Tell us about Bitte Kai Rand, how did it all begin?
Bitte Kai Rand studied at Denmark’s design school and a year after she graduated she started her own brand in 1981. She bought a small knitting company in a basement where she made custom-made garments for private customers. When some of her items were copied by a major department store she in 1983 got provoked to start her own wholesale brand. In connection with this, she met her husband and business partner Michael Rand, who is still the CEO of the company, and the brand quickly began exporting to a large number of countries. In the beginning, the collection consisted exclusively of knitted garments with a high degree of confection but has today developed to cover the entire palette of clothes. The driving force for Bitte is that design should be fun and wants to constantly try to innovate. Timelessness, contrasts, colors, functionality and quality are keywords for her collections.
What kind of products do you sell and what market do you use?
The collections cover the entire spectrum of clothing from outerwear to t-shirts, partly because we ourselves have a number of stores. Our particularly important product groups are dresses and trousers. Our collections are aimed at women, who can relate to Bitte Kai Rand’s interpretation of fashion. We do not design for a particular body type or age, but for a curious, independent girl or woman who shares our values and wants to create her own expression. We mainly sell to multi-brand stores, but we also have our own stores in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
What do you think is the most important thing to stand out in the fashion industry today? And how have you adapted to it?
A clearly defined design profile that gives a unique expression. Today there are far too many brands that look the same. One of our strengths is that we have a clear DNA in our design, which sets us apart from our competitors. So we still feel that we “stand out” in a relevant and commercial way. We have not consciously adapted to “stand out”, it comes naturally if we are true to our DNA and gives room to play in terms of design.
What would you say is Bitte Kai Rand’s greatest strength?
Again, our clear design profile – and that our clothes are so timeless and comfortable to wear, so the consumer enjoys them for many years, and that’s where our quality comes into play. At the same time, we cater to many different types of women.
The issue of sustainability is high on the agenda, how do you work with sustainability?
Durability is, after all, the most decisive component in reducing environmental impact. Quality and durability have always been a natural factor in our way of manufacturing clothes. But it also requires that the design and look itself is “sustainable”, it must be fashionable to wear for several seasons. We test and “try on” all new qualities before we include them in the collection. We may add some polyester to some pants to increase dimensional stability and durability. In addition, we use certified materials to a large extent, we are, among other things, FSC-certified as a business.
If you were to look into the future, how do you think the future development looks for the fashion industry
Sustainability – or rather reduced environmental impact, will become an even greater focal point for the fashion industry. Although growth in online sales will likely continue, I see retail stabilizing to the extent that stores know how to provide consumer experiences and interactions.