Rodebjer emerged in 1999 when Swede Carin Rodebjer caught attention on the streets of Manhattan wearing her handmade designs. Ever after, the label gained reputation for its slouchy, versatile womenswear of painless elegance. We are exited for its debut at Afura with the latest spring-summer collection, a homecoming to Swedish culture and craftsmanship.
Carin Rodebjer was raised on a small Swedish island by a mother who would love to weave and knit or invite her friends gifted in arts and crafts. After studying patterns and sewing in Sweden, Carin signed up for New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology pretty much as soon as she got off the plane. Eventually, the label was born when the designer had gathered enough admirers and capital. Collections are inspired by outstanding women of history, artworks, landscape or traditional techniques from around the world. Spring summer 2019 was coined the most Swedish collection ever made by Rodebjer and merges craftsmanship, Scandi workwear and the mythical concept of "Swedish Sin".
Lush and sensual silk organza, flowy see-through pieces and V-necks recall the outcry of 1951 when American cinemagoers would see a female nipple for the first time on screen in the Swedish movie "One Summer of Happiness". A myth was born and fed over decades, the myth of the Swedes and especially the Swedish women being blonde, promiscuous and sexually open. Director Ingmar Bergman fuelled the legend further with the movie "Summer with Monika" in 1953 that showed non-marital sex. A New York based journalist made a trip to Sweden and ended up publishing the Article "Sin and Sweden" sparking international discussions. Soon politicians took the chance to campaign against the country's welfare policy. President Eisenhower declared that "sin, nudity, drunkenness and suicide" were the direct result of those policies. Others went on at the declining influence of Church and sexual education classes in school. Even in the wild seventies, Swedish educational films and productions like "Maid in Sweden" starring pin-up girl Christina Lindberg caused indignation outside the country. Carin Rodebjer brings this old myth up at the right time by asking the contemporary question of "what sin means for modern women in their various societal roles, in turn questioning guilt, working motherhood, duty, shame and enjoyment". Let's not forget that seventy years later Instagram still censors women's nipples.
Sex sells, but one would vastly undermine the collection by solely focussing on its sensual touch. Carin digged deeper into Swedish heritage. When industrialisation was blooming in the twenties, Sweden's first workwear manufacturer Fristads was born. The collection's easy suits or shirts resemble their first designs. And then there are the 70s silhouette pieces with traditional flower prints. The "Ros och Lilja" print exclusively reproduced for Rodebjer dates back to 1946 when textile artist and designer Gocksen Jobs enchanted with Scandinavian florals.
We are happy to welcome Rodebjer with this collection in store and online that brings in the typical Rodebjer drape and feel of fabrics. The pieces are manufactured in Italy, Portugal and Lithuania for the most part.
Shop the arrivals below.
HB: Who is the Rodebjer girl?
CR: She's the subject rather than the object. The person she wants to seduce is herself. The Rodebjer girl wants to look and feel good. She is modern, openminded and self reliant. She is mature without being old, and youthful without being young.