Carin Rodebjer takes a common objective of women’s wear—to offer high fashion with a relaxed, accessible vibe—and succeeds where so many labels fail. The Rodebjer label does not imitate renowned fashion houses or jump on trend bandwagons. She designs for a woman who is comfortable in her own skin—refined, casual and stylish.

Born in Sweden, Rodebjer moved to New York to study at FIT in 1999. When her handmade designs were picked up by local boutiques, she dropped her studies to launch a seasonal collection. Now she splits her time between New York and Sweden, cherry-picking inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic.

In Sweden, Rodebjer operates a flagship boutique in Stockholm and presents a runway collection during Stockholm Fashion Week. The designer has repeatedly taken home the country’s most notable fashion awards, including Guldknappen by Damernas Värld and Swedish Elle’s Design of the Year (three times). Stateside, the collection is found at leading specialty boutiques including Tenoversix and Milk in LA; as well as Pixie Market, Honey in the Rough and La Nouvelles in New York. She’s also featured alongside the likes of Wood Wood, Velour and Carin Wester in Urban Outfitters’ Around the World Program.

For Spring/Summer 2012, Rodebjer combines soft prints and bold yellows and blues, while mixing volume with form-fitting pieces. Her trouser pant offers a wide leg and high waist, unlikely to hold mainstream appeal amid skinny trends, but fashion-forward nonetheless. The collection’s inspiration was an artist working under the summer sun, entitled  “Automatic Sunshine.” Rodebjer interprets that feeling as an “image of an artist frantically mixing life and work under the blazing sun of the Mediterranean coast…when everything is connected, when life feeds art, art feeds life, and something unique, yet wholly natural is born.”

Now a 13-year-old company, Rodebjer is no longer the new kid on the block. Whereas the younger incarnation of Rodebjer exhibited mature taste and restraint, the current Rodebjer collection remains fresh and fun, evolving with newness and a sense of discovery.

Swedish design draws much of its identity from textile and today’s (contemporary) craftsmanship. Another aspect draws on the large-scale approach of IKEA and H&M. Rodebjer remains firmly in the first category, taking care and artistry to produce a highly unique end product. Even without the mass appeal, Rodebjer continuously aspires toward a focused, artistic statement. And her audience remains grateful to her for retaining a high fashion appeal, without the high fashion attitude.

Text by Michael Cohen
Photography by Jasper Brandt