The brand’s minimal but eye-catching look will further stoke the UK’s passion for Danish womenswear.
While Danish brand Baum und Pferdgarten will be familiar to buyers who visit Copenhagen Fashion Week, its UK penetration remains surprisingly light. But that looks set to change for spring 12 after the brand signed London agency Snow to handle its UK sales.
Co-founder Rikke Baumgarten, who set up the brand with Helle Hestehave, says it previously sold direct to the UK and sales were limited. “The important thing is to work with the right stockists, which are typically in the higher end of the market,” she says.
At the moment that means a few respected indies including Nola in Brighton, Hub and Feather & Stitch in London, Dolls in Dublin and The Hambledon in Winchester.
Potential second season stockists include Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Fashion Rocks, Flannels and Sarah Coggles. Snow’s head of sales, Danni Alves, says: “We want about 20 stockists for spring 12 and are looking to double it after that.”
Alves says the brand is working at bridge level, with buyers slotting it in for the yummy mummy crowd – the target customer is aged between 25 and 45. “The vintage silk-print dresses have sold well. There’s been less movement on the basics – people want the special pieces.”
Snow, which also represents brands including Beyond the Valley and Gestuz, picked up Baum und Pferdgarten at a speed dating-style event organised by the Danish Fashion Institute. “We didn’t have anything like it,” says Alves. “It is pretty, easy to wear and a little bit quirky.”
The team-up was well timed, as in 2009 the brand had faltered. “Like many companies, we had a hard time during the economic crisis,” Baumgarten says. “It momentarily looked like we would lose everything.” It was rescued by fellow Danish brand Bruuns Bazaar, which is now the majority shareholder.
The spring 12 range focuses on prints, block colours and playful striping. “It is inspired by the movie The Graduate,” Hestehave says. “The silhouette is minimalistic, sporty and casual, with a feminine twist. The key items are slim trousers cut just above the ankle, trapeze skirts, and an updated boyfriend shirt teamed with sports-influenced knitwear.”
In the beginning, Baumgarten and Hestehave did everything themselves, from design and pattern making to sewing and sales. They cite Isabel Marant, See by Chloé and Marc by Marc Jacobs as the brand’s key adjacencies.
The moniker is a play on the designers’ surnames. Baumgarten is German, and Hestehave can be translated to Pferdgarten in that language. There’s a joke there, but it gets lost in the double translation. Nice clothes though.
2.5 to 2.7
Mark-up on the brand’s collection
Number of pieces in the collection
Starting wholesale price, rising to £148