It has almost become tradition by now, but yet another year, marks yet another great collaboration between artisanal craftswoman Sara Brunn Buch at Hornvarefabrikken in Denmark and bespoke couture designer Jørgen Simonsen.

The North Sea Collection is a rarefied, innovative custom jewellery collection made from natural horn, inspired by the mighty North Sea, as well as natural elements found at the beach and its beautiful surroundings.

Drawing upon the background and upbringing of both of the artists in this rugged, at times merciless, rough, but utterly gorgeous part of Jutland, Denmark, elements of cultural heritage in the collection are infused with modern, stark minimalism, resulting in jewellery, that is utterly wearable despite the at times rather opulent, ornate and elaborate design.

The intricate tooling of the natural material; sculpting shapes, forms and design is left in the capable hands of Sara Brunn, realizing Jørgen Simonsen's ideas and designs into 3-D form. They say that great minds work alike, and this strong, modern, complex, yet highly wearable collection bears witness to a perfect meeting of great, innovative design and impeccable crafts(wo)manship.

Horn is considered a by-product that under normal circumstances would be destroyed. Basically, horn is “waste”. But here "waste" is made into truly beautiful custom jewellery. The collection is crafted in an artisanal way, in order not to compromise, but to highlight the innate, multiple qualities of the horn – an ode to innovation, the handmade, inspiration, l’artisanat and above all: natural beauty.

All shot on location at Vesterhavet – The North Sea – the perfect backdrop to this collection along a bespoke collection of silhouettes in lush materials also designed by Jørgen Simonsen.


Photography: Mads Krabbe

Another year – another great collaboration between artisanal craftswoman Sara Brunn Buch at Hornvarefabrikken in Denmark and bespoke couture designer Jørgen Simonsen.

This time the collaboration resulted in an exuberant, festive and cheerful collection of delicately handmade, polished, ornate horn stars, embellishing 7 handmade silhouettes in a proper Christmas-camaïeu of reds, pinks and fuchsias, to separate and contrast itself from last year’s “all black” venture. The small, capsule Christmas-season collection comprises everything from sharp, modern tailoring over sensuous cocktail ensembles to grand entrance eveningwear.

All set in the original workrooms at the old factory from 1935 in Bøvlingbjerg, Denmark to create an almost fairytale-esque narrative in the photos, with a fluid, contrasting transition from the raw material, the industrial machines, the worn-in atelier over the handmade horn embellishments to the finished couture creations – all beautifully shot by photographer Mads Krabbe.

The collection was subsequently exposed all the way through to New Year’s Day at both the flagship store in Bøvlingbjerg and the Hornvarefabrikken shop in Aarhus. The horn star embellished creations were shown on translucent mannequins suspended from the 30+-foot-high ceiling, set in a forest of lush, green Christmas trees all adorned with thousands of Mokuba grosgrain ribbon bows in reds, pinks and fuchsias.

A “curtain” of shooting horn stars was equally hung in the big window display to evoke the perfect Christmas feel. An ode to craftsmanship, innovation, the handmade, inspiration, l’artisanat and above all beauty for the holiday season.


Photography: Mads Krabbe

It can be a rather daunting affair to try to follow a smash hit that seems almost impossible to surpass, so when The Namibian Swakara Board and Kopenhagen Fur came knocking for the 2nd consecutive year, asking Jørgen Simonsen to design for the 2018 -’19 SWAKARA campaign, Simonsen did not ponder long to accept the challenge to try to, if not surpass his own work, then – at least – recreate the magic.

Following his iconic 110-year anniversary creation and subsequent shoot in Namibia from the previous year, Simonsen decided to bring it all “home” – back to Paris, where he is based, and from where he is catering to a private clientele worldwide.

This capsule collection also brought him back to his roots in the French Haute Couture, as this specific pelt and its unique, rare qualities loans itself so very perfectly to clothing made in the upper echelons of the French fashion business.

Three silhouettes – an overcoat featuring a “cold shoulder”, a skirt-suit (or “tailleur”) and a cocktail dress – were designed and made up by Simonsen in raven black, beautifully black spotted and pristine white Swakara.

All shot on location in Simonsen’s hometown Paris: innovative, evocative, modern, sensuous silhouettes featured against iconic Parisian landmarks to really underline the luxury feel of the Swakara pelts, but also to set off and give the entire shoot – a love letter of sorts manifested in an afternoon stroll in central Paris – a juxtaposed, cool, contemporary cutting edge Hitchcock-ian feel – lifting it up, over and out and thus run Swakara much further into the 21st century.


Photography: Oleg Covian

Five cases of beautiful, polished horn bangles on loan for the Jørgen Simonsen Gadjo Manoush Inuit H.C. collection from January 2018 sparked a fruitful collaboration between Danish artisan, designer and craftswoman Sara Brunn Buch from Hornvarefabrikken – the last establishment in Denmark dating back to 1935, still working, shaping and designing in horn – and couture designer Jørgen Simonsen.

Sara Brunn Buch approached Jørgen Simonsen with a request to design a 10-year anniversary piece for her company – a necklace to be specific. Just the one necklace…

True to form, Simonsen ran with the request from the skilful artisan, and returned the proposal with a counter-offer: why not do 10 innovative, ground-breaking and utterly o.t.t. show-stopping necklaces, shown alon 5 original pieces of couture featuring horn as a prominent material/detail in the different silhouettes AND 5 panoplies from the Simonsen archive featuring 5 new, original pieces of horn jewellery designed by Sara inspired from the archive pieces.

Sara Brunn Buch was blown slightly away by this offer, but nonetheless she immediately saw potential in the proposal and the collaboration between the two artists went under way, crisscrossing their respective two home countries, spanning several months to birth the unique, handmade collection.

All done in lush materials; hand brushed mohair, mink, alpaca, cashmere, wool crêpe, python, wool bouclé, lurex woven wool jacquard and tulle – ALL in stark black to properly set off the natural, diversified beauty of the African horn in all its guises: raw, polished, lace-cut, broiled, pierced, diced, gold plated, woven, sliced, twisted, shaped into magnolia blooms, hole punched – the collection was presented at a show held on the 1st of October 2018, the actual date of the anniversary take-over of Hornvarefabrikken in Bøvlingbjerg, Denmark.

This series of photographs was shot the day before the collection was presented to the public in an abandoned factory building to document the collaboration between the two artists.


Photography: Mads Krabbe

“GADJO MANOUSH INUIT – le New Look Néo-Groenlandais”, might be a bit of a mouthful, but nonetheless it is the title of the last JØRGEN SIMONSEN HC A/H 2018-’19 collection. Behind this very title lies a hybrid of 3 different sources of inspiration, that on paper might seem very distant, but through Simonsen’s way of interlacing and making these co-exist, are coming together in a surprising, innovative and utmost interesting way, shaping up the collection and addressing itself to a strong, feminine, daringly individual yet sensual woman.

The point of departure for this autumn/winter couture show, was the capsule collection in seal skin, made by Simonsen as a commission for NAPA in Greenland – hence the INUIT in the title. This collection was an exercise in what happens, when a creative is inspired by a foreign culture and its heritage, adapting it into his or her own field of work. The national costume from the west coast of Greenland was reinterpreted, reshaped, revisited and revitalised – merely as a suggestion, and not as a dictation from Simonsen. It was subsequently met with massive appraisal for its sartorial outcome and deep-set respect for the original source material, and today the 5 silhouettes are living as a traveling exhibition. As Jørgen Simonsen was invited to exhibit this capsule collection in his place of birth, Struer, in Denmark by Rie Nyborg at the Art and Cultural Centre “GIMSINGHOVED”, the pair thought it would be a great idea to open the show – with another show – namely a proper couture show, presented as it would have been in in Jørgen Simonsen’s hometown, Paris.

Funding was secured by Mrs. Nyborg and a group of most generous sponsors (amongst them Færchfonden, Kopenhagen Fur, Hvidbjerg Bank, Bang & Olufsen, Revisionsfirmaet Krøyer Pedersen, The Kirsten and Peter Bangs Foundation, TROMBORG, Millesime, Louis Nielsen as well as the entire hair and make-up team) and Jørgen Simonsen sat down over a period of 5 intense months, building onto the existing 5 outfits with another 57 passages for the planned show in January, 2018.

Fleshing out the Inuit angle from the capsule collection, Simonsen thought of another stigmatised, misunderstood and ill perceived element (besides the beautiful, natural and outmost sustainable material, that the seal skin is!): the Roma tribal people and their rich, intense, proud – and visually “loud” – culture full of tradition and history, found amongst the original travellers hailing from Rajasthan/Punjabi in Northern India. Colours – and interestingly clashing juxtapositions of the same, as well as combinations of patterns, textures and materials in this collection - stem from this source of inspiration. Having been pigeonholed for so long for only being able to do "fashion-black” – this is a smacking, vibrant, highly visual, spectral clap-back of an answer to that statement. Finally, Simonsen pays homage to the 70-year anniversary of Dior’s “New Look” – an utterly feminine silhouette, celebrating freedom, life, excess, beauty and refinement, albeit in his own Scandinavian Cool-infused handwriting, for a modern, daring, strong, individual, 21st century couture-loving woman.

Contrasts at play, visualised to total perfection, is one of Jørgen Simonsen’s strongest suits and a central, carrying pillar in his fashion, always aiming for the ultimate outcome as a créateur, a craftsman and as a creative. It is his hope, you will find it here in this collection. 


Photography: Helle Moos

When Jørgen Simonsen was first approached by the National SWAKARA Board with their proposal to be the creator of their 110-year anniversary garment in the inimitable, gorgeous, natural pelt, he did not hesitate a second to jump onboard.

As a couturier you do not necessarily have the insightful knowledge of what goes on before you, as a designer, sit down with a SWAKARA pelt between your hands, deciding what to dream up next with such a unique material. 

A trip to Namibia in the summer of 2017, by invitation of the National SWAKARA Board changed this for Simonsen, in what became a mind-blowing and utterly fascinating trip, that gave him, as a creative, a much deeper understanding of the SWAKARA pelt, added admiration for the craft of breeding the livestock and an undying love for this powerful, barren, captivating, but ever so beautiful country in Africa…

Inspiration is abundant – everywhere, in everything, when you, as Jørgen Simonsen, live from visualisation and conceptualising, turning it all into a creative 3-D matter. Africa blew him away. He had already planned what he wanted to do for the SWAKARA collaboration, and luckily Namibia proved him right in his sartorial decisions. Simonsen wanted to create something very special, close to his Haute Couture background and heart, but at the same time honouring the tradition, the land and the pelt. 

He created an opera trench coat-dress, as he wanted to merge some sort of utility within a relatable design with the opulence of Haute Couture – all capsuled in a gorgeous silhouette in supreme, pristine white SWAKARA. Simonsen created a “cross-referential shape” part strict business, part wild party, merging the two sides of couture: tailoring and “flou” (draping) in one garment.

During Simonsen's visit to Namibia, he was visually bombarded by everything he experienced in the Kalahari – it sat with him, and left him hungry for more. Leaving Africa, he jokingly suggested that since they were doing a piece for such a big anniversary, they really ought to shoot the photos for the campaign on location in Namibia… It was a comment made in jest, but the National SWAKARA Board ran with the idea, seeing and loving the prospects of such a venture. Jørgen Simonsen subsequently managed to pull a few strings with some key fashion friends, and just like that, he had an amazing trip planned. Everything was shot on location in Namibia at Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Spitzkoppe, Sandwich Harbour, Swakopmund and at the "Moonlandscape". Simonsen's dear friend, the gorgeous supermodel Carmen Kass, wore the SWAKARA anniversary creation and it was beautifully shot by another dear friend photographer Peter Christian Christensen, along other selected styles in SWAKARA Jørgen Simonsen managed to create on his own for this shoot. The entire trip was largely orchestrated by the amazing local crew from SWAKARA in Namibia; they really managed to facilitate for everything bringing Simonsen's grand vision for the shoot to life - something he is forever grateful for - creating a very special moment in his career.


Photography: Peter Christian Christensen