HARVEY NICHOLS x CIFF: Interview with Kristian W. Andersen

CIFF's Creative Director on Project 109

Harvey Nichols is excited to welcome Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (“CIFF”) to their London store. Over the past five years, CIFF has been busy reinventing the international trade show concept and in the process has become a veritable beacon for the fashion industry thanks to its ability to spot and nurture emerging talent, not to mention an exciting and growing list of collaborations with everyone who matters from Gosha Rubchinskiy to Maja Weiss, a member of the hyper-influential Vetements collective.

Harvey Nichols sat down with CIFF’s Creative Director, Mr. Kristian W. Andersen to discuss what CIFF has in store for Project 109 and Harvey Nichols’ customers.

 1. Copenhagen is topping everyone’s lists of best places to live, work or just be. How would you explain all this fantastic buzz around your city?

Yes, it’s as though the world is catching on to Copenhagen. Whether it’s architecture, urban planning, gastronomy, design or fashion, Copenhagen is offering new ways of thinking about old problems. That is tremendously exciting.

2. As creative director of a fashion fair (CIFF), a design and lifestyle fair (northmodern) and now a contemporary art fair (Art Copenhagen), you have your finger on the pulse of the international creative scene. You’ve also lived and worked abroad for a long time. How do you explain all this creativity currently coming out of Copenhagen? 

Copenhagen is a relatively small city but a very dynamic one. It’s also a bit off the beaten track. We’re not really part of the fashion industry circuit or classic gastronomical circles or the international art scene like London, Paris and NYC. This gives us the independence to do things in our own way and at our own pace. As a result, Copenhagen has become a virtual laboratory for new ideas and new ways of doing things. I’ve never encountered anything like it either in Dubai or Paris where I lived for many years. It is unique to Copenhagen.

3. Tell us about some of the brands you brought for us to discover? It’s really quite a diverse mix.

We wanted to offer a glimpse into the world of the typical Scandinavian man. How does he live? What impact does his lifestyle have on how he dresses, how he grooms and what products he buys? We didn’t want to limit our offering to just clothing because fashion is only one part of the story and we wanted to tell the whole story.

This is why our selection includes everything from the new edition of Paustian’s sofa designed by Erik Rasmussen and upholstered in textiles from the new Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection to beautiful bicycles from Martone Cycling & Co to very cool bedding ensembles from Magniberg to grooming products from likes of RAAW in a Jar & Dr Jackson’s which incidentally are both part of my own grooming routine. Of course, we also have the best of next generation Danish menswear like Tonsure, Martin Asbjørn and Newline Halo too but North Wind is much more than fashion. I think our curation reflects this.

4. The concept of “hygge” is deeply ingrained in Danish culture. It also runs through your curation for Project 109. Can you tell us more about it?

I’m not sure there is an accurate translation for it but it’s not unlike what the French call “art de vivre”. Our climate can be pretty inhospitable at times so “hygge” encompasses all the little or not so little things we do for ourselves and for each other to make our daily lives more enjoyable. It’s a current that runs through everything from how we dress to how we feather our nests. We really couldn’t give you a glimpse into the world of the typical Scandinavian man without “hygge”.

5. CIFF is a trade fair at heart. What persuaded you to set up shop at Harvey Nichols?

It sounds counterintuitive because CIFF is a trade fair and Harvey Nichols is a retailer but our brands actually have quite a lot in common. Both were built on the basis of strong curation and cutting edge collaborations. We get what you’re trying to do for your customers because we’re trying to do the same for our’s. We share a strong synergy.


CIFF will be taking over Project 109 menswear space from 6th of October to the 27th of November 2016.