Jet Korine

Snoop-Around interviews fashion designer Jet Korine for the Reykjavík Grapevine,
issue #8 15.6.2012
Part of this interview originally appeared in The Reykjavík Grapevine

When you walk up Skólavörðustígur, you might notice a little shop on number 17a, which bears the name of its owner and designer, Jet Korine. Jet has a strong ethos behind everything she does, from the hand-dyed socks to the versatile ´life coat´; all is made with a conscious effort to leave a little less imprint on the world. The garments could be from the closet of a modern nomad, ready for whatever. The style is above trends and fads, and even though the clothes might look light and delicate,they are made to last.

Tell us a bit about the shop.

It has been open for three years in this location but the brand is a little bit older. It started like many other brands, in a workshop, tucked away on the second floor with no public appearance. We opened the shop in Skólavörðustígur when the crisis loomed over Iceland and to outrule the danger of going bankrupt, we collected both the workshop and the shop in one location.

You retail a variety of accessories as well?

The golden rule is that, what we can´t make ourselves, we can retail. For example our socks are made in the USA from recycled materials and when they arrive in Iceland, we hand dye and print them here. For all the accessories that we retail, we want things to have some connection to the policy for our own clothing.

“I didn´t want to feel responsible for putting
more crap out into the world”

Is the handmade quality and sustainability important to your own work as well?

It is. But at the same time it´s not the biggest selling point. I want people first and foremost to fall in love with what they see and feel more beautiful by wearing my clothes. The second part of it that all my fabrics are organic and my dyes are natural. It was my choice to work from that source, because I didn´t want to feel responsible for putting more crap out into the world. It´s already filled up with enough crap.

However it has, gladly enough, affected the overall look of my clothing. For example, by not having synthetic material in my store, it´s very hard to get bright colours, since they are in general done with either synthetic dye or synthetic materials. The pastels that we are known for are because of the natural dye behaves like that, it´s its characteristics. These two things together have become the look for the brand.

Is there a single concept behind every collection?

There is not a particular concept that rules every single collection, the overall concept is that we are planning to stay natural and minimizing peoples consuming behaviour. And to make sure that whatever is bought here, can be used as much as possible and that people might actually buy less. So in a way it´s the worst business plan ever, promoting buying less! For a store that would be a suicidal business plan, however it works really well for us. I feel that our customers are aware of what they are buying, it´s not a moment of impulse.

What is your new collection based on?

The summer collection, Dans-Dans-Dans, was very much inspired by professional dancers. We have a lot of jersey layering, which is easy to build up and build down. Catsuits make the first layer that cover the whole body, the next layer is very open and would actually show everything if there wasn´t a catsuit underneath. We are in a dance theme this summer and it suits this beautiful weather that we´ve been having!


Interview: Erla Björk Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís