“Everything changed when I bought a loom…”: The self-taught Scandi designer whose avant-garde creations are shaking up fashion

By Alex Kessler

Alexa Chung wears Nicklas Skovgaard at Vogue World 2023. Photo: Collection 07

Danish designer Nicklas Skovgaard hasn’t rushed headlong into fashion fame. Instead, he’s steadily refined his creations, allowing his distinctive aesthetic to naturally evolve in the three years since he founded his label. Now, though, he’s unquestionably one to watch, having garnered the attention of super-stylist Harry Lambert.

In fact, Harry first reached out to Skovgaard to provide a look for Alexa Chung’s appearance at Vogue World: London, with the British Vogue contributing editor selecting a feathered crop top and micro shorts from the designer’s Copenhagen studio. “Harry sent me an email requesting some pieces, but when I saw Alexa wearing them... I screamed,” Nicklas recalls now over Zoom. “She’s a childhood style icon of mine, and I used to save countless pictures of her outfits when I was a teenager.”

Related: Alexa Chung wore Danish designer Nicklas Skovgaard to Vogue World

Collection 07. Photo: Courtesy of Nicklas Skovgaard

Collection 07. Photo: Courtesy of Nicklas Skovgaard

Growing up in Thurø, a quaint town a few hours from Copenhagen, Nicklas had limited in-person exposure to the fashion industry, relying instead on the internet as a creative outlet. Though he was inspired by the blogger era, citing Tavi Gevinson as a muse, his mother also played a significant role in shaping his artistic sensibilities. “Every day, whether it was for work or a social event, my mother had a remarkable gift for putting together a look,” he reminisces. “She consistently pushed the boundaries of her own style. Witnessing that from a young age made my interest in fashion – and self-expression – snowball.”


Photo: Courtesy of Nicklas Skovgaard

Photo: Courtesy of Nicklas Skovgaard

Niklas’s mother was also the one who encouraged him to approach fashion design as a craft. Despite the absence of formal training, he honed his skill by studying under a local seamstress, working as a freelance editorial stylist, and taking a role at an interior design firm. “I wasn’t initially certain about my career path, but I persisted in nurturing my creativity,” he says. “Then, in 2020, I bought a loom and started to weave my own fabric. That was the moment I realised I could start experimenting with making garments.” Nowadays, his “focus revolves around creating contrasts and transforming less favoured fabrics into interesting pieces” – achieving a draped effect with stretch jersey, for example – while maintaining eco-conscious practices, including scrupulously calculating fabric quantities to minimise waste.

In January, the designer is poised to present his sophomore collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week. However, when asked about his plans for the upcoming year, he responds with a chuckle and a nonchalant shrug. “I prefer not to overthink the future – of course, I have my hopes and dreams, but I believe in working hard and allowing things to unfold organically.” Clearly, it’s a strategy that’s working out for him.

Originally published on British Vogue