Danish brand Gestuz celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is growing an international fan base with its playful, feminine take on Scandi style.
The appetite for Scandi-style on the high street has seemed insatiable in recent years, and consumers across the high street clamour for a slice of anything with a hint of hygge. One brand that has thrived in the Scandi boom is Danish label Gestuz, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. However, far from offering the pared-back minimalism often associated with Nordic style, Gestuz’s signature feminine, relaxed aesthetic.
Founded in 2008 by Sanne Sehested, Gestuz roughly means “giving a positive gesture”. Manufactured in China, Turkey and Portugal, the brand has 350 stockists worldwide, of which more than 50 are in the UK. These include etailers Asos, Zalando and Studio B, as well as numerous independent retailers such as Coggles and London boutiques Wild Swans in Islington and The West Village in Notting Hill. Known for its romantic floral dresses and quality leathers, the label hits a mid-market sweet spot. Wholesale prices range from £17 for a T-shirt to £200 for a leather jacket.
“The aesthetic is laid back, never trying too hard,” Sehested explains. “We keep focus on a few, well-thought-out details in the styles. It is never too much, the look of Gestuz comes to lifthrough styling.”
While fellow Danish brand Ganni gained its cult following thanks to its girlie, grunge look, Gestuz offers a more sophisticated – but nevertheless playful – take on femininity. Top sellers are dresses, knits and suiting, in classic styles featuring lively patterns or unusual shapes such as wide-sleeved shirting or flared, cropped leather trousers.
Sehested describes the core Gestuz girl as “independent and self confident”: “She is true to her own look and playful in her way of looking at fashion. She does not take it all too seriously. She has that hint of something wild in her eyes.”
Bethany Rowntree, founder of online boutique Studio B, has stocked Gestuz since she launched her site in late 2017, and notes its timeless appeal: “It’s wearable and less trend focused, but always with its own identity, and that little twist – whether that be fabric, colour combinations or prints.
“I really like the quality, especially the leathers, knitwear and coats, but they remain at an achievable price for pieces that will last. The brand appeals to customers as it’s premium but affordable and offers a bit of a unique look. The pieces also have longevity and an ageless style.”
For its autumn 18 collection, entitled “Long Live Life”, Gestuz is paying homage to its debut autumn 2008 range by shooting the campaign in Paris.
“The whole collection is a celebration of life,” says Sehested. “Paris was the city where we did our first campaign 10 years ago, so it felt like going back to our roots.”
Core styles for autumn 18 include a camel corduroy suit, a short trench jacket, an asymmetric wrap skirt and a reversible shearling jacket. “These have been hero styles in the collection,” says Sehested. “At the same time, they are some of my favourites.”
Sehested hopes to develop the brand’s footwear, which currently makes up 15%-20% of the collection, but she wants to remain true to the brand’s signature feminine Scandi-style, which has fuelled its success so far.
“The brand is based on my personal style, so I design what I love – always,” she says. “I think this is the reason why we have been able to develop the brand on the international fashion scene. Staying true to your DNA and what drives you is key. It is what keeps me going and it keeps me on track.”