A Match Made In Heaven! Anine Bing Teams Up With Fellow Dane Helena Christensen For Chic Holiday Collection

by Freya Drohan

When designer Anine Bing heard that legendary supermodel Helena Christensen was a fan of her eponymous brand, she knew a collaboration fusing their distinctive personal styles would be the perfect synergy. Over a year in the making, their first limited-edition 11-piece capsule launches online tomorrow (with a second drop to come on 11/17!) and it’s as elegant as you can imagine, all in a way that combines their Danish heritage, a laidback but luxe L.A. vibe, and a dash of NYC edginess. Here, the two friends discuss their journey to creating the line and what shoppers can expect.

How did you originally meet Anine and how did this project come about? 
Anine and I first decided to do this collaboration just over a year ago. We met by chance way back; I was shopping at her store just around the corner from my apartment in New York and we got chatting about doing something together. In fact, it’s quite lovely how it all evolved. Since she’s in LA and I’m in New York, we would brainstorm ideas and send them to each other across the country, and then eventually we got together for long meetings and actually started creating the pieces. It’s exciting that the collection is finally here and we actually get to wear it!

What drew you to working with the brand? 
I’ve always been a fan of the brand—I’ve bought their cool sweatshirts and cute lingerie for years, it’s so delicate! I think there are probably crossovers between our styles, but they aren’t too similar; we each have our own personal take on fashion and that’s what made this an interesting and exciting project to work on.

(courtesy)

Tell us about the collection! What pieces are you particularly excited about?
I’m very much a jumpsuit kind of girl, so I really love the black silky jumpsuit—I think it looks amazing with a pair of pumps and red lips. I was never much of a suit girl, but I’ve got to say that I really love the white jacket and pants we designed. There’s something so cool, powerful, and edgy about it. And of course the high-waisted jeans with the little bodysuit. That’s always a winner! With flat sandals and a ponytail or high heels and red lips.

It’s inspired by your own iconic style from the ‘90s. How do you mine your own life for ideas?
A moodboard is always great. I feel like the inside of my head is one giant moodboard already! I’m always taking pictures of books and movies, pulling out pages from magazines, or taking screenshots. It was Anine’s idea that we use the 1990s as inspiration and I felt that was right. It was the decade that I started working and it was such an inspiring period in so many ways. The fashion, movies, and music that came from that era are awesome!

Why do you love to get involved in design projects like this?
I really enjoy when two different minds meet and you can explore new and interesting ideas. There’s a vibrant energy in that process; it feels alive and creative. I am used to doing that with my own companies staerkandchristensen and Strangelove, but it was interesting and refreshing to experience things from Anine’s perspective and indulge each other’s vision.

What trend from the ’90s do you love the most, and what’s one you hope never comes back?
Humongous shoulder pads were never my favorite. I feel like we got the jackets in this collection just right with the amount of padding we put in—it gives them a really cool edge, without making it look too crazy. They’re very wearable. High-waisted jeans and pants in general will always be my favorite, with a t-shirt tucked in or an oversized sweater. I feel like I wore that a lot in the ’90s, along with vintage dresses.

We’d love some inspiration from you! How will you be styling some of these pieces for day-to-night?
My favorite look is probably the high-waisted jeans, paired with the little bodysuit—that’s always a winning combo. I also love the white silk outfit, it’s so elegant and stylish, And the fact that you can wear the pants with a little crop top or perhaps the bodysuit as well, makes it very versatile.

What’s the #1 piece from the collection on your wish list this year?
The t-shirt is pretty awesome!

It’s been a crazy year, that’s for sure. Has your relationship with fashion changed because of this? 
Because of quarantine all the jobs I did in the first half of this year were done upstate with the help of my son and a little group of close friends that I was quarantining with. We had to be quite inventive to do the jobs in this untraditional way and that was actually a great thing. I’ve always worked on projects more or less alone, particularly as a photographer; I like working with very small groups of people, it makes it a more intimate and personal experience. The thing is, I think we all realize that we are able to do much more than we might give ourselves credit for… everyone suddenly became very creative and it was inspiring to see.

I’m a huge vintage lover, so I wanted to ask you about your online store PawnShop. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how it came about?
I wanted to sell a lot of my own stuff, which consists of a lot of vintage clothes. My idea was always to recycle clothes and support small charities with the proceeds. It really is as simple as that. Every time I sell a new round of clothes, I pick a little organization to support. That’s what PawnShop is. Camilla and I have also just started to curate vintage and secondhand clothes which we now sell under our label staerkandchristensen. We find little stores all over the world and source out great pieces which we combine as outfits and photograph on each other.

Do you have any upcoming projects you can let us in on?
We are working on our next strangelove scent which is always so exciting. And Camilla and I have a new staerkandchristensen collection coming out in December.

Anine Bing

What’s your standout memory of ’90s fashion?
The ’90s defined cool for me. The fashion during that time was so understated, yet edgy and elevated. I’ve always been drawn to that decade for inspiration when I’m designing and concepting a collection.

How do you incorporate your love of vintage into your designs?
My love for vintage runs deep. When I was younger, I loved vintage shopping and creating my own looks to make them fit my personal style. Now I still find so much inspiration from past fashion decades.

(courtesy)

You and Helena are both Danish. What do you think it is about Danish style that an international audience is so obsessed with?
Growing up in Denmark, I was taught that fashion should be functional and unique, yet still have that classic Nordic minimal style. I think it’s really important for women to invest in clothing that has longevity as well as timeless style, which is something we strive for in all of our designs.

You met when Helena would come visit your West Village store. What do you remember about this time?
She had been shopping there for years, and once I heard she was a fan of the brand, we finally had a chance to meet. We both have an affinity for our Danish roots, fashion, photography, art, and everything in between, so we hit it off right away.

How are you going to be styling pieces from the collection?
This collection is so special to me because of how timeless each piece is. It’s not a typical Holiday collection that you can only wear seasonally. The Faye bodysuit will be my go-to piece under my favorite denim. While the Claudia blazer and James trouser with my favorite pumps will be perfect for Christmas festivities with my family.

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