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Barbara I Gongini


Copenhagen Pride Week, the most important human rights event in Copenhagen, is coming up. Why do you think it’s important to celebrate Pride? Have you ever taken part in any Pride Week events?

Of course, we attend the Pride Parade in Copenhagen every year, where we celebrate the beautiful and colorful diversity of genders.  Unfortunately, there is still is a clear necessity to manifest that same sex relationships is the norm, even though its old news. It is therefore important to state that that the freedom to love whom you choose is just a basic human right. It would be a more colorful world if it would be fully embraced.


BARBARA I GONGINI’S DNA is centered on the strength of individual and not on sex or sexual orientation, societal order or other normative pressure. How are these values reflected in the current collection?

We are not too focused on creating for a perceived female or male body. I think there is a need to celebrate the feminine, there is a need to celebrate the masculine and there is a need to celebrate everything in between. We therefore highly appreciate the crossover of the collections. Throughout all of our collections, there is a fluid continuity within the items, which you can perceive as feminine or masculine depending on the way the wearer styles it. As a wearer, you are invited to mold the styles to your liking, with closings, zippers and buttons to dress yourself in a way that you feel comfortable. In our current Autumn Winter Collection we have some genderfluid silhouettes like the Cardigan, the Nippon Jacket or the denim jacket, which reflects in its fit and form. 


In your view, why is style important when it comes to creating a personal identity?

Fashion, in general, is a communication tool. Our clothing is designed in a way that you can be totally silent one day and the next day, you can go the opposite way and dress extremely expressively to make a strong statement. We celebrate the playful span from silence to an expressive take on fashion to encourage people to tell a story with their style. I therefore believe that creating a personal identity is a very exciting aspect of fashion.  



How is making clothes for male-identified individuals different from making those for female-identified individuals?

We want to uplift any restriction to create a fluid space for the individual. It is therefore very much about what story the wearer wants to tell.


Do you think that catwalk androgyny can ever go mainstream?

Yes, of course. There is a world population of mixed genders who uses the freedom of fashion as a space of selfexpression. There is no way it can be ignored or set aside. 


What makes a garment gender fluid?

The layering is very significant, as is playing with length and tactility. If you have a very masculine fabric, like a heavy knit or leather, and you merge it with fabrics that are more fluid, which are considered feminine, this is where the magic happens. It is also about showing multiple ways of usage in a design. This involves knowing the restrictions that are so dominant in most designs made by the fashion industry and flirting with them. We want to encourage the wearer to find a strong piece and transform it to underline the persona who wears it, to make it abstract and, eventually, even stronger in the outcome. There is always a little string that you can tie to enhance e.g. your feminine aspects. In the end, it’s the wearer who decides which language he wants his outfit to speak.


ImageKarina Jonson