2_9_ScanMag_75_April_2015_Text_Q9_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 07/04/2015 21:38 Page 26
Scan Magazine | Design profile | Project.AJ117
A ‘state of mind’ brand It started out as a project back in 2011, but in the last couple of years Project.AJ117 has become one of the best selling brands in Denmark. The key to its success has been to create cool everyday styles that all women would love to have in their wardrobes and first of all styles that are ‘made in Europe’. By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Project.AJ117
It was in 2011 that a bunch of creative people gathered together in the Copenhagen Freeport area. They shared an ambition for creating what they called a ‘state of mind’ brand of timeless and everyday essentials with a casual look. It was only meant to be a project, so they only created ten styles for the first collection. “We actually put the styles back in the corner of our showroom. We did not know exactly what to expect when we first launched the collection, but it soon became clear that all our customers spent most of their time in the corner of the showroom trying the different styles. That is when we realised the potential the brand had. Still I do not believe that any of us would have guessed that just four years later we would become one of the best-
26 | Issue 75 | April 2015
selling brands in Denmark,” says designer Charlotte Vadum, who founded the brand together with luxury distributor, CPH Fashion Pool. The name of the brand Project.AJ117 refers to the fact that the creative process took place in house number 117, and the letters A and J came from the two companies involved. Made in Europe Today, Project.AJ117 is sold all over Europe, in the United States and Asia. One of the things that has led to the success is that the designers and sales team work closely together and are very aware of their customers’ needs. Another reason is the fact that almost all the collections are produced in Europe and especially Italy.
“For many years almost all clothes were produced in Asia, but with this brand we wanted to get back to Europe and to the quality we are known for here. Therefore, we took the Scandinavian design and combined it with the Italian finish and making. The Italians are brilliant at colour dyeing clothes and this gives them a rather unique expression, which has now become sort of our DNA. We definitely could produce the things cheaper by moving the production outside of Europe, but on the other hand it gives us flexibility and a shorter delivery time,” says Charlotte Vadum. The inspiration for the collections comes from a mix between travelling, the materials themselves and following the trends in the industry. However, that does not mean that you have to change your wardrobe every time a new collection sees the light of day. “We take elements from the trends we see, but we also have a basic idea about what we want our designs to look like.
Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with moviemaking legend Lasse Hallström.