Interview with...Ilse Jacobsen

Ilse Jacobsen
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us your story? How did you become a designer? 
Ilse Jacobsen: It was not my original ambition to specialize in designing shoes. At university, I studied Political Science and National Economy and after that I opened my own restaurant. However, it all began to take shape when selling shoes for a shoe company. After having worked for another brand for a few years, I had gotten a lot of ideas, which I started to believe in so rather than selling other brands I wanted to sell my own designs.
Sarah Velasco: Is this something you've always wanted to do? If not, how did you decide you wanted to do that?
Ilse Jacobsen: I have always loved to be creative and I have always loved shoes. That I ended up with working with shoes was quite a coincidence but for now this is the right thing for me to work with.
Sarah Velasco: What do you think is the hardest thing about your job? What is the thing you love most?
Ilse Jacobsen: I love the fact that when I get an idea, I have the opportunity to bring it to life. I love the process of starting something new, see it grow and then see the final result.
Sarah Velasco:  Has there been one moment in your career that you always go back to? If not, can you tell us about one moment you love? 
Ilse Jacobsen: I often think of when I opened my very first concept store in Hornbæk – that was where it all started. For more than a year, I had been wanting that place for my first shop, which was why I kept sending post cards to the owner telling them that I was interested in buying the house.
Sarah Velasco: What would you say is the hardest thing about being a designer? 
Ilse Jacobsen: The hardest thing is to limit myself. I get a lot of ideas all the time and need to be selective in which ideas I take further. Sometimes, I need to let go of an idea for that simple reason that there is too much to do - but then I might take it up a few years later.
Sarah Velasco: Who is your inspiration behind your designs? 
Ilse Jacobsen: I truly admire Ralph Lauren - his ability to stay true to his brand, and his sense of style is outstanding. I love the way Ralph Laurens brand identity is so stringently upheld throughout all of his collections, boutiques and advertising. I feel the same way about Louis Vuitton - their collections and advertising campaigns are stunning. 
Sarah Velasco: If you could design for one person, who would it be and why? 
Ilse Jacobsen: I would love to design something for our Danish Crown Princess Mary. She is so elegant and wears everything with style. 
Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your designs? 
Ilse Jacobsen: The signature style is blending nature and leisure with relaxed finesse and soft elegance expressing easy living. Our collection reflects the Scandinavian lifestyle and I believe that the reason behind the popularity is that our designs are very uncomplicated and simple but still smart.
Sarah Velasco: Can you suggest 3 products that our readers have to consider buying from the latest collection? 
Ilse Jacobsen: I would suggest one of our classic down jackets which has become one of our key items for our Autumn / Winter collection. Then there is our limited edition rubber boot with mink which will be in the store only this winter. Finally, I would suggest one of our feminine dresses which you can wear for a nice evening occasion.
Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your personal style? 
Ilse Jacobsen: Personally, I very much like the Jackie Kennedy dresses, the luxury hippie look and the sports, more relaxed style. What I decide to wear very much depends on the occasion. If I am going to a business meeting I would dress up with a jacket or a dress but if I am taking a walk on the beach, I love to wear my jumper and my rubber boots.
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell our readers about any upcoming projects? 
Ilse Jacobsen: We are always working on new projects within the company – it keeps us and the customers excited. Currently, we are working on launching a new line but the details have to remain under wraps. Other than that, the international expansion is our main focus for now, and that's keeping us on our toes already