Greenland is the source of inspiration for new designs

Malte Flagstad from the Danish brand, Tonsure, is the designer behind two new styles in seal, that will be presented this winter.


Seal skins in different shades of blue lie in a pile on the grey desk in the large design studio in Copenhagen. Malte Flagstad holds up two skins and places them next to each other showing them to Bettina, who responds with an acknowledging nod. A pair of old blue jeans lie next to the skins on the table. The worn pair of jeans is the inspiration for  a design piece in Tonsure's upcoming collection.

Tonsure is one of the most promising brands in the Danish fashion world. It was founded by the previous Maison Martin Margiela-designer Malte Flagstad in 2013. Ever since Tonsure debuted with the fall collection for 2014, the brand's progress has been admirable and today the brand is present in cities such as Berlin, Paris and Tokyo.

Late August this year, Malte Flagstad, the designer behind the Danish-based brand, Tonsure, visited Greenland to learn more about seal skins. From the moment when the seal is shot and caught, to the moment when Great Greenland prepares the skins. The visit was arranged as a part of Tonsure's new collaboration with Kopenhagen Fur and Great Greenland.

The purpose of the trip was to gain knowledge about seal skins as a design material. Malte Flagstad spent one half of the trip in Great Greenland's tannery and the other half at sea where he got the chance to participate on a hunting trip. The nature and people of Greenland are the main sources of inspiration for his new designs, which he hopes to present in his next collection.

Worn jeans and down vests

-I noticed, that most of the people wear vests, worn jeans and gym clothes, which are not items one would usually connect with the traditional Greenland. That is why I think it would be interesting to try combining the two in a new way, Malte Flagstad says about his inspiration.

The people of Greenland rely greatly on their nature which made a great impression on him. They provide food for themselves by catching fish, whales and seal, that are sold daily at the market, and if a hunter catches a seal, he sells the skins to Great Greenland.

 'I do not mean to tease them'

The final part of the design process has now begun in Kopenhagen Fur's creative workshop in central Copenhagen, Kopenhagen Studio. Malte Flagstad is working on his designs with furrier Bettina Haugaard Hansen, with whom he has also worked on previous designs.

-I expect to see some amazing styles after this collaboration is done, which will show a new, fun and masculine way to wear seal, Bettina Haugaard Hansen says.

Malte Flagstad is pleased to have the experts at Kopenhagen Studio at his disposal during the process, and plans to use the furriers and the head of Kopenhagen Studio, Thomas Andersen, as well as he can.

-I do not mean to tease them, but I have tried to come up with something, that I expect will be hard to make. Like trying to make seal look like denim. It could potentially be pretty difficult, but I am convinced, that we can make it work, he says.

Collaborations are good for business

The marketing of Kopenhagen Fur and Great Greenland consists partly in I collaborations with chosen designers and brands from the Danish fashion industry. They get the opportunity of working closely with the furriers on their designs and thereby help promote seal in fashion.

-It is important to Kopenhagen Fur, that designers show fur on the runway to stay in fashion, Thomas Andersen says.

The two styles in seal will be finished by the end of 2016 so they can be presented this winter as a part of Tonsure's newest collection.