Anna Ekre

Anna Ekre is Sweden’s new looming designer. Without doubt, she is a fresh breeze on the Scandinavian fashion scene, with her all out and limitless imaginative illustrations, which she combines with classical feminine silhouettes. Anna’s illustrations are imprinted on luxurious and wearable silk, which is the main fabric she works with.

She was nominated “Rookie of the year 2012” (part of Stockholm fashion week) backed by the Swedish fashion Council, whose mission is to support young designers and entrepreneurs. Secondly, she has dipped into the world of interior, and doing so successfully as she was the runner of “young designer of the year”, supported by Formex, the largest interior design fair for Nordic design, and most recently she won Elle’s  interior design price “Textile of the year” 2013.  

We meet in her cozy yet chilly studio space, located in Södermalm, Stockholm. Over morning coffee, she patiently answers my questions on her background, her love for illustrating and fashion and aspirations carrying on as an independent designer.




‘Rookie of the year 2012′ fashion show. Anna Ekre AW 13- a romantic collection that beholds dreamlike, imaginative and dramatic prints, with simple silhouettes in soft fabric’s; silk and velvet.


Tell me about your background?

I started studying Illustrations and Graphic design at Parsons in New York. During my time there, I often felt that it was so boring printing on just paper, I wanted to print on other materials like fabrics or pieces of clothing. As I have always been fascinated with fashion and interested in clothing, when I returned home from NY I decided to apply to Beckmans college of design in Stockholm. After I graduated from Beckmans 2004, I applied working as an ‘in house designer’ for Björn Borg until I started my own label 2011.

How did you develop - combining illustration with fashion design?

I have always been drawing ever since I can remember. I think drawing has always been my platform, while I have maintained an equally big interest in fashion. When I was little I never used to sow my doll’s clothing or anything; I was always more a drawer. Although, after my leaving cert I considered further studies both in illustration/graphic design as well as in fashion. I decided on illustrations/graphics without actually knowing the inside and outs on what they do. Looking back I think I have gone down a pretty straight direction in what I have been interested in and enjoyed doing.

In the beginning of a new project, what processes to you normally follow?

I normally start with an image, a felling, or a color combination. The odd time I start with a design of clothing but not very often. I love looking in old fashion magazines and book’s and I take a lot of inspiration from there, especially nature books. When I’m in my studio and lacking imagination I think it’s important to change environment, so I often take daytrips to art galleries, old library’s or a nature walk normally does the trick.

Tell us a bit more about your current collection ‘Flowers and Jewels SS 13’

I was asked to design a ‘modernity’ evening gown for a charity project. Organisation AMREF is running a global project, “Stand up for African mothers” to educate midwifes in Africa, as one of 16 women die during childbirth. I instantly jumped on the idea. Even though I truly love what I do, sometimes it feels quite flat choosing what kind of variable of blues I’m going for. Therefore I felt really honored to be a part of this project.

Africa and threatened animals (reference on threaten women) inspired me. I chose animals that I thought reflects on innocence, fear, threat and wisdom. The Jewells communicates dignity,  as well as money hunger and greed that exists around us. I further developed SS 13 collection from there. The name (‘flowers and Jewels’) came simple from one of the prints from the collection.

You are most recently designing interior. How did that arise?

Well, that just came out of the blue really. I had this idea for a tablecloth, to just be a tablecloth! I couldn’t see the prints in any other format. I often feel if I don’t go ahead with certain ideas I have no room for new ones, so I had to draw it out. With the finished product (and more for the fun of it) I applied to Formex, which yearly choose young designers that will get the opportunity to showcase their work, and I got in! I couldn’t really contribute with just one tablecloth, so with the prints from SS 13 (flowers and jewels) I designed pillow cases, posters and table tablets, amongst other things.

In between fashion design and interior, how do you look at the future?

So far the interior collection has got a great response, which I’m really happy about. Although, right now I would like to develop in fashion further (even though most recently interior has got a lot of my attention). When I became independent and created my own label, fashion was my starting off point and there’s still so much within fashion I want to develop, such as accessories. It’s hard to choose sometimes as I love to develop different projects and I normally don’t reflect too much on what I do, I just do it because I think it’s fun. Too many ideas, with not enough time, that’s the problem!

So far in your career, what makes you most proud?

That’s a tough question. Well, sometimes I stop myself and feel proud that I am actually doing what I set out to do. The fact that I now run my own label and that I’m starting to get positive feedback (which hasn’t always been the case when I first started), it feels really great and makes me proud.

In a fast moving world and fashion industry, what is important for you to communicate as a designer and independent label?

I like to create clothing that will last, and that lives on in your wardrobe. Doing so with quality and not following direct trends. And with that, becoming a part of encouraging a more sustainable thinking. I often consider how I would like to work in the future, which is, to slow down. I think the industry moves too fast, it’s a very sell orientated market, which doesn’t exactly encourage creativity.

The industry is still pretty controlled. I would like to find others that think the same way, like boutiques that you can collaborate with. That is something I would like to do, if the opportunity arose.



  1. Lisa Ling wrote:

    Very cool Anna! I like the dresses!

  2. Sundance wrote:

    I’m not easily impresesd but you’ve done it with that posting.

  3. Such vibrant images – stunning prints! Very informative interview also, shall definitely be keeping an eye on her future creations.

    Amelia xx

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