Timeless Japanese-inspired collection de-blings Fashion Week

On the first day of Copenhagen Fashion Week, we catch up with a Swedish brand that is making waves across the world

While fashion fairs give us a glimpse at the hottest upcoming trends, they also serve as sobering reminders of how quickly trends pass. It’s always refreshing to discover designers working outside traditional fashion seasons by creating classic pieces that stand the test of time. Based in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast, MASKA is one such brand exhibiting at Gallery this fashion week.

Passionate about yarn and artisanal knitting techniques, Maria Svensson and Lisa Leierth launched MASKA (‘knitted stitch’ in Swedish) in 2009 with a clear mission: to produce exceptional quality knitwear that transcends the seasons – the knitwear they had always dreamed of wearing.

Influenced by the craftsmanship involved in hand-knitted pieces worn in the pre-industrial era when every garment bought or made was an investment in time and money, they strive to create clothing that endures in both form and function.

“We try to incorporate sustainable practices into everything we do – from sourcing yarn to production to creating garments that, with the right care, will last for years to come. We believe that quality pays off, both financially and environmentally”, the pair explain.

In contrast to the thick, itchy, reserved-for-grandparents reputation all too often associated with knitwear, they work with precious, soft and lustrous natural fibres to create garments where yarn and design come together in perfect harmony.

“Just like fine wine or chocolate, each yarn has its own unique quality such as shine, drape and softness. Creating perfect knitwear is about having a deep knowledge of the materials and selecting the right yarn for every design”, explained Svensson. With her background as a textiles buyer combined with Leierth’s experience as a designer, they most certainly know.

While MASKA was initially founded exclusively as a knitwear label, S/S14 sees the introduction of its first jersey range. With years of knitwear experience behind them, MASKA’s founders jumped at the opportunity to explore a new world of knitted fabrics and have since been working with the finest organic cotton and Tencel to create luxurious jersey garments for every occasion.

Since its launch less than five years ago, MASKA has managed to gain a loyal global following with 24 stockists in seven countries, most notably in Japan. Renowned as discerning customers who appreciate refined details, pure materials and classic style, it’s not surprising that the Japanese have become one of the label’s biggest markets.

Japanese aesthetics have always been a strong influence for Svensson and Leierth, so it’s fitting that the MASKA S/S14 collection was inspired by the Japanese concept of shibui. As MASKA’s designer Lisa explains: “Shibui can be described as a subtle and unobtrusive beauty with an inherently timeless appeal. One doesn’t tire of a shibui piece – its aesthetic value grows with time as you keep discovering new details”.

Following the shibui tradition, the entire S/S14 collection is a harmonious balance of simplicity and complexity: the cuts are understated while the details are intricate. Made from some of the world’s most precious natural fibres, these understated cuts allow for a deeper appreciation of the exquisite materials and refined details.

To learn more about MASKA visit www.maskaknits.com.

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