We met Sofie Ingrid Christina Andersson late last year, the owner of Anekdot boutique: a Berlin-based sustainable and handmade lingerie company. Her designs transcend specific eras and specific seasons. In talking with Andersson on her beginnings, current projects and processes in designing for women, we were left with a much more clear understanding of how important it is for us, as consumers, to shop locally and especially, sustainably, without compromising our preferred aesthetics.
KALTBLUT: How did you get your start with Anekdot Boutique?
Sofie Ingrid Christina Andersson: I started Anekdot as a natural progression from previous professional achievements in the sustainable fashion industry, in combination with an urge to create and move freely. The idea first came about in autumn 2014, on a flight back to London, after few days visiting Berlin. I was filled with a tingling sense of freedom, inspired by brave, creative spirits who follow their passion and work with their artistry. It seemed so clear and my ideas, visions, beliefs combined with previous skills and experiences quickly came together as mind maps, drafts, sketches. I was filled with excitement and Anekdot started to take shape.
I believe in an industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Garments are not supposed to be mass produced like cold objects and I wanted to change the status of garments, that ́s why Anekdot was born!
Anekdot is about anecdotes, and hints at a researched curiosity, unexpected surprise and personalized stories that connects to people, not consumers. An honest brand, making fashionable, seasonless essentials that leaves a minimal environmental footprint and empower bold individuals to dance in their being and live their values.
The reason for underwear is mainly because ever since I realised how wasteful the fashion industry is, I got utterly committed to work for change, and my response is to implement an intimate relationship with materials that the fashion industry leave behind. I love to transform forgotten, precious fabrics into something beautiful and wearable for the everyday life and lingerie and upcycling is a perfect match since the pattern pieces are small and I can use off-cuts in my designs without necessarily being locked to a patchwork aesthetic.
When I decided to leave London I was working on the first samples, the website and concept while relocating to Berlin. When arriving summer 2015 I started to sell the first designs at designer markets, and when listening to the direct feedback from people I realised I ́d found a gap on the market, which kept me motivated to continue working on the label full-time.
KALTBLUT: What is your process in designing for women?
Andersson: Underwear is an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe. It is the garment hidden like a secret under clothes, and has the power to influence the way a woman feel through the day. I want that garment to be inspiring, filled with soul and reflect positive change. Like an anecdote to your everyday life, and a reminder to do conscious choices. I also think it’s important women are comfortable in themselves and accept their bodies as they are. Self acceptance and self love is what makes a woman genuinely vibrant and beautiful, and that’s what I want my designs to embrace.
So I bare all of these things in mind while designing. I choose fabrics I find certainly beautiful, those that speaks to me because of the softness, structure, intricate details or color. The ones that are so beautiful you just want to wear them. I trust my guts, and when the designing comes easily it’s a good choice. The collection include a wide range of cuts (high waist to tanga) enhancing feminine elegance, boosting confidence, comfortably follows the body and it ́s movements while decorating the skin with detailed softness. A contemporary take on traditional lingerie where the luxuriousness of the fabric often becomes the key feature. No padding or wire, but with details such as front closure or strappy back for an extra touch of sensual allure.
The aim is to create great quality, timeless pieces to take care of and love season after season.
KALTBLUT: Can you talk about how you find specific fabrics and materials for your design?
Andersson: I source the materials from production leftovers, end of lines, off-cuts, deadstock or unused vintage fabrics. The current spots are mainly Italy, London, Sri Lanka and Germany, since I have good contacts in these places.
Since I lived in Florence I know certain mills, vintage stores, markets there where I like to go and since they recognise me it’s easier to ask specifically what I’m looking for. When living in London I spontaneously passed by a lady selling curtains and while talking to her I realised she had a storage full of production leftovers they now need to get rid of. While in Sri Lanka a friend of a friend of a friend knew an upcycling designer there who I made an appointment with and she told me about a market where luxury surplus textiles from the manufacturers ends up. In Germany some designers have got in touch with me asking if I want their off-cuts from previous projects and I have also reached out to a long list of researched brands and factories to ask if they have studio waste. These are only a few examples on how I source. The key is to research and speak to people in the industry to get leads.
KALTBLUT: Are there specific inspirations and motivations behind this new collection?
Andersson: As for all collections, the textiles themselves are my biggest inspiration source when I create. While going into the darker period of the year, I felt like using spicier colours and shapes, and create a provocative yet sensual collection that invites to pause, reflect and acknowledge all the good that flourish around us. The motivation comes from aromatherapy, and to dress in the collection should feel like inhaling a full-bodied smell of essential oils and spices which sparks the senses and surrounds you with a blooming aura throughout the day. I was listening to some of Björk’s intense songs and reading a book about intimacy while designing it, which probably influenced the final outcome.