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Conversations with Icelandic designers

While in Iceland a few weeks back I was charmed by the fashions. They were quirky and a little offbeat. I tracked down two of my favorite designers there and asked them a few questions. Read below for more:

Sigríður Ásta Árnadóttir


Describe your design philosphy in three words?

Recycle, redye, reuse

Who wears your creations?

I guess you must have a sense of humor … but also a nostalgic inclination.

Your designs are colorful and quirky. Do you ever tire of fashion’s seriousness?

Oh yes! And in Iceland especially as the women all seem to be wearing black, black, back year round. I’m on a mission against boring clothes.

Where do you find design inspiration in Iceland?

I do not generally find inspiration in Icelandic nature like many of my colleagues–even if it is spectacular and I love it. But I do get some of my best ideas in the neighbourhood thermal outdoor swimming pool! Water is a great stimulant for the imagination and in Iceland, one is surrounded by water a lot. I also find the recycling (she uses vintage pieces) itself very stimulating, each piece of clothing will inspire it´s own makeover. I find that one color calls for another, so after I dye the clothes, their color will further inspire the design. Also, when I use antique embroideries and doilies in my work, they will inspire the piece of clothing they become.

Who is the one Icelandic designer I should know about?

Sonja Bent. She makes the greatest retro knitwear, full of color, patterns and humor.

Sonja Bent


Describe your design philosphy in three words?

Whimsical, quirky, innovative.

Who wears your creations?

My creations have been popular with teenagers, but also other ages. Early this year I saw a nice lady in her late 70′s wearing one bright pink polka dot cardigan and it made me so happy!

You obviously adore polka dots and bows. Me too! Do you ever tire of fashion’s seriousness?

I do! and I think it is also too fast. Fashion for me is innovative & artistic and it should never get too serious. But I like the seriousness in Mark Twain’s quote “clothes make the man.” Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Where do you find design inspiration in Iceland?

Iceland is inspiring in so many ways! I have never focused on finding inspiration in Iceland specifically. If there is an Icelandic inspiration to be found in my creations I would think it would come from its character.

Who is the one Icelandic designer I should know about?

I think you should know them all !!!