Holzweiler: “The reins are quite free in Copenhagen”

Words Martin Mitchell, Photo Victor Jones

The Norwegian family brand Holzweiller has chosen to show at Copenhagen Fashion Week for the second season in a row, sporting an upgrade from last summer.


Last summer, when Holzweiler presented its collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week, it was the brand’s first show of force abroad. Developing the brand, breaking free of any barriers, was the mission, explains Andreas Holzweiler, its CEO.

“We had shown in Oslo three times, to our satisfaction. But for us it’s about exploring new possibilities. We need to take risks to develop,” he says.

Although the brand welcomes new challenges — or rather, seeks them out deliberately — showing in Copenhagen has been quite the mouthful for a young, relatively unknown brand based in another country.

“In Copenhagem, the reins for expressing one’s ambitions are quite free. Yet it has been a challenge to find one’s place and purpose in a totally new environment,” Holzweiler says, emphasizing that the importance of communication has been a central insight. As he puts it, “Since we presented the show, we’ve had more international clients and media coverage. And we’ve grown a lot. That has made us much more experienced.”

The brand has chosen to focus its efforts on Copenhagen yet again this season. According to Andreas, the mood in Copenhagen during fashion week is radically different than that of Oslo.

“You can easily tell that the town carries a different momentum. The whole city knows it’s fashion week,” he explains, referring to the many events that are inclusive, open to the public. Yet while Holzweiler has chosen to show in Copenhagen again, the brand has not left Oslo Fashion Week forever. According to Holzweiler’s CEO, the Norwegian capital’s fashion week has made great progress in recent years.

Spreading the message

It is no secret that financial success easily escapes a burgeoning fashion company. That’s why Andreas Holzweiler is aware of the hard work that underlies any successful brand,

“Exposure is crucial. Our show hitting the spot with press, influencers, and buyers. It’s about making new contacts, about spreading familiarity with Holzweiler. And in Copenhagen, the communication works really well,” he says, adding:

“You have to accept that success demands playing the long game.”

Since last season’s show in Copenhagen in the summer of 2017, the brand has enjoyed growth, both financially and in terms of exposure. And yet an anarchist approach to creativity remains a core value, one treasured from the get-go, explains Holzweiler: “We are constantly learning. It’s like a transition from kindergarten to school for us like now.”


Ambitions and self-reflection

The Norwegian brand’s ambitions are sky-high, and after today’s show, they plan to push forward on all parameters. In particular, expansion to new markets is high on the agenda.

Yet besides such goals of sales and growth, Andreas Holzweiler dreams of demonstrating how a fashion brand can be more than just business.

“We’d like to make use of a voice that we have just begun to acquire,” he closes.