There are certain fashion brands that have happiness baked into their very soul, and we've never before needed that kind of contribution to our wardrobes as much as we do now. The reason why I felt it was time to highlight one Danish label in particular is because my current morning routine goes a little something like this: *Opens up Instagram, sees something joyful, instantly knows it's Stine Goya.*
Stine Goya is the smile-inducing, Insta-friendly brand that I feel has been the most buoyant fixture over the past 18 months. Perhaps, the DNA with which it is built upon has made it stand out even more during these strange, sombre times. Many designer lines now blend into a singular, homogenous mass, with repetitious trends, obvious pieces, colours and prints running across them all, but there's something about Stine Goya that feels separate from the rest—offbeat, even. I am lucky enough to own three charming items—two printed midi dresses, one knit—and I wear them on repeat, because for all of their statement-making appeal, they are easy to throw on.
Courtesy of Stine Goya
Stine Goya Spring 2022
Only recently, at Copenhagen Fashion Week, was Stine Goya back in the spotlight after a couple of very notable celebrity moments and cult products over the summer. Their runway for spring 2022 looked as vibrant as ever, and I've noticed that drops of dresses and knitwear seem to fly out of stores as soon as they hit. The data backs it up: "Searches for the brand have been growing since the start of August; they’re currently up 33% month-on-month," says global shopping platform, Lyst.
Stine Goya may have first established her eponymous brand in 2006 and been popular ever since, but 15 years later it appears to be riding a powerful wave that's even luring minimalists to a magical world of pattern and colour. Keep reading to find out more about Stine Goya the brand and designer, the key pieces to invest in and who's been wearing it, in both A-list and influencer spheres.
Who is Stine Goya and What's the Brand All About?
Courtesy of Stine Goya
Stine Goya autumn 2021
"Joyful, vibrant and confident," says Stine Goy of her namesake brand when I ask her to describe it in just three words. No matter the season you'll find hot colours and cheery prints, used to great effect in roomy shapes and chuck-on silhouettes. Her creations require next-to-no styling as they're enough on their own. Lyst tells me that dresses are Stine Goya's most searched-for category, but colourful jumpers and cardigans have become something of a speciality for the label, and the brand's own retail results reflect this. "Knitwear is definitely one of our strong assets in retail as well. Apart from that, our most colourful pieces are by nature performing really well for our brand—the brighter, the better," she says, explaining that "especially after lockdown, we could see a hunger for more vibrant pieces among our customers. It’s just such an easy way to inject some joy into your wardrobe and daily life."
Courtesy of Stine Goya
The designer, Stine Goya
So how are these special pieces created? In true democratic, Scandinavian style. "It is very much a group effort, a team designing rather than just me pushing my ideas onto the team. We're a small and very close unit and every time we start working on a new collection, we try to go to inspirational places all together to get started," she says. Rather than looking to the industry for trends, it's clear that the Stine Goya crew like to step out of the box during this process. "I never design with a specific trend in mind—I design what feels right for me and the brand," she explains. "I always have our clients in mind, thinking about their attitude and emotions rather than a particular style. Our followers are confident and highly open-minded. They want to make a statement with their clothing and are comfortable in themselves. With that, unusual silhouettes come to me very easily. Clothes are a way to express yourself, to make a statement about your personality—what would be better for that than some puffed sleeves and a lot of bold details!"
There's no denying that the Danes have a unique sense of style which is hard to define for those of outside of the region, and it's a very long way from the minimalism these countries' fashion houses were originally associated with. Stine explains that "Danish style is driven by gut instinct – and of course the weather! It’s really all about feeling good, pairing comfort and practicality with self expression. We don’t shy away from risk. It is very much about mixing without necessarily matching and informed by a vibrant and active lifestyle." One could argue that this sensibility is matched by British consumers.
"I think people in the UK are true masters when it comes to mixing and matching different styles, colours and patterns, to truly dress how you feel. I am continually inspired by this specific nonchalance and own touch of personality, it’s great to see so many facets of our collections worn in so many different ways," she says. And the images here prove it. You'll find TV presenter Candice Brathwaite in a tiered metallic dress combined with turquoise glittery pumps, influencer Zeena Shah wearing a checkerboard cardigan with retro floral trousers and sisters Alice and Olivia go all-out for neon colours and patterns head-to-toe.
What is also very important to note is the brand's commitment to being responsible; championing sustainability, ethical practices and building a diverse community. The level of transparency with with Stine Goya and her company operate is truly impressive: You can find their pledges, progress and plans documented and updated online here, as well as a recent responsibility report here. From the day-to-day methods such as reducing plastics in packaging, to investing in and the testing of more environmentally-sound fabrics or water-free digital printing, the brand has picked apart every single link of the supply and design chain. They're set on adhering to ethical manufacturing processes, and they have opened an archive store in Copenhagen for previous season pieces to still find their way into a loving home. There's a lot to still come, and right now Goya says there is a focus in particular on community. "We realise now more than ever that we have to be more than just clothes. We have to form and support a value system dedicated toward creating a more ethical and diverse world. Our community is what keeps me going. During the time of global crisis, community is what provides support. Seeing that our vision is valued, that our designs are cherished, that our company can go on— doesn’t happen without the people you care about by your side."
Who Wears Stine Goya?
Courtesy of Stine Goya
Hailey Bieber in a Stine Goya jumper
Although a firm favourite among editors, stylists and influencers, celebrities have recently cottoned onto Stine Goya's statement pieces. American It girls such as Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Elsa Hosk have all invested in the brand's checked knitwear, causing a significant spike in sales. "It had quite an impact for the brand—we saw a lot of new people discovering Stine Goya from all over the world and the sweater sold out immediately. It fills me with joy to see Kendall and Hailey rocking the print and to know that Stine Goya as a Danish brand is loved and cherished all around the world by such stylish women. Both women, for me, represent everything we strive to celebrate through our collections—strength, independence and confidence."
Kendall Jenner in the same jumper as Hailey Bieber
What Should I Buy from Stine Goya?
Unfortunately for those of us who want to copy Hailey, Kendall and co. the checkerboard knits are all but sold out right now. We're working on getting an update for you and will report back. Until then, you can pre-order spring 2022 via Moda Operandi (yes, some people like to be that organised) or try out one of the new intarsia styles. Patterned dresses and loose-fitting midis are coming in strong, and you can't go wrong with any one of Stine Goya's unique prints in any category.