Meet the designer: Charlotte from WHEAT
Danish brand WHEAT has showcased at CIFF KIDS for 32 seasons. We wanted to catch up with co-founder and designer Charlotte Galsgaard to get to know her better.
How would you describe WHEAT to someone who never heard of the brand?
WHEAT is a very Scandinavian brand with a simple design, soft colors, and our own hand drawn prints.
You have been with CIFF KIDS for 32 seasons. What is it that brings you back to CIFF KIDS each time?
I think that we, along with the other brands showcasing at CIFF KIDS, can be proud of what we have created in Denmark. I am very happy that we at CIFF KIDS have a dedicated show space to display design for children, and that so many in the business take part in it, and together we provide a great selection of products dedicated to children.
We love to meet our customers at CIFF KIDS, I think there is a nice atmosphere and plenty of Danish “hygge”.
You started the brand 16 years ago. How did it all begin?
The idea with WHEAT was to create a Scandinavian brand, that focused on simple and classic design in natural materials as an add one to, at that time, several foreign brands that we represented as agent/distributor. But already when we launce our own brand WHEAT at CIFF SS2002 it was obvious that our soul focus should be on WHEAT and on exploring that part of our business. So, we went from being a business with focus on representing and distributing other brands, to being the creative force behind the budding children’s wear brand WHEAT.
What do you love with your job?
I love drawing, I think it is amazing that I can make a living of something that I really enjoy doing. Also, the developing of a new season, setting up the mood board, deciding color pallets etc.
And then I love working with the amazing team we have, that is one of the best things we have manage to do – setting up a “WHEAT” team with a lot of very dedicated people.
How does a day in the office look like for you?
That depends very much of where we are in the design process. Before I get into the office, I have checked my emails, so that I know which emails I must attend to before turning my attention to my designs. Most of my time is used on designing both prints and styles, but I am also involved with helping in the sales department; I believe that it is important for me not only to look at the numbers but to get a better understanding of why some styles or prints sells better than others, and this understanding is best achieved if I engage actively with my sales team and our customers. When we first started Wheat I was the on doing all the sale, and I loved the feedback that I got from our customers. And then I have some more “administrative” task and meetings that I must attend to, even though Peter is in charge of overseeing the daily administration, so I can focus on the design.
Where do you find inspiration for each collection?
Oh, many places. Often, I get a lot of ideas when I am designing one collection for the next to come. Now a day the internet is also an easy way to find inspiration, but it might as well be a walk with the dog, or at an exhibition that I find inspiration. I think my brain is set to be inspired by what the eyes see. I also travel quite a lot and I always feel inspired and filled with new ideas when coming home from a trip.
What do you think defines Scandinavian fashion?
Simple, uncomplicated, natural, organic, high quality. For Children: the child is in focus and functionality is very important.
You have three grown kids now, but how much of their closet has been made up of WHEAT items?
Our 20-year old son still tries to squeeze in to our popular Loui thermo jacket in size 14 but they used to wear Wheat designs all the time.
WHEAT is collaborating with Disney and Marvel, making collections incorporating well-known characters from the movies. How did the collaboration start and what was your initial thoughts?
When Disney contacted me, it was because they wanted me to make a merger of Disney and WHEAT- designing Disney in our universe.
Personally, I have my own amazing Disney moments and have at no time found it a difficult task to merge the Disney universe into our WHEAT world. So far, it has been a fun experience and it has given us much positive attention, especially in the export market.
How does the design process differ from making your own collections?
Not that much, I am allowed to incorporate our one hand drawn prints with Disney’ drawings. When our designs are ready they are to be approved by Disney, and so far, that is the biggest difference in the process. So far it hasn’t been a problem.
Some of the styles are more dressed up than what we normally have in our main collection, but it hasn’t been difficult to find our inner princess and created dresses we would have loved to wear when we were kids.
You live in Gentofte, just north of Copenhagen. What would you recommend a visitor to do when spending a couple of days in the city?
Copenhagen is so diverse, so my recommendations depend on the visitor. But north of Copenhagen I love to visit “Dyrehaven” a forest with a big deer population, and then I love to go to Louisiana a Museum of Modern Art.
In the center of Copenhagen, we also have a lot of wonderful Museums, the national Museum is definitely worth a visit. Some of my favorite restureants are Pluto, Anarki, LêLê, Ricemarket and Llama.
Lastly, can we expect any news for the Fall/Winter 18-19 collection?
Yes, we have designed a new outerwear line called ”Wheat Xtreme”, it is a very technical ski-line with a lot of details for both boys and girls in size 6 to 14 years. So far, this product line has been received very positively, and we are very excited to showcase it.
For the Disney line, we have designed a product line dedicated to the celebration of Mickey and Minnie’s 90 years anniversary in November 2018.
Meet Charlotte and the rest of the Wheat team in booth 058 at CIFF KIDS
31 January - 2 February 2018.
Remember to register HERE.