Danish knitwear designer Amalie Røge Hove doesn’t believe in a one size fits all approach – clothing should be shaped by unique bodies rather than beauty standards. Through stretches of the imagination, Hove and her team have crafted an entirely new conception of knitwear, one that leaves you feeling the right kind of hot and bothered. In a constant state of evolution, A. Roege Hove challenges long-held traditions with innovative textiles to create the ever-elusive common thread.
Your knitwear is designed to flatter different body shapes and sizes. Where are size-inclusive brands falling short?
In general, it is difficult to put the human body in boxes. In a perfect world, everyone would have clothes made specifically for their body. We always try to work from the belief that our clothes should be shaped by the bodies that wear them and not the other way around. Our materials are very stretchy and therefore fit many different body types, changing expression depending on the wearer. That is also why we chose to work with size ratios XS/S and M/L, creating space for the customer to see themselves in a wider range of products.
What is key to celebrating rather than accommodating all bodies?
Representation! Pay homage to different bodies by designing for them, so everybody feels they can see themselves in the universe.
As a Danish designer, what traditional Scandinavian aesthetics influence your work?
Scandinavia's long history of traditional craftsmanship has influenced my work greatly. This legacy is why I insist on the continuous relevance of craftsmanship and the aim to innovate it, ensuring it’s brought into the future.
By virtue of not being your grandma’s knitwear, what do you think about the concept of ‘showing too much skin’ or ‘leaving little to the imagination?’
Our knitwear has an element that can interact with the body, create new compositions and dynamics, and, in some cases, even act as a second layer of skin. That is why we love to play with transparent versus solid areas around the body.
Instead of employing the cut-and-sew technique, your designs are directly knitted into shape. How does this production model stay truer to the form of knitwear?
Knitting everything directly into shape is one of our design and production trademarks. We design everything to be produced this way because that makes knit innovative, and this is how we stay true to the craftsmanship of knitwear. Cutting through the systematic loops of knit, to me, is going against all rules of the art of knitting.
What has been the reception since introducing more layered looks into the fold this year?
We love to make the different knitted techniques interact, and layering is the perfect way to do that. It creates dimension, and by combining the layers, new expressions are born. It also allows you to style different pieces together to show the possibilities of each design. Many are designed to be worn in multiple ways, so there is a styling element to create layered looks.
A. Roege Hove was recently announced as a finalist for the International Woolmark Prize 2023. This year’s theme is Dialogue, can you tell me more about what that means to you?
Dialogue is about making contrasts work together. We constantly want to push the boundaries for knitwear, and as a finalist in the Woolmark Prize, our mission is to exceed the expectations of wool. Traditionally, wool is associated with knitwear, but we want to turn that upside down, work with the contrasts, and create knitted wool pieces you would never expect to see. We can’t wait to introduce wool as a driving force of transformation and creative growth.
Speaking of dialogue, you’ve been transparent about sourcing a sustainable alternative to nylon, one of the brand’s main ingredients. Where are you in the process?
We are working hard on an alternative, but finding a yarn with the same characteristics as the nylon we use right now is difficult. Most recycled nylons are not one hundred per cent transparent or strong enough to live up to our quality. We are still in the process and working on a variety of alternatives – it is one of our biggest goals for 2023.
In February, you’ll be presenting your Fall/Winter 2023 collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week; what can we expect to see?
Brand new techniques, yarns, materials, and silhouettes! The collection will be the most complex we have created so far.
What do you hope the future holds for A. Roege Hove?
I hope we will keep growing responsibly, that we will develop within sustainability and that we will have more and more time to focus on developing innovative techniques and designs.
What would you say if you could go back to 2019 and talk to the girl knitting tote bags in her living room?
I would say the same thing today – insist on your craftsmanship; creating an innovative fashion brand based on knitwear is possible.