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In partnership with Uniqlo, a Copenhagen designer talks style, efficiency and comfort.

Johanne Aurebekk has a fondness for simplicity. As one of four co-founders of Copenhagen-based design studio Aure, whose output encompasses clothing, art and interiors, her professional emphasis has always been on creating items of enduring appeal. This preference for minimalist chic translates into the way she approaches life, from a wardrobe stocked with reliable basics to taking a considered approach to consumption. In partnership with Uniqlo, the Norwegian-born designer talks to Pip Usher about collaboration, what makes certain clothes so easy to “throw on” in the morning, and why she’d rather make do than rush decisions. 

Since moving to Denmark, how have you been influenced by the design scene?
Denmark has always been very good with minimalist design. They create timeless classics and I’ve definitely been inspired by this. I like wearing and designing things that you can look back on over the years and think, “That still works.”

A widely-held aspiration is to live a more stylish life, but with minimal effort. What’s the secret?
Build up a wardrobe that consists of good basics where most items can be combined. That way you rarely need something new—in the mornings it’s easy because you can throw something on and most things go together.

  • Words:
    Pip Usher
  • Photography:
    Annie Lai
  • Styling:
    Shino Itoi
  • Art Direction:
    Kevin Pfaff

How does an emphasis on slow living inform your lifestyle choices?
I used to be much more of an impulse buyer who was always in urgent need of something new. Today, I think long and hard about what I’m going to buy, whether it’s a new pair of boots or a sofa. I’d much rather live without a dining table at home—which we currently do—and wait until we find the right one. You end up choosing something that you can have for a really long time rather than just buying something that might be poor quality.

 Uniqlo emphasizes simplicity and comfort in its design. Do you abide by similar principles at your studio, Aure?
Yes. We aim to design things that will last for a long time. Although were not restricted to anything, we definitely have our aesthetic and its relevant to everything that we do. Its comfortable and minimal, but it can have a touch of crazy color or something unexpected.

How does the creative process work with four people involved?
We are almost scarily alike and we agree on most things so it’s a very easy design process for us. It usually starts with one of us having an idea and then we all start to talk, and develop it, and then we create it together.

A lot of the clothes you wear are unisex, and you design with that in mind. Why?
I like the idea of garments being versatile and adaptable for anyone regardless of size, gender, or age. You can be creative with how you wear clothes and style them to fit your body, but at the design stage it’s often best to keep things simple.

What are the best ways to unwind after a stressful day?
I have a glass of red wine, sit on the couch with my boyfriend, or I go for a long walk on the beach with our dog. 

After that, what do you do before bed to prepare for the next day?
I like to plan my next day so that I’m prepared. I check my calendar, make notes, prepare what to wear and iron the clothes. That way I sleep much more peacefully. 

This post was produced in partnership with Uniqlo.

  • Words:
    Pip Usher
  • Photography:
    Annie Lai
  • Styling:
    Shino Itoi
  • Art Direction:
    Kevin Pfaff
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