Welcome to another universe. One of playful and experimental prints, silhouettes and patchwork. Welcome to the universe of AGURK – where feminine and streetwear elements are combined to tell individual stories.
“Silhouettes are an important part of a design. They can make one brand stand out compared to another. At AGURK we play a lot with silhouettes. Our designs are often oversized, either the top or bottom part, as we still want them to be useful and functional,” Vibbe Nygaard, one of the two designers behind AGURK, tells.
Regarding patchwork, Vibbe explains, “It’s a fascinating technique, because you create your own material. However, the main element of our collections is our print. It gives our collections their own individual stories and reflect important details in the silhouettes.”
The designers behind AGURK are two incredible talented girls, Camilla Kuus and Vibbe Nygaard, who met at the design school TEKO in Herning, Denmark.
“We soon became friends. Probably because Camilla is as cool as she is; the friend of everybody and a true adventurer. And I was creative, humorous and talkative. We quickly found a lot of common interests, and we figured out that we are very alike when it comes to setting up goals for ourselves and finding new challenges. We have ever since just had one common goal, AGURK,” Vibbe elaborates. “We have grown a lot as persons in the meantime, but our passion, humor and common understanding of our company make our everyday and AGURK into a fun game.”
Camilla and Vibbe have a huge passion for colorful and crooked designs, but both of their hearts also beat for entrepreneurship. The dream of creating something of their own was an ultimative goal from the beginning. Since then, they have acknowledged their individual competences, and today they compensate eachother. This gives them a lot of freedom and a natural position for each of them in AGURK.
So what about the name, AGURK. What does it mean, besides cucumber in Danish? I’m especially fond of this little story, I got from Vibbe.
“AGURK first came up in brainstorm as an unserious proposal for the name of our brand. But it grew on us, and all of a sudden we thought it consisted of everything that we are. We fell in love with the phrase ‘gå agurk’ [meaning to go crazy in Danish]. Like going crazy and loosing yourself in the development of a new innovative design. We also like having a humoristic approach to design and communication, and ‘AGURK’ is a good icebreaker for that.”
To try whether AGURK was a good name, Camilla and Vibbe created two all-over prints with cucumbers (agurker) for their first collection. They had simply bought a whole lot of cucumbers, which were spray painted, peeled and cut into different kinds of shapes. From these they made collages, which later became the final prints and a statement for AGURK, which could be used to tell the brand’s story.
Camilla and Vibbe’s inspiration for the AW15 ‘Tripping’ collection (two above pictures) came from the Sami people, an arctic population living in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The collection tells the story of the Sami ritual leaders, who went into another state of mind to visit forefathers and ask for guidance. The print is visualizing the trance by using Sami runes and drawings in a trance-like pattern. The primary colors are from the Sami flag and are also used in their traditional costume.
The upcoming SS16 collection takes inspiration from the famous Danish amusement park Tivoli. The collection is called ‘Funfair’ and uses the traditional Tivoli characters: Harlekin, Pjerrot and Colombine.
With the ‘Funfair’ collection Camilla and Vibbe wanted to capture the atmosphere of Tivoli: a free space on a warm summer day; playful minds letting out their inner child. ‘Funfair’ takes you back to a place that let you loose your self-control. The muse for the print is an old-fashion slot machine, which pays winnings, when 3 or more wheels show a combination of symbols. This kind of machine builds on luck and an illusion to win. The dream of winning is often bigger than reality.
AGURK had me, and many others, convinced about their talent at Copenhagen Fashion Week last summer, where they presented their AW15 collection. Sinced then you have been able to find them at the hip store Project 4, which handpicks designs from Danish and international fashion brands, and at the designer market FINDERSKEEPERS among others. They will be back at Revolver Copenhagen International Fashion Trade Show as a part of next week’s fashion week – something I can’t wait for!