in high heels? Well, I am human, so no biking in high heels for me!

I loved some of the shows, had the best cocktail party and club party of my adult life with Day Birger et Mikkelesen, but have to say, one of the highlights was the Saks Potts show!

I had lined up the interview with Barbara Potts and Catherine Saks a week before going to Copenhagen. Arrived at the Concert hall and was seated on the first rows with a polka dot paper fan waiting for me on my seat along with my name. I chatted happily with the girl from  Harper’s Bazaar UK sitting next to me, and we all held our breath as the orchestra was getting ready to start. Although that procedure took almost 10 minutes and a nervous laugh was heard in the audience. A PR trick? Who knows!

Then the music came and the models started coming out dressed in red, white and black, wearing leather bralettes, studded belts and cowboy boots, leather coats and long flowing skirts. Very caliente “Latin Gala” indeed!

The audience cheered and clapped, and waved their polka dot fans in appreciation!

 

Images: Saks Potts

After the show I found the girls smoking backstage, hanging out with their friends and being very agitated. I gave them both a hug and started the interview:

The Latin Gala collection was inspired by Spain. How did you come up with that?

For this collection we have been drawn towards the feminine, sensual, mysterious and yet extremely powerful qualities of Hispanic women. Mexican/American Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez is the perfect representation of these qualities.

Selena could easily fill arenas with her enormous talent and alluring look. With her sensual and glamorous sense of style, Selena defined the Latin music scene in the 90s.

I loved the cowboy boots as well!

We designed the boots in collaboration with ECCO, and thus added a bIt of a flare to the collection!

 

 

But none of you has Spanish origin?

None of us has Spanish origin, however we are both very curious by nature! The theme for a collection always starts with us having an experience in our every day lives. It could be in a conversation, that someone tells us something interesting or we read a book or see something, while biking through the city.

Selenas style of clothing is a bit kitschy, were you going for that as well?

We do not see it as kitschy. Hispanic culture and Selena’s look are among the main sources of inspiration for this collection. Hispanic women embrace and show off their femininity proudly. They see sensuality as a strength, which their clothes reflect, and that is why this is a great inspiration for us.

 

One critique of the show was that the sassiness of the clothes and models did not fit in with the classic venue. What do you say about that?

To honor the legacy of Selena and music in general, the location for the show was The Royal Danish Academy of Music’s Concert Hall.

The Concert Hall was designed by Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritsen and we think it is the perfect backdrop for our colourful collection with its clean and simple design.

In general, what do you get inspired by?

Art, architecture and cultural history are frequent sources of inspiration.

The story of a collection always originates from something very tangible. Then we interpret and develop our collection universe of designs, prints and fabrics. It is always the story and subsequently the universe that decides, what the collection will consist of.

 

 

You use fur in some of your designs, what do you say to people who criticize you?

Saks Potts is a fashion brand with focus on outerwear and natural fur has been a part of our collections since the beginning. We believe that natural fur not only brings something unique to the table in terms of aesthetics – it is also one of the most sustainable materials out there.

We source all fur through the Danish auction house, Kopenhagen Fur. It is very important for us to know the origin of the fur we use in our collections, so that we can guarantee the highest animal welfare and quality. This is also why we have collaborated with Kopenhagen Fur for the past five years.

 You said before that you started designing clothes that you yourselves would like to wear. Is this still valid?

We always follow our intuition and gut feeling in the design process. Our clothes stand out when it comes to colours and style and it has a different vibe than everything else on the market right now.

So yes, we do identify with our designs and we wear a mix of both our new and old collections on a daily basis. Also, we love to mix Saks Potts with vintage and sports wear, making our looks very personal and distinctive.

 

 

How is the design process going? Do you fight?

It goes very smoothly actually. We do think for a long time and try to find a theme that feels right for both of us. Obviously sometimes we have different opinions, but then we talk it over and find something that we both feels good about.

If you were not designers what would you be?

Tricky question – very sure that we would still be doing something together. We started out so young, we were 19 then and now we are 26, so we just do whatever feels right. As long as we love what we do we will continue! May be we will start hotels with different themes, haha.

 

 

Lady GAGA and Kendall Jenner wearing your garments, how does it feel?

It is such an honor to see women, who we admire,  wearing our clothing. It is also crazy because these women have the opportunity to wear any designer, but they choose to wear Saks Potts!

 

Image: Pagesix.com

Which designers inspire you?

Our inspiration comes from different people, places and things but not from any specific designers or decades. A collection starts with a theme and a universe, and from there we draw inspiration. Also from people, which are important to that certain environment or place. Additionally, we like interpreting rituals, colours that embody a certain mood etc.

 

 

When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer? 

We met in pre-school and quickly discovered a mutual interest in design and fashion.

When we were a bit older but still in school, Cathrine designed and sold her own jewelry line while Barbara worked in various areas of the fashion industry. It was not until 2013 though that we decided to go out on a limb and start a company together, making an actual living out of our love for design.

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? 

It might seem a bit dull or at least simple, but if you wish to start your own business make sure to get a really good accountant. It is not an area in which you want to save money, haha.

Another thing we really appreciate is the value of strong and cohesive team of people that we enjoy being around.

How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?

The person who wears Saks Potts is an individual with strong characteristics, whose personality shapes their style. They are spontaneous, easy going, know what they want from life and do not care about what others might think! If they think it looks cool, that is all that matters!

We want our pieces to become staples in a woman’s wardrobe.  We are so proud when we are told, that our coats and jackets are used indoors and outside, to a party or the supermarket. It is so cool that our styles do not feel limiting to people, that they feel free to experiment!

What is next for you as designers?

Currently we are expanding to new markets in a fast pace, which is ambitious of course but we can keep up. We are already growing in the US and especially NY.

 

Images: Saks Potts

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