Home » FEATURES » Global Designer Spotlight: Guðrun Guðjónsdóttir from Reykjavik’s Huginn Muninn

Global Designer Spotlight: Guðrun Guðjónsdóttir from Reykjavik’s Huginn Muninn



Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival

Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival



From Fludir to Fashion.  We chat with the creative head of one of Iceland’s noted fashion labels. 


By:  Hina P. Ansari


When Guðrun Guðjónsdóttir was just a 16 year-old student in her quaint home town of Fludir, little would she have known that years later and after graduating with honours from Italy’s Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan, she would find herself at the capital city and at the creative summit of one of Iceland’s noted fashion houses.


Currently in her fifth year as head designer of Huginn Muninn Guðrun presented a slick collection with solid notes of  homage to her heritage during this past Reykjavik Fashion Festival 2013. Fresh off of her Fall/Winter 2013-14 presentation (check out our coverage  here), she had a chance to sit down with us and share her insights on her career, the Icelandic fashion scene and the art of being inspired.



Guðrun Guðjónsdóttir

Guðrun Guðjónsdóttir



What made you decide to get into the fashion business?

It actually just happened, one thing led to the other. But the first step was probably my mom; she suggested that I could apply to be a tailor after elementary school, when the norm was to go study normal things like math. I guess she saw even before I knew that I was suppose to go in that direction, since I had always been very creative. I had endless interest in sewing and making garments, drawing/painting, hair and makeup and art in general. After tailoring it was such an easy decision to go for a fashion career. I had learned how to make clothes and just wanted to make a lot more of them, in my way.


Who inspired you when you were just starting out?


Probably my mom in how see saw what I was capable of and my big sister for being always there for my endless questions and speculations.



Who inspires you now? (Note: It can be a fellow designer, film star, movie, people on the street, art work etc).


My surrounding inspire me, it’s amazingly interesting how everything works as it does, like people behavior, ideas, machines, nature and even as simple as a paperclip.



Has your sources of inspiration changed in any way?


No not really, my inspirations are still just what I find in my environment, but maybe in that sense that when I do find that inspiration, I now go the extra mile for more information about it.



What part of the day best inspires you?


The time when the sun is either rising or setting, and since I live in Iceland this can be at any time of the day depending on the season. If I should have to choose one thing to look at for the rest of my life it probably would be the sky in Iceland.


From where do you gather your inspiration?


I find my inspiration in my environment. I get inspired by anything that will give me some kind of a feeling and whatever it might be, whether it’s something I see, hear or touch, if it gives me something to think about, I go from there.



What is the story board/inspiration behind your latest collection for Autumn/Winter 2013?


I was inspired by one of the subgenre of science fiction “Steampunk”. To keep the classical essence of the brand I took a very simple approach to the theme. Using mostly colors and lines and what feeling the theme gave me. A play of color and fabric combinations gives the classical shirt some edge in the fine detailing and gives it an interesting new look.



Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival

Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival



Your mantra was to really explore and celebrate your Icelandic roots. How important do you feel that is when it comes to identity and fashion and can you expand on that philosophy?


I think it’s very important, since it is our identity. Being an Icelandic family business, who we are and where we come from becomes the very soul of our brand. It’s where all of our strength and sources of inspiration lead back to.



How do you unwind?


I love to pick up a good book, listen to music, go to the theater or watch a movie. These are the best ways to escape the reality and when your mind is at ease you’ll get the best ideas.



What makes the fashion scene in Reykjavik so unique?


I think it’s similar to Icelandic music. We are so few here and isolated that we don’t have a big outside influences so we search and make things from within. We are pushed to be original and different and because of that we have a wide variety and some truly amazing artists.



Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival

Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival



How does (if it does) the Reykjavik fashion consumer differ from other consumers?


I don’t think we are any different, we want beautiful things like anyone else and we are ready to pay for it. We are becoming more and more aware that we want good design with good craftsmanship.



What makes the Reykjavik man unique?


What makes the Reykjavik man unique is the Reykjavik woman that stands beside him :)



Who is the Huginn Muninn ‘man’?


There isn’t really a specific Huginn Muninn man, it’s more about normal people who believe in themselves and enjoys life.



What are the challenges of the Reykjavik fashion scene?


The market here is not that big and again we are very few and we are little bit isolated. Because of that it can be difficult for new brands to start and to grow both here and abroad.



Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival

Huginn Muninn Fall/Winter 2013-14 at Reyjavik Fashion Festival



How does social media play a part in your overall branding?


Social media is a very great way to stay connected to our consumer in a more direct manner and for us that is very important to be able to develop and grow like we want to.



What advice would you give to up and coming designers and design students who are interested in following this career path?


Trust in yourself and do you, then your work will automatically be unique and different.



What is the best advice you’ve received and still treasure today?


Don’t do everything on your own! Designers, and artist in general, need people to get inspired, get through the hard work and to do the best work they possibly can. So don’t do everything on your own and embrace the people around you.


You can connect with the designer in the following ways:

On Facebook at: Facebook.com/HUGINNMUNINN.IS

Website: http://huginnmuninn.is/

Email: info@huginnmuninn.is



Runway photography courtesy of Ingimar Flóvent / Reykjavik Fashion Festival;

Gudrun’s photography courtesy of Huginn Muninn 

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