Since founding her eponymous label in 2006, Stine Goya has been spreading joy with vibrant colours and hand-painted prints that inject confidence in the lives of her loyal fan base.
Based in the traditionally minimalist Copenhagen, where most brands are known for their pared back Scandi aesthetic, the designer stands out as a cheerful, bright, and playful island in a sea of muted neutrals. She creates clothing that’s equal parts eclectic, chic and easy to wear, making for versatile pieces that can work on holiday, at work, or for an evening dinner.
And this USP is certainly working in the designer’s favour. Available in 450 retailers, including Selfridges, Liberty, and Harvey Nichols, across 30 markets worldwide, her reach is universal. Now, after opening three successful stores in Denmark, it’s time to take the brand’s bricks and mortar international by opening a new flagship store in the heart of Soho in London.
For her latest spring/summer 23 collection, Goya took inspiration from the Riot Grrls movement, an early nineties era of punk-powered feminism, and artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who uses fireworks to fill the sky with a vibrant colour pallette, sending models down the runway in directional tailoring, sparkly party dresses, and bold separates.
Both the designer and husband and CEO, Thomas Hertz, are driven not only by a celebration of individuality, but also by sustainability and inclusivity, striving to be transparent on her goal to become 95 per cent sustainable by 2025 - and they’re on track for success.
We caught up with the designer after her show at Copenhagen Fashion Week to discuss her collection, her personal taste, and of course, her exciting new store in London.
What are you up to at the moment?
We’ve just shown our SS23 collection “Whisper Loud” at CPHFW and we’re in the midst of the design process of our AW23 collection. The term ‘fashion never sleeps’ is cliché but very true. We’re always designing collections at least one year in advance so the feeling of finally being able to show the world what we’ve been working on for so long is incomparable. It’s always a little nerve wracking – but mostly a blast!
What inspired you for your SS23 collection?
This season, we were inspired by the women of the early nineties Riot Grrrl movement, which is an avant-garde collective of feminists who fought female gender norms with raucous music. We felt empowered and alive when listening to their tracks - from Bikini Kill to Bratmobile. The way they dressed, their “f*** you” attitude, and their overall vibe is what felt so inspiring.
They would dress in a very eclectic way; combining pleated mini skirts with slouchy T-shirts and oversized bombers with little lace slip dresses. This eclecticism is really reflected in our SS23 collection. For our prints and colour palette we were also inspired by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who creates impressive aerial artworks by exploding coloured pigments in the sky, resulting in beautiful and vibrant fireworks of colour.
Why did you choose London to open your first store outside of Denmark?
London just felt right for us. We have grown a strong fan base in the UK over the years and have seen a significant uptick in UK orders. Opening a physical store in London to further embed ourselves in the community was the next logical step.
Next to that, London holds a special place in my heart. Having lived and worked there for many years during and after my time at Central Saint Martins, I consider it my second home. My husband, Thomas, and I stood in front of 45 Beak Street nearly ten years ago and vowed that one day, it would have “Stine Goya” on the door. What an incredible feeling it is that that day has finally come.
What is your go-to outfit?
I love to play with the contrast between casual and chic and have outfits that can be transformed from day to night. I often wear our Sequin Markus trousers with an oversized cotton poplin shirt, such as the Charlotta shirt we’ve just launched for SS23, and combine this with funky sneakers. If I’m going out for dinner in the evening, I can quickly change into heels to elevate the look for the night.
What are your wardrobe staples that you can’t live without?
For summer, I love to throw on an easy-breezy dress and feel ready for the day. When it gets colder you can combine it with an oversized knit or a fun jacket and that’s really all you need. You can also easily change up your look with accessories - a big tote for a swim in the city or a small party clutch for going out. A winter staple for me would be a chunky, funky and cosy knit, which can be easily combined with trousers for an easy look. In Copenhagen it tends to get pretty cold in winter so it’s a must to have some warm and fluffy pieces ready in your wardrobe.
How would you describe your style? Is it similar to the Stine Goya girl?
I’m the ultimate Stine Goya girl! I wear pieces from our collection on a daily basis and love to style them up in new ways. My style is, if not anything, colourful. I feel at my best in bright and easygoing pieces that combine chic with casual - an ethos that’s very much embedded in our collections. Some of our pieces have a very elevated look but are extremely comfortable, making for everyday pieces you can wear whenever and however you like.
What’s your favourite piece from your most recent collection?
The Fatuna cargo trousers are a new style for us which I’m very excited about. Especially the ones in the faded floral print are a favourite of the SS23 collection. It is such a stand-out yet easy piece that looks amazing combined with a jersey top. Another absolute favourite is the oversized Norea padded bomber with embroidered embellishments that contrasts so beautifully with the more rough style of dressing from the nineties that is seen in the other pieces.
What is your career highlight?
There have been so many over the past years. One that was a massive game-changer for us was Michelle Obama wearing our suit three years ago. It was this exact time where I felt that the years of work and development had led to this precise moment. Other more recent highlights have been the support of some amazing women such as Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry and Lily Allen rocking our pieces.
We saw a lot of new people discovering Stine Goya from all over the world and the Adonis sweater Kendall Jenner was wearing was sold out immediately. The most recent highlight was of course our SS23 show at CPHFW, it was the first show at full capacity after the pandemic and the vibe was out of this world. It’s at all of those moments that I just have to pinch myself and can be so grateful for what we’ve achieved and continuously are achieving with our team.
What’s something you’ve recently purchased for your home?
One of the most recent purchases for our home is the Halo Horizon Lamp by Mandalaki, which brightens up any room by projecting this sunset-like round shape on the wall. It is a piece of art really that creates this amazing universe in the space it’s put in.
What beauty product can’t you live without?
I love a very minimal and natural make-up look so I usually try to focus on skincare and just add a bit of mascara. I absolutely love the creams of Susanne Kauffman, they just feel so light and are made of all natural ingredients and just complement my skin type really well. One of my all-time favourites is the Rejuvenating Power Serum, it just gives me this fresh glow and brightens up my skin in the best way.
How do you treat yourself in a very busy schedule?
I love to go out for dinners with close friends and family to wind down after a busy day with a nice glass of natural wine and to just spend some quality time together. Next to that the biggest treat I can do for myself is trying to go for a daily morning swim – no matter the season! I go to the gym twice a week as well. All of these efforts contribute to staying balanced and energised.