Jenny Grettve

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Jenny Grettve, founder of Jenny Grettve Design Studio, has already experienced life as an architect, a musician and a now burgeoning fashion designer. Born in a small town in Sweden, she has been creative from a young age. Although she originally set out to be a concert pianist, it was her unquenchable excitement towards a multitude of creative outlets that made her realize settling on one way of life would prove unfulfilling. As someone who throws herself wholeheartedly into anything she finds interesting, her life has been a series of evolving conquests, and one that is far from conventional.
Her innate desire to tackle an ever-growing list of interests has also paved the way for a rich and colourful existence. It wasn’t until after she studied in Melbourne and Sweden to receive her Masters in Architecture that she realized working in an office was not what she wanted to be doing at that point in her life. With a piqued interest in pattern making, she took a class that ultimately rerouted her life’s course. In 2010 without having formally studied fashion, and perhaps naive as to how to run her own business, she bulldozed past all obstacles and worked day and night to learn how to begin, build, and successfully run her own company.
After three years of spearheading her one-woman show, loneliness crept in and Grettve realized that she missed being able to bounce ideas off of other people. The collaborations she had done in the past with other artists had paved the way for invaluable growth as a designer. Working with artists, musicians, photographers and even a doctor was one way for Grettve to expand her creative vision. In January, as a response to these positive collaborations, she brought on board four other people who are helping build the brand, and the result has been a more cohesive and inspired collection. Although Grettve’s chaotic design process is directly linked to the way her mind works – ever moving and firing on all levels – she relies on friends to help keep her focused. Her line has been perceived in the past as sprawling. However, she channels her desire for learning to help push her in new thematic and stylistic directions. Essentially, Grettve not only welcomes a challenge, she adamantly sets out to find one.

The collections attest to Grettve’s own personal ferocity. She designs for the woman who is a brave freethinker, with a style full of contrasts and confidence. She finds the latest trends and perfectly packaged styles dull, and voraciously admires those that take risks and are unafraid to experiment. Her expansive vision has given her freedom to unapologetically integrate a range of textiles, from silk and cashmere to plastics and water -resistant fibres. Fearful of mass production and the hysteria that shrouds the inexpensive clothing chains, she insists that with society’s growing appetite for consumption, prices have become unworkable and unrealistic. Grettve insists that it is far better to buy less, but of higher quality, from a company that prioritizes ethical working conditions. In an effort to heed her own advice and maintain her label’s integrity, Grettve frequently visits all of her production sites – which she has chosen to keep entirely within Europe.

She has exhibited three times in showrooms at New York Fashion Week, presented in Berlin and Paris, and was coined as the most exciting new designer at Vancouver Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2012. Yet some of the most notable means of showcasing her collections have been her innovative guerrilla-style fashion shows. As a new designer without brand power to create a wild buzz, Grettve decided to unleash her collection in the streets of Stockholm. Since that first show, she has staged three more as a response to their unexpected interest, and now feels free to put on any type of show or installation that best suits her current collection.
Grettve’s most recent presentation, showing Spring/Summer 2014, was held at the Story Hotel in Stockholm where she occupied the space for four days, with catwalks, installations and a pop-up shop. The collection illustrates the diversity of Grettve’s take on the strong female – ranging from classic 1900s inspired long dresses that are feminine without being sexy, to all-white body suits draping with cut out hand silhouettes. In an attempt to “empty the ongoings of [her] crazy brain,” the idea to launch a small-scale accessories line came about. With antique style watches, obscure framed sunglasses, and elegant pendants, Grettve is never left wondering whether the pieces are sellable or wearable, since most are never actually produced. The line is more of an opportunity to design in her “own free world and complement the collections in a fun way.”
With more hands on board, Grettve is in the process of finding new stores for her Spring/Summer 2014 collection, and currently sells her designs online at on,, and in pop-up stores across Sweden.

Text by Morgan K. Sterns
Photography by Johan bergelin & Felix gerlach