FREDERIK BERNER KÜHL
Founded in 2019, Berner Kühl stands at the intersection of Danish aesthetics, slow fashion, and sustainability. Specializing in meticulously sourced materials and utilitarian designs, the brand adheres to a minimalist ethos rooted in nature and serenity. They invite us into their Copenhagen studio to delve deeper into these core principles, as well as to explore the innovative materials shaping their FW23 collection.
- Berner Kühl champions the idea of "slow fashion" by producing enduring garments. Could you elaborate on the philosophy and execution behind ensuring that your pieces resist the constraints of fleeting trends?
I feel like there is a common misconception today, that “slow fashion" is boring, and basic, which for us is surely not the case. We do look at trends and we do follow what's going on in society, in order for us to either mirror that or contradict it. Our mantra is to source fabrics and produce in places where we know we get the highest possible quality.
We try to ensure our pieces can be interesting for as long as possible, so durability and comfort are two very important priorities for us. It could be that a garment goes out of your rotation for a while down the line, but it will be there for you to reintegrate into use later on.
- One of the standout features of your brand is a meticulously considered choice of materials and suppliers. What criteria do you employ to ensure both sustainability and uncompromised quality in your products?
When Berner Kühl was founded, it was built on a foundation of a huge supplier network. Having a background in production, I was fortunate enough to travel the world and see both the best and worst of garment production. Building relations within this realm has been one of the most important things in order to start off Berner Kühl in the way we wanted.
Being able to pick and choose from the best fabric suppliers and factories in the world ensures that we get best in class products. Being small the most important thing for us is to see things with our own eyes. We don't produce in a factory we haven't visited, looked people in the eyes, talked about product, and felt their production. In terms of sustainability, we try to approach it from a 360-degree angle, applying all the innovation we have available in the industry in terms of recycled fibers, circular production and producing from what already is, buying deadstock fabrics for most of our production.
- Your brand places a significant emphasis on utility, nature, and serenity during the design process. Can you share a particular instance where these elements harmoniously came together in the creation of a Berner Kühl piece?
We have a piece in our collection, we spent a long time developing. It's the Double Sport Beste Dev. Two. A hooded jacket made in a bonded nylon produced in the hills of Tuscany. The inspiration behind it is that exact area. The fabric is sourced right outside of Florence, then transported for 30 minutes to the production facility.
- You aim to cut through the noise in the fast-paced world of fashion with your dogma: without the clutter; without all the noise. How does Berner Kühl approach the design and construction of menswear to offer a simplified, yet impactful, wardrobe experience?
Our approach is looking at classic menswear from a more performance oriented lense. We try to bridge a gap between luxury and performance. There is an inherent comfort in knowing that your garment offers you shelter, while looking impeccably well dressed.
We aim to let our product do the talking, without succumbing to the pitfalls of our extremely fast paced industry, trying to force us to create news all the time. We hope that the people involving themselves with our community share the same idea and will appreciate our less noisy approach to the world of fashion.
- Can you shed light on the inspirations that fueled the design and crafting of this FW23 collection? How do these inspirations echo Berner Kühl's overarching philosophy?
We always start with materials and do not work with themes as such. Our approach is to constantly revisit the same ideas though different lenses, creating a modular wardrobe apt for long time use, where you can add and remove things as you wish. The FW23 collection is looking into material structures. How many ways can you process nylon, or what happens when you apply different weaving structures to wool? The result is a collection using few raw materials but shown in an array of different versions. Italian bonded nylon, pre-shrunk structured nylon, or dry recycled Japanese nylon. Japanese wool with an open weave structure, or deadstock Italian wool with a smooth soft touch. We also incorporated mohair to some of the woolen products, both woven and knitted to get an extra dry touch. We always hope that all the experiments going into crafting the collection, looks rather natural when looking at the final result.