Interview & Report

Anne Sofie Madsen

Anne Sofie Madsen

The winning designer of DHL Exported Cycle 2

“Anne Sofie Madsen” Designer
Anne Sofie Madsen graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and trained under John Galliano in Paris, before moving to London to work for Alexander McQueen as a Junior Designer. In 2011 she started her own label and presented her first collection at London Fashion Week in February. The following season she opened Copenhagen Fashion Week and has been showing there ever since.
She won Danish Fashion Award and GenArt’s Fresh Faces in 2012 and was chosen to exhibit with Italian Vogue during Milan Fashion Week the same year. In 2013 she won the prestigious DANSK Design Talent prize. In 2014, the brand presented its first fashion show at Paris Ready-to-Wear Fashion Week.

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DHL Exported’, is a program created by DHL in collaboration with IMG, which assists budding your designers from around the world in expanding their businesses internationally. Winners are given an opportunity to debut their collections in runway shows for two consecutive seasons, in the market of their choice, during the prestigious Fashion Week, and DHL will provide total logistics support for the transportation of their collections.
On the 3rd day of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO 2016 A/W, Anne Sofie Madsen, the winner of the ‘DHL Export’ Cycle 2, presented her Tokyo debut collection runway show. We’ve asked the designer, Anne Sofie, her thoughts on having announced her collection in Tokyo, her values surrounding her creative activities, and her future aspirations.



Scenes of the on-the-spot interview by surrounding reporters, after the show

First, now that you’ve finished showing your collection, how do you feel?

I feel very good. Working with Shige (Mr. Shigetaka Kaneko), who produced the show and his Japanese team, was a very fun experience. I was especially impressed by the great way Shige works! Despite the far distance between Denmark and Japan, he had shown sound progress control from preparation stages, swift sharing of information, and a calm assessment of the situation. All in all, I feel they have done an extremely high quality job for me, and I am extremely satisfied with their work. In addition, everybody was so kind and thoughtful, I am truly thankful for everything.


Could you tell us why you chose Tokyo as the city to announce your collection?

I’ve always been very interested in Japanese fashion, culture and modern art. Before studying fashion, I had studied animation. And I had watched Japanese Anime since I was a child, so that may have been the start of my interest towards Japan. I especially like Hayao Miyazaki’s works.


We’ve heard this is your first time in Japan. Have you had a chance to go shopping or tour around town?

I’m leaving Japan tomorrow night at 10 PM, so I intend to enjoy as much of Japan as I can, today and tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Araki’s (Mr. Nobuyoshi Araki) exhibition, so I will definitely go there. Unfortunately, this time I am pressed for time, but when I return to Japan again in October, I intend to make sure I can stay longer, so that I may visit Kyoto, in addition to Tokyo.


Please tell us your concept of 2016 A/W.

I was very moved by the story that Elvis Presley was supposed to be born a twin, but his twin brother was still born. I wanted to express that in my collection.
I think that this season is represented by the combination of two contradictory elements, for example, items made by combining two different types of fabrics. When I dug deeper, I also found out that Elvis’s great-great-grandmother was a Native American, so I put in an essence of that, too.

Anne Sofie Madsen 2016 A/W Collection


As you’ve explained, the diversity of fabrics you’ve used, combination of varying materials, and complex patterns, were very impressive in this season’s collection. Could you tell us what you place value on, what you are particular about in your creations?

I’ve been favoring combination of varying materials and beads, from before, but there is something that I have been very particular about, especially these past two seasons. However, this season I placed value on shape. During the process of creating this collection, when I reexamined the whole after my ideas were set, I felt something was missing. Then it dawned on me, “Shape! That’s it!” So for this collection, I spent time on draping, and made many devises.


Do you feel any differences or similarities between Danish and Japanese fashion?

It is difficult to compare, but … the mainstream in Denmark is fast fashion, with consumers placing value on cost performance, so naturally, makers focus their attention on selling as much as possible, as cheap as possible. On the other hand, in Japan, I think there is a tendency to spend time on creation, traditionally. I’ve noticed that many designers place value on quality, choosing high quality fabrics, putting great care into fabrication, even if it is a bit costly. In Denmark, there are only a few designer, including myself, who make their creations in totality, in their own atelier.



You will be showing your collection in Tokyo again, in October. Can you tell us your fervor towards your next show, and future activity plans?

This season, after announcing my collection in Paris, I went to Berlin, and came to Tokyo, directly from there to do my show, so I haven’t had time to reflect on this season, and I’m not really thinking about the next collection yet. One thing I can say is that, having announced my collection at Tokyo for the first time, a city which is so far away from Denmark, where I am based in, having been given all sorts of reactions to my collection, has all been an extremely interesting experience. I think that I will have some kind of reaction through the media, even after I return to Denmark, and I am looking forward to that.
Besides collection announcements, I will be making small presentations in NY and Milan. I also have business trips to Berlin, Paris, and London, lined up after April, so I’ll be on a tight schedule for a while longer. I also have plans to announce a denim capsule collection.
I am also active as an illustrator. I’ve drawn the book cover of horror books, and recently, I collaborated with an artist from Berlin. From now on, I intend to entrust my team for things that do not require my hand, and make more time to concentrate on my own creative activities.


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