Baum und Pferdgarten: “25 things learned in 25 years”

By Clare McInerney

Danish designer duo Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave reflect on the 25 pearls of wisdom they've gained in as many years, as the founders of beloved brand Baum und Pferdgarten

This year, Baum und Pferdgarten marks a quarter of a century in the fashion game. The Danish brand's autumn/winter '24 showcase was the first celebratory nod to the major anniversary: aptly named ‘Love and Friendship since 1999’ and brimming with archival references.

‘Love and friendship’ have certainly played a big part in the last 25 years for the founding duo Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave. But more than that, the pair have experienced big learnings when it comes to running a business, knowing their customer and, of course, working closely alongside each other.

From “always having wine in the office” to knowing “the important of compromise”, Baumgarten and Hellstehave break down the 25 pearls of wisdom that they've garnered in as many years below:

“25 things we've learned in 25 years”:

  1. “Have a good back office and someone controlling the finances. When we first started we did everything ourselves.”
  1. “We don’t have to agree on everything, it is OK to have different opinions.”
  1. “Take some risks and learn from them.”
  1. “Don’t overthink everything.”
  1. “Follow your instincts. You can spend hours listening to other people opinions on how things should be, but most of the time your own instinct is the right way.”

Photo: Rasmus Mogensen

  1. “Don’t be afraid to repeat styles! When we started we almost never repeated styles, even though they were a bestseller the previous collection.”
  1. “To have the best team behind you, who is ready to support you and help you grow!”
  1. “Celebrate victories, small and big!”
  1. “We’ve learned the importance of CSR [corporate social responsibility] and how important it is to have a dedicated team to help the brand grow in the right direction.”
  1. “The importance of compromise! Not everything has to go your way.”

Baum und Pferdgarten AW24.

Baum und Pferdgarten AW24.

Baum und Pferdgarten AW24.

  1. “Remember to take time off, drink some wine and spend time with friends and family.”

  2. “Have a good collection structure, so you don’t end up designing 15 pairs of jeans with almost no tops to pair them with.”

  1. “Remember to go on inspiration trips. We often go to Paris for Première Vision and to Milan for Salon del Mobile.”
  1. “Always have wine at the office that you can share with your colleagues and talk about everything other than work.”
  1. “When we first started out there was no social media, everything was still very manual. So we’ve definitely had to learn everything from scratch when it comes to the digital world.“
  1. “You can’t be 20 places at the same time.”
  1. “Know your target group.”
  1. “We all can get stuck creatively and we’ve learned that it is important to take a break when that happens, go for a walk or visit an art museum to clear your head and seek out new inspiration.”
  1. “Being visible in a unique way is very important in today’s fashion industry.”

  1. “Having a strong DNA is equally important as having a strong collection and product.”
  1. “Copenhagen has taught us a lot. It was an entirely different city 25 years ago than it is today. Back then no one wanted to come here, and now it is the complete opposite.”
  1. “We’ve learned a lot from our customers, who many have been following us for many years.”
  1. “Each woman has their own unique style.”
  1. “Having a supporting partner is key to balancing work and personal life.”
  1. “The last 25 years has taught us that we would never have been able to do it without it each other!”