As the Reykjavik Fashion Festival wrapped last month, the Icelandic fashion design community is growing its supportive network of women. Iceland’s designers believe in the power of fashion to make women look fabulous and feel empowered. Fashionista writer Jo Piazza attended Reykjavik’s Fashion Festival to learn more about how the island’s entrepreneurs and designers are working towards a strong, collaborative network of female designers who empowering women across the country.
Icelandic designer Elinros Lindal and Katrin Maria Karadottir started their own fashion line, Ella, only a few years ago out of a suburban garage because they did not appreciate how fashion was speaking to women. Today, Ella is the go-to place for top lawyers, bankers and Congresswomen who want to be comfortable in a fine, tailored blazer with a feminine touch. Both assert that their goal as designers is to empower women with finely tailored suits and dresses, not to make them look like men. A sign hanging in the shop reads: “Mission: we think we can empower women through every single Ella piece we make.”
Unlike events such as New York’ Fashion Week, Reykjavik’s Fashion Festival thrives off of collaboration and women who support one another. Rebekka Jonsdottir, of the label Rey, says, “The pettiness people associate with the fashion industry is not alive and well in Iceland. The women here support one another.”
“It is because if someone succeeds from our small country it is just better for all of us.”
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