Georg Jensen has a clear vision for the future. Namely, that every piece must resonate with the true and original spirit of the renowned Danish design company, such as the new MOONLIGHT Collection that embraces old jewellery designs sourced from the Georg Jensen archive.
By Charlotte Wendt Jensen
Rose quartz adorns the meticulously whorled flower motif of a brooch, a sparkling blue moonstone blooms into the spotlight on a ring, and purple amethysts are showcased on a pair of earrings, encircled by only a simple silver ring. Georg Jensen’s new MOONLIGHT Collection is a treasure trove of enchanting styles that have emerged from Georg Jensen’s old jewellery archive. Georg Jensen CEO Ulrik Garde Due and creative director Todd Bracher have made a journey of discovery into the old archives, delving deep into the spirit of Georg Jensen. Their exploration led them to select a number of original styles created over 100 years ago by none other than Georg Jensen himself. The heritage pieces have been brought up-to-date and styled in a way that suits the modern woman. Two of the classic designs at the heart of the new collection include the famed bracelet no. 11 from 1905 and the cherished moonstone brooch designed in 1914. “The first time I stepped into the archives, I was almost speechless. It was a fantastic experience that confirmed my conviction that Georg Jensen possesses a historic treasure that is truly unique. And that the key to our priceless legacy is also the key to the future of Georg Jensen,” says Ulrik Garde Due about the MOONLIGHT Collection.
From Hepburn to Jagger
When Ulrik Garde Due took over as CEO in November 2007, he had a clear direction in mind for the venerable design company. He wanted to return to Georg Jensen’s roots and make those pieces accessible to a modern audience, and to strengthen the brand along the way. The MOONLIGHT Collection does precisely that, lending contemporary appeal and relevance to the Georg Jensen legacy. “MOONLIGHT represents Georg Jensen’s DNA – our roots, values and traditions. At the same time, the jewellery is modern and cool with just the right rock ’n’ roll sensibility. Fashion now is about demonstrating vintage chic, authenticity, craftsmanship and quality. No other company can offer products similar to our MOONLIGHT Collection, because no one else has the history, roots and original sketches. We own the look,” says Ulrik Garde Due in an interview with *Bella*magazine. And MOONLIGHT’s rock ’n’ roll aura has long since been confirmed: Mick Jagger’s daughter Georgia was so taken with the MOONLIGHT Collection that she styled a print campaign for Hudson Jeans using one of the MOONLIGHT bracelets, Bracelet 30. And she is far from the only celebrity who’s beguiled by Georg Jensen. Over the years, style mavens ranging from Katherine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Josephine Baker have chosen to adorn themselves with iconic pieces from Georg Jensen.
Quality and real luxury – with a twist
Ever since Georg Jensen founded his first goldsmith atelier on Bredgade in Copenhagen in 1904, the company has been a byword in solid craftsmanship and unrivalled quality. As a sculptor trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Georg Jensen began his career with sculpture exhibitions held in and around Copenhagen, but his dream of creating accessible jewellery motivated him to trade in his marble in favour of silver. Shortly after he opened the first Georg Jensen shop in Copenhagen in 1912, Georg Jensen expanded operations to Berlin and Stockholm, and since that time shops have been opened the world over, most recently in Qatar. Throughout Georg Jensen’s life, the company worked with a wide range of designers who contributed to creating the unique jewellery and lifestyle products that have established the Georg Jensen name as Scandinavia’s leading luxury brand. Arne Jacobsen, Nanna Ditzel, Henning Koppel and Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, the designer responsible for the famous Georg Jensen bracelet watch, are just a few of the designers name-checked on the Georg Jensen honour roll. “For us, Scandinavian design expresses the highest level of quality imaginable. It is crucial that the new products exude a Scandinavian feel, so that there is no doubt whatsoever that these are Georg Jensen designs. This is the very key to our existence. No matter what we do with the brand, we must respect our roots and our design ethos. This is our strength, and it would be irresponsible not to utilise it,” points out Ulrik Garde Due. Georg Jensen has taken particular inspiration from its history and roots in this latest collection. “The MOONLIGHT Collection is unique because it epitomises one hundred years of tradition and respect for design, craftsmanship, and materials. This is authentic vintage in a modern context – with a subtle twist. MOONLIGHT is nothing less than the DNA of the Georg Jensen brand, and we have made it relevant to our time,” affirms Ulrik Garde Due.
The latest addition to the family
In addition to the MOONLIGHT Collection Georg Jensen has also recently launched its Reversible Daisy jewellery collection. The pieces were first revealed to the public during Copenhagen Fashion Week this February, with small daisies threaded on delicate chains presented in the enchanting Autumn 2010 collection by Denmark’s new international designer, Ole Yde. A grand show held at the Georg Jensen flagship store on Strøget in Copenhagen served as the perfect backdrop for Reversible Daisy, which was styled with cascades of chains and bracelets. Delicate and feminine – just like Ole Yde’s gossamer blouses and elegant dresses. About the fashion connection, Ulrik Garde Due had this to say: “It’s vital that Georg Jensen is relevant to the international fashion scene. Ole Yde is an up-and-coming star in the fashion firmament, and as early as last year we enjoyed great synergy with this young design talent. The new Reversible Daisy Collection complements Ole Yde’s style in a sophisticated way, but with edge. We are proud to have been involved in his show.”