The creative director behind Danish label Day Birger et Mikkelsen’s offshoot brand 2nd Day on shopping, style and switching off from work.
Åsa Göransson, 2nd Day
She has headed the womenswear design team at Tiger of Sweden, made suiting for Acne and launched her own label, Blank. Now creative director Åsa Göransson is breathing new life into Danish label 2nd Day. Focusing on leather, tailoring and denim, the second line of Day Birger et Mikkelsen’s wholesale prices range from £24 for a basic cotton T-shirt and £60 for a knitwear to £870 for a leather and shearling coat. Key wholesale stockists include Liberty and Very Exclusive
What does your job as creative director entail?
My job as creative director consists of a lot of co-ordination – co-ordination of the team plays a part, but it’s the co-ordination of all our creative outlets and platforms to make sure all are aligned and work in synergy that plays a main part. However, the biggest aspect of my role is working closely with the design team, giving them seasonal direction and continued support throughout the entire process of the collection, from concept to production and fitting.
How would you describe 2nd Day?
A progressive womenswear label, standing on the foundation of leather, denim and tailoring, all with an excellent construction and fit.
What did you do before working at 2nd Day?
I’ve had my company Blank Atelier, a creative agency specialising in creative direction, head of design and tailoring, for almost 17 years, which I set up together with Fredrik Blank, and we’ve done lots of fun stuff. Starting off with heading the design for both men’s and womenswear at Tiger of Sweden in 2001, and parallel to that we had our own label Blank until 2010. Following that, we focused primarily on international clients, including working in France with Freeman T Porter as head of design, we did suiting for Acne, and soft tailoring for Oscar Jacobson.
Do you wear your own designs?
Indeed I do, and in fact, the most recent item I bought for myself was a knitted set from 2nd Day – I actually bought two I like it that much. With age [Göransson is 40], I’m much more comfortable in knowing exactly what I want to wear, and I try and stay true to that.
Do you prefer designing for autumn or spring?
As a Scandinavian, you instantly know how to look cool in autumn and winter- so that season is so much more fun to work on; there are so many more layers to create and great fabrics to work with.
People often speak about “Scandi” style – what does this mean to you?
Comfortable, cool and clean.
What do you think makes someone stylish?
Do you like still shopping?
When I shop in store my work side kicks in and I make comments about the fit of garments, and reference quality control issues - so shopping is not relaxing or fun for me. When I do shop, I’m thankful for online shopping.
What are your current favourite fashion brands?
I used to be committed to brands, like with pop bands, but I’m less brand orientated now and much more unfaithful. I tend to look at the philosophy behind the brand now, not just the fashion they are producing. I love Prada. They are on to something really admirable with the work they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.
I used to be committed to brands, like with pop bands, but I’m less brand orientated now and much more unfaithful
What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
As I live in Stockholm, it tends to be great winter garments that are treasured, and will keep you warm yet still looking great! My vintage shearling that I turn inside out is definitely top, as is my boyfriend’s mountain climbing down jacket.
What one fashion trend do you wish would disappear?
I know skinny jeans are big business, including at 2nd Day, but I would like to see new alternatives and more variety on the street.
Do you prefer heels or flats?
Skirts or trousers?
Dressed up or dressed down?
What’s the biggest misconception about the fashion industry?
That it is glamorous!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve had really great advice along the way, from business lawyers to my entrepreneurial brother. But the best spiritual advice came from my farmer dad when I was a kid, and it has stayed with me my whole life: “Don’t say you can’t do something until you have tried it.”
If you weren’t working in the fashion industry, what would you be doing?
Illustrator. Photographer. Physical therapist.
How do you switch off from work?
I spend a lot of time in nature. I was born and raised on a farm, so animals and nature are a big part of my being. I also do yoga and pilates, and cuddle with my doggies. It’s as simple as that.
What do you do to be inspired?
I switch off. I have an overactive brain and finding inspiration is my last problem. It’s the switching-off that I have a problem with.
What is your design process?
For 2nd Day it consists of a lot of researching, creating of concepts and producing image-based presentations each season – followed by creating the seasonal colour palette, then working closely with the team and the sketches for the collection.
Whom in the fashion industry do you admire and why?
I admire the people and brands that tell the truth about the industry, across both high street and luxury brands.
Tell us something about you not many people know.
I once fell from the top of a set of marble stairs because my heel got stuck in the hem of the really wide trousers I was wearing – it was an extremely humiliating moment, but it happens to the best of us! Instead of staying down, it’s about getting back up gracefully and with style.