Image provided by Zebra Square
How gorgeous is this woman on the left???
She’s the kind of girl you want to hate, but then you meet her and she’s an absolute sweetheart and you just can’t! Aaarrgh.
Her name is Nina Jarebrink and not only is she beautiful, but she’s also mega talented. Nina is a top Swedish designer (now based in Oslo, Norway) who’s designs are sold all over the world, including most recently in South Africa. She’s known for beautifully tailored & feminine pieces, elegant knitwear and bold jewellery & accessories.
I got to sit down with her while in Johannesburg for the SA Style Awards to pick her brain on all things fashion & to get a feel for what inspires her. I will admit that I was quite nervous cause I’m not a journalist or fashion expert by any means. But 30 seconds into our chat I felt totally at ease because Nina’s just so lovely & so passionate about what she does, the conversation flowed without much thought… Just two girls chatting about clothes & travel. Two of my favourite topics.
Nina says she’s always loved clothes and her mom even used to make clothes for her when she was a kid. At one point she thought she might become a lawyer after school, but then she changed her mind and decided to study Industrial Design instead. This turned out not to be her true calling as she didn’t care too much for the inner workings of manufacturing and such, so she went in search of something else. She ended up spending half a year living in Barcelona and found the city incredily inspiring, which led to her putting down some jewellery designs on paper. She got her first break in 2004 with a jewellery line and things just grew from there (and fast too). Her jewellery was so popular that people started asking her whether she doesn’t do clothing as well. She figured “why not?” and 6 months later she had a 2 page spread in Spanish magazine, Neo2 and was asked to be part of Paris Fashion Week. Talk about “making an entrance” into the fashion world hey.
She says she’s also always loved knitwear. She says it is because it’s something anybody can wear, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your style / shape is. Also remember she comes from a very cold climate originally, so she’s sticking to her roots in a way. All her knitwear have a pattern which is very unique to the Nina Jarebrink label, so that makes the pieces just a little more special. She says she started off production of her range with a very small 100 yr old factory in Sweden. But today she uses a factory in Portugal which also produces items for other big labels like Cloe & Givenchy.
I asked her why the move to Norway then? Well that’s because she met her fiancé there & decided to make it her home. She also loves Norway’s scenic natural surroundings with it’s incredible fjords & turquoise water.
When I asked her what inspires her, she said many different things really. Her 2012 Autumn/Winter range, for example, was inspired by the 1964 movie, The Killers. While her 2013 Spring/Summer range was inspired by the beaches of Portugal as well as her family home in Varberg, Sweden which is also a quick 15min away from the beach. The range is all about the golden sunshine, the sand under your feet & the crystal blue water… Nina’s very much an outdoorsy person and enjoys everything from pilates on the beach to cross-country skiing. Brave girl. I have no co-ords, so I won’t be attempting that one myself. I tend to stick to things where I can keep a cocktail in one hand.
What makes Nina Jarebrink designs unique? She says she’s not really sure, but she’s been told many times that there’s just something about her designs which always stands out as truly Nina. She says she tries to just make things that she would personally love to wear, things that she’d feel good in, so she stays true to her own personal style.
And as a last question I was like, right, we’re going into summer now and for Capetonians that means going from the beach to some amazing pool party or sunset drinks on the Camps Bay strip. What would be the key summer look to take you effortlessly from day to night? This was an easy one for Nina – a kaftan. You can wear it with flats to the beach and then shake things up with some sexy heels and bold accessories for the evening. Plus they’re also super flattering & comfy. Sold! I’m going to be on the hunt for the perfect kaftan now…
Cool by the pool. Cause that’s how we roll…
Just before I had to say goodbye, I noticed Nina’s nails. She was rocking this really cool Crododile leather nails look from Dior’s Golden Jungle range – basically you get two nail varnishes in the set, a gold one and a khaki green colour. Once applied over each other, you get this:
Love it? I do…
I was given her 2013 Summer look book to take home and I can tell you guys, I want pretty much everything in it. The boyfriend was hovering over me while I was paging through it and he kept going “wow, that’s sexy”, “oooh, that’s hot” with the turn of each page. So Nina gets a big stamp of approval from him as well.
** Sadly because Europe’s like two seasons ahead of us, we’ll only see these items in SA from mid 2013 onwards – but it will be worth the wait **
Oooh and looky what else I got to take home with me, a pair of 24 karat gold plated earrings all the way from Portugal:
I already wore them to an event this week and they were a huge hit.
Nina only does gold when it comes to her jewellery & accessories. I guess you could say she’s gold obsessed. I must admit, I used to only wear silver cause I had this impression of gold being totally old fashioned (those 80s style thick gold chains with ugly coin or big 5 pendants could’ve had something to do with that though). But over the past few years its crept into my wardrobe and now most of the accessories I wear tend to be on the gold side of things. So I think I’m on the same train.
Nina’s designs can currently be bought from various high end boutiques in Johannesburg & Pretoria. And here in Cape Town there is currently only one stockist and that’s Habits. But I hear an online store might be on the cards for early next year. You guys know how much I looooove online shopping. But until then, pop into Habits to check out her things in person. And for more info on SA stockists, etc – you can contact Brandgroup International on 011 440 3235.
To Nina: A big thank you for chatting to me & for my beautiful gift! You are awesome lady.