Joseph Ettedgui was renowned for his unique pared-down yet sophisticated aesthetic when he launched his first collection in 1983.
Now, under the vision of co-creative directors Anna Lundbäck Dyhr and Frederik Dyhr, the London label continues the founder’s original vision of balancing a fashion-forward viewpoint with a timeless appeal, breathing new life into luxurious wardrobe staples with its hallmark modern and minimalist approach.
What do the first 30 mins of your day look like, your morning routine?
FD: I am up and straight in the shower, then coffee and breakfast with the kids.
AL: Coffee, always a coffee first!
What is at the core of Joseph, the DNA of the brand?
AL: The Joseph DNA is ingrained in our complimentary contrasts – i.e., black vs white, London cool vs Paris chic, masculine vs feminine – we strive to balance timeless design with contemporary aesthetics.
FD: It was important to us to remain true to Joseph Ettedgui’s original vision for the brand – to create a curated timeless wardrobe of luxury essentials, and this remains our starting point every season for the collections.
The brand is known for its classic pieces which transcend seasons. Which key pieces continue to drive sales season after season?
AL: The Foundations Collection has some of our best sellers; they are designed with longevity in mind. They are building blocks for a timeless wardrobe, simple pieces – the classic wrap coat, a great cashmere knit, tailored wool or gabardine stretch trousers, a cotton white shirt – all seamlessly able to blend into an existing wardrobe.
How do the commercial and creative sides of the business work together and do you feel particularly drawn to one side of the business?
FD: Commercial and creative have to work hand in hand – you can’t have one without the other. We work very closely with all the commercial functions within the company which help inform the design process and ensure the collections resonate with the customer. The customer is at the centre of everything that we do.
What has been the largest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?
FD: Learning to work together as well as live together has been a new challenge, that I think we have embraced wholeheartedly. We work side by side very organically, we each have different areas of expertise so very naturally one of us will drive and the other will support, de- pending on the subject. It’s about patience, communication, and trust that it will all be ok in the end.
Have you had any mentors along the way and if so, what has been the best advice they have imparted to you?
AL: In my diverse career, I am thankful to have worked across different levels of the market. Every experience has formed me into the designer I am today.
My very first experience working in fashion was with Tomas Maier at Bottega Veneta. Tomas took me under his wing, showed me the ropes, it was an invaluable experience and taught me above all to love and appreciate quality and craftsmanship.
FD: I would not say I have had “mentors” as such, but have been very fortunate to work in companies with great inspirational leaders such as Christopher Bailey and Angela Ahrends at Burberry and the man himself, Tommy Hilfiger
The last year was a time that saw brands change strategy. Have you had to pivot as a business?
FD: The pandemic encouraged us to look at things differently, the Joseph style remains, but we’ve thought more about the relaxed side of the brand.
We are known for our knitwear, so we’ve looked at how we could develop knits across collections, not just through jumpers, but trousers, outerwear and within summer collections through shorts and dresses. We considered how we could keep the look polished and elevated but comfortable, to suit the changing needs of the customer.
AL: It’s a balance – crisis or not – to pro-vide clothes that women want to wear in all scenarios. Globally our daily lives have changed, and we wanted to focus on the future, remaining optimistic that despite everything, the Joseph woman would continue to want to look and feel good.
What effect do you see social media having on the growth of the brand?
AL: Social media is a fantastic tool for us to communicate our vision for the Joseph brand, by sharing inspirations, projects and collections directly to the global Joseph consumer. We hope that they in turn share with their followers and networks to connect us to a new audience. It’s a great tool for growing brand awareness.
This is The Integrity Issue – what does integrity mean to you?
AL: Integrity for us is being kind, treating others with respect, doing the right thing, even though it may not be the easy thing.
FD: We are also looking at integrity through the sustainability lens. In recent years it has become more of a focus for us, so we are constantly challenging ourselves and the business to be better and do better. Over the last year, we have been working on an initiative called the Waste Project, where we make use of waste fabrics and yarns, otherwise destined for landfills. Our most recent venture under the Waste Project is a collaboration with the social enterprise – Love Welcomes. With them, we have created a capsule of accessories utilising sur- plus silk and all the pieces are handmade by refugee women. It’s a real labour of love, the crocheted silk tote alone takes over 28 hours to make and uses 22 metres of silk.
April’s – ‘The Integrity Issue’ – Download Now