As one of the first alumni to attend a seminar at Saga Furs Design Centre, Jens Laugesen uses the knowledge he gained there in the early ‘90s in his own collections and conveys it to his students at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture as well as fashion companies he advises. The London-based designer’s visit was at the beginning of Saga Furs ongoing efforts to support young designers who want to work with responsible fur.
“I discovered techniques and learned to view fur as a fashion material, just like fabric. At the same time I learned about the vision behind Saga Furs,” he says. The knowledge he gained at Saga Furs Design Centre helped him to introduce fur the MA curriculum at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture.
“It’s a heritage thing,” Laugesen says, about Saga Furs role in the evolution of fur. “Saga has worked with the biggest luxury brands and therefore has a big place in the world, as the maintainer of fur.”
Second stage of eponymous label Jens Laugesen re-launches in 2018 – practical luxury still at the core
The idiom of Laugesen’s creations takes a Nordic approach to design, incorporating Parisian luxury tradition with a London design aesthetic. Put it all together and you have a concept-led design philosophy that finds the perfect balance between form and function in what he calls “hybrid reconstruction.”
In 2002, Laugesen launched his eponymous collection, which was quickly snapped up by high-profile shops such as Maria Luisa and Selfridges in a number of countries. He rode that wave for several years and then turned his attentions to consulting as design advisor and creative director for international corporate brands, including J Mendel, Calvin Klein and LG Fashion Corp in Korea.
But he was also a teacher throughout all the year, first at Central Saint Martins MA, alongside the legendary Louise Wilson, and for the past seven years as head design tutor behind the 4th year MA where he, in a sense, designs designers by passing on tacit knowledge and mentoring young minds.
”Saga Furs Design Centre has been instrumental in educating students at a high level.”
Many a time, Laugesen has initiated collaborations with the designers and luxury houses he worked for, in the same way he has introduced his students to Saga Furs Design Centre, where they could learn about the furrier craft and the sustainability of fur. He has revisited the Design Centre several times with his students, and has attended Fur Vision, which he describes as, “full of ideas about new fur design techniques and a big inspiration for designers.”
Craftsmanship is the nucleus of his teaching philosophy as well as his collections: “Luxury takes time,” he says. “Fashion demands artisan heritage, but you must be creative with it in a contemporary manner to interest the new consumer of authentic luxury.”
As to the future of fur, Laugesen says there is the “need to integrate fur into a garment, as a natural raw material for beauty and artisanal function.” We’re sure he will do just that as we await his upcoming collections.
After years of working together, Saga Furs and Jens Laugesen are continuing the cooperation.
Danish-born, London-based designer Jens Laugesen draws inspiration from uniform and generic garments … In an attempt of “understanding the semiotic of garments” he deconstructs and then re-assembles them generation what he subtly calls hybrid shapes.