Spotlight: Dea Kudibal, Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur

By Dominic Ngai, May 9, 2019

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Spotlight is a regular series where we feature a prominent person in the creative scene. This month we speak with fashion designer Dea Kudibal.

Since founding her eponymous womenswear label in 2003, Danish designer Dea Kudibal has been designing and producing unique items featuring her signature bright colors and floral prints. After a four-year stint in China, Kudibal has repatriated to her home country, but she still visits several times a year to check in on her business in the Middle Kingdom. We caught up with her to discuss her favorite spring and summer colors and how a famous Danish author inspired her work.

How has your design and brand evolved since 2003? 
The brand started 16 years ago with only a small collection of exclusive scarves and shawls. Then in spring 2008, we launched the first Dea Kudibal clothing line with feminine prints, playful colors and flattering silhouettes. As the brand developed, the stretch silk quality has become our signature. Thanks to its high quality and durability, the material has now become an essential part of every collection. 

Can you tell us what the phrase 'A poetic tale' stands for? Why did you use it as your brand slogan?
I have always been fascinated by different cultures. I chose 'A poetic tale' as our brand slogan to pay homage to famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, who is a big part of Danish culture. I was deeply inspired by his beautiful fairy tales and wanted to visualize them in my designs through playful prints and colors. 

When and why did you decide to bring your brand to China? How much time do you spend here each year?
In 2013, my family and I packed up our belongings and moved to Shanghai. The main purpose was for me to become part of the growing retail industry in China. We lived in Shanghai for four years but have since repatriated. Nowadays, I visit China six times a year to check in on our business here.

“I was deeply inspired by his beautiful fairy tales and wanted to visualize them in my designs”

Are the demographics of your clientele in China similar or different than in Denmark and elsewhere? How has the feedback been?
The feedback that we have received from our Chinese clients is that they really appreciate the quality in the materials we use and the high level of craftsmanship in each Dea Kudibal item. Our unique prints are all designed by our team in Copenhagen. In terms of our bestselling items, they are actually the same across China and Europe.

What’s the inspiration behind your SS19 collection, Bohemian Rhapsody?
Our SS19 collection is inspired by the powerful, independent and brave women all over the world – both in the way they dress and express themselves. The collection celebrates every facet of femininity, and the name Bohemian Rhapsody is a poetic reference for this spirit. 

What are some of your favorite colors and patterns to wear this spring?
I love to combine colors with different patterns and designs. My favorite this spring is our Hortensia Yellow print, which reminds me of a beautiful summer day in the garden. Our floral designs are one of our signature prints and are absolutely amazing to wear at this time of year.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
In addition to continuing to make quality clothing for beautiful, independent women, I’d like to travel more in order to find inspiration for my upcoming designs. I also have a plan to continue my volunteering work to help children and young people in need, and of course, to spend time with my family and friends. 

For more Spotlight posts, click here. Find out more about Kudibal's brand here. Cover image courtesy of Dea Kudibal.

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