Designer Interview: Gro Abrahammson

A few years ago, in an Anthropologie, I discovered the brilliant work of Danish designer Gro Abrahammson. Her architectural, modern, Scandinavian line caught my eye immediately: boiled wool, asymmetric lines, unforgettable outerwear. Since that discovery, I've looked for her work in Anthropologie stores every fall as well as at various boutiques in the United States, and a few years ago I was lucky enough to purchase a cream-colored cape from her line Groá (she has two different clothing lines). I've never been able to get enough of her work and this season is no exception. Every item from both of her lines is a stunning piece of art. Constantly intrigued by her work, I recently had an opportunity to interview the 46-year-old Abrahammson. 

When and how did you first get into design?

I have always been interested in design and quality, which I guess is natural since I come from a creative family with an architect father and an artist mother.

I worked as a graphic designer for some years before I felt the need to move on to something else. I first landed a job as a design assistant and two years later I made my first sole collection. Three years after that, I was offered the position as design director and partner in the Danish company Casch Copenhagen.

I now have my own company with the two labels, Gróa and Gro á live, and I enjoy the fact that it is all mine. I am not dependant on business partners who might want to take it in a different direction than what my dreams and goals are built on.

Fashion gives me the possibility for a more hands-on approach to design. I am very passionate about my job and I find it very challenging and rewarding at the same time.

How are the two lines different?

Gro á live is a menswear-inspired concept based on designer tops and jackets made in boiled wool. I am slowly adding other materials, such as fine stretch leather, but the main base will always be boiled wool. This material in itself is wonderfully easy to work with and it crosses the line between knit and outerwear. The design is long lasting in contrast to fast fashion, which sometimes changes on a monthly basis.

Gróa is much more fashion driven and this is where I get to work with broader strokes. I always aim for it to be edgy, yet feminine, and, very importantly, not over designed. I like design which can stand time. Understated fashion, if you will, but never boring. I often find inspiration in contrasts—between fabrics, colors or shapes. And I love working with good quality fabrics.

Who’s your typical customer?

Today it is more about style than age, but I think if you enjoy and recognize good quality and design and you look for that instead of only buying into well-branded labels, then that can be a Gróa or Gro á live customer. But she is definitely the feminine type, with or without a rock chick attitude.

Any fellow designers whose work you are eyeing right now?

Miuccia Prada is always interesting, Clare Waight Keller is doing well for Chloe. Altuzarra and Acne have been doing real well the past seasons. Ann Demeulemeester is great in her own unusual style.

What are your favorite beauty products?

Aésop.

Mani or pedi?

Both.

Lip gloss or lip balm?

Lip balm.

Heels or flats?

Heels—occasionally flats.