Denmark’s latest design import is in good company,
says the man behind it.
Given that Australia is home to one of the most famous examples of Danish design ever created, Søren Sand was always confident that his label, Sand, would strike a chord with the locals.
“The Sydney Opera House [Jørn] Utzon made is very much minimalistic. A clean silhouette with a focus on details,” he says. “I think it reflects the Scandinavian heritage. We have our traditions, our minimal aesthetic.”For Sand, Danish design is almost like an international language. “Our way of design in furniture, houses and fashion has been appreciated since the ’50s and ’60s, all over the world.”
It’s hard to argue. Since launching Sand with his wife, Lene, in 1981, the brand has morphed into a $196m global juggernaut in 32 countries and six continents. After gently treading in the Australian market since 2008, this year the gloves are off. “We feel now is the time to go to the next level,” Sand says ahead of the label launching five store-in-store concepts at David Jones in 2012 which will be followed by its own boutiques in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by 2015.
“I see a parallel [between Australia and Denmark],” he says. “Australians are open-minded and very friendly people who appreciate the same things we appreciate in Europe. I have a good feeling.”
High-school sweethearts Soren and Lena kicked off their empire in the countryside near Copenhagen with a women’s line. “We were both creative but her family comes from the fashion industry so she was a leading part in the beginning,” Sand says. “We had a dream. We shared values about design, about art and quality plus we had the Scandinavian heritage and a love of Italian fabrics.”
The menswear line, launched in 1989, followed the same formula of Danish design married to Italian textiles and European construction. Each collection is a joint effort. “We plan the colours, silhouettes and fabrics. We do all things together.” That includes relocating to Italy in 2009 to be near the best fabrics and mills in theworld, which doesn’t hurt the production either. “Italian craftsmanship is at a very high standard,” Sand says.