An Interview With Anna Teurnell and Marina KereklidouWritten by Filippa Gustafsson by Sandra Myhrberg
With the aim of celebrating and praising inspirers, entrepreneurs, and creators in the world of culture and fashion, an eminent jury met to appoint this year's prize winners in each respective category for the seventh annual NK Gala.
On August 30’th, the department store in Stockholm was filled with inspired and inspiring names to kick off the fall season with a grand gala, honoring the fashion world's most prominent creators, brands, and style icons. Among the winners were the fashion journalist Susanna Strömquist, the jewelry brand Rare Jewelry, and the diversity-challenging Teint plasters. With the vision of being a stage for the present that offers its customers the most inspiring commercial and cultural environment for shopping and experiences, the NK Gala is an expression of that particular vision. Odalisque got the chance to interview Marina Kereklidou, this year's Style icon, and the designer Anna Teurnell, who with her brand Teurn Studios won 2022's Promise of the future.
When Anna Teurnell found herself feeling like something was missing on the market, she took matters into her own hands and founded the company Teurn Studios in 2021. With the issue of sustainability in focus, Teurn Studios creates exclusive garments with long durability and at a much lower price than similar qualities in the luxury fashion houses. With the brand's contribution to a shift in the fashion industry by promoting long-term consumption and aiming to be completely climate neutral before the year 2025, it's not difficult to understand why Teurn Studios is the fashion world's new hot topic.
Despite their rapid success, there was a specific moment when Teurnell felt the dream was taking off, that the vision was coming to life.
“A week after we opened the site, NK got in touch and it only took a week for us to have a small area there. During the spring, various retailers contacted us. Then I felt that there is a need for a brand - a fashion house - that unites: good and durable clothes packaged inspiringly and with personal service. At this price picture, which is simply what it costs to make really good clothes.”
Let's go back in time, and tell us how the idea for your brand came about!
“I had not really dreamed of my own brand but was driven by a desire to create my own “universe” where the clothes and the style, the quality and the communication felt like a “high fashion” brand with its own style and personality. Sometimes surprising. I want to work with creators I have come to love working with and get inspired working with, as I enjoy building both collections and teams. It also felt important to work both with garments that have a long life and a second-hand value. Working artisanally and a lot in Europe is for me a sustainable way to create clothes. Then, of course, we want to use other sustainable materials as much as we can and contribute in various ways to manufacturing, shipping, and presenting our garments in an inspiring AND sustainable way. We make garments that are suitable for many different occasions and in which you feel “strengthened and stylish and cool”.”
How has it been to navigate in a society that has finally started to talk about the climate's impact on fast fashion and launch an idea toward change? What has that journey looked and felt like for you?
“Above answer may answer the question to some extent, but I think there are a lot of clothes out there in the fashion jungle, but still I think there is room for more that matches what I long for and think is needed. We started quite broadly to make garments we thought the wardrobe needed to contain: Good garments to work in, good garments for more festive activities, and to feel stylish at home. We want to make clothes and accessories that, with small changes in how to combine them, make the garments work often. I also knew early on that I wanted elements of surprise. When the clothes are largely inspired by the qualitative men's wardrobe, I want there to be some element that is surprising: very feminine or even unexpected. It could be glitter boots, something bubblegum pink or a silhouette that is exciting, such as a tight fringe skirt with an oversized sweater is very stylish.”
If you want to start changing your wardrobe from fast fashion to high fashion but don't have the financial means, what are your tips? What to focus on first? What should you think when shopping? Is there a particular piece of clothing you should purchase and invest in first?
Anna laughs. “Well then maybe TEURN is the tip! We make fashion house garments in different price ranges and for different people, considering all the different needs you have in your “busy everyday life”. Invest in well-tailored garments that stay stylish forever, and that you feel empowered and cool in. We have different models of trousers and with a belt with a metal buckle, it will be very stylish. Complete with good knitwear this fall, our cashmere is wonderfully thick and cuddly. Our number one garment is a “cocoon” fur in a certified shearling. It enhances ALL looks both for everyday life and for parties. You stay warm and can skip a scarf as the collar is comfortably buttoned up over the neck. It is durable and only gets better with age. And you look “expensive”. Luxurious. Suitable for everything. If you want to lift your look with something less than a coat, I think our fluffy mohair hat would be the cherry on top.“
This year's Style Icon, Marina Kereklidou, has a curiosity and knowledge of fashion history to add to her rare sense of fashion. With her personal, well-dressed style she shows off the best of Swedish fashion. She is a qualified designer and former fashion manager who nowadays works as Creative Director at Synsam with the goal of inspiring customers to continue to vary and develop their style through Eye Fashion.
How would you say fashion has changed during the last decade and how has that influenced your own style and designs?
“Fashion has changed since Instagram became big, it's much more about the everyday look today than it used to be. There was also perhaps a greater indifference, there is more of an individual style so everyone can find their own. Then there is an Instagram style that is concrete, that in some cases reigns over what should be right at the moment.”
Has this affected your own style?
Marina laughs. “Well, I'm not that easily influenced anymore! Or maybe, in terms of makeup I've probably changed my style.”
In what way?
“I wear more makeup now than I used to because it has become more fashionable to wear makeup than it used to be.”
How did you come to choose the eye fashion track and how were you able to apply your previous experiences in that area?
“It wasn't a conscious choice, sometimes you slip in on certain things, you get a question and you think it's something I can't do, that I don't know anything about so it would be fun to get to know it. So it's a bit of an event. But what's cool about that track is that you get influences from lots of brands that also make glasses in their fashion shows, and the glasses trends follow the catwalk trends, so it goes hand in hand. In that way it is exciting, then there is another aspect that I did not think about before and that is that there is just as much fit on the face as there is on bodies. I usually say that even when you did a show and you only worked with very slim models, as it was at the time when I did shows, models in sizes 36-38 also have different proportions and it is very important that you know what their proportions are, what they look best in to achieve the optimal outfit. So fit is very, very important, I think.”
Eye fashion can be an incredible accessory if you get it right. Do you have any tips on how to think when you're looking to find the perfect frames?
“Right now, when you call me and talk about fashion, it's about having the style you've already chosen. It's a lot about that. If you have a 70s dress, it's fantastic with a big brown 70s bow. If you have a biker jacket, it might be nice with slim black, slightly matrix glasses, it depends on what you have. But there is that little thing that makes you feel 'ah! Those glasses are perfect for that outfit'. I always have the perfect pair of glasses for whatever style I choose. No internal competition because that's how I build my wardrobe all the time, not to create internal competition. If you are unaware, you act just the opposite way. You always buy those black pumps and then you have 3-4 different black pumps and you don't know which ones to choose and there will be no difference from today to tomorrow, it's your look.”
I think there are many people who only have one pair of glasses that they wear every day, no matter what they wear.
“Yes, and we as a company have tried to remedy that because you can rent your glasses! Then you choose between three and ten pairs that you rent from us, you can see it as a subscription service. We recycle the glasses you return to us, so there is circular handling of the glasses themselves, and that way you don't have to wear the same glasses every day.”
What do you think is the key to always daring to develop your style?
“Curiosity! Although, I think it can be kind of cool when someone has stopped in a certain era. I had a neighbor like that, who had red permed hair, she stopped around 74 and had blue eyeshadow and black long lashes. She was super gorgeous but had stopped looking at fashion after 1974, so she had that style but she had a very distinct style. Otherwise, just be curious, look at new trends and adapt to what you like to wear, you don't have to take everything, that's the difference when you're a little older, you don't have to take after every single thing. There are so many trends that you can always take after something, but you know for yourself what you like. You have to go with your gut, you shouldn't just follow the trends because someone dictates that something should look a certain way. Thank God we live in such a world with lots of different styles and different looks that are accepted! And also different bodies and I think that's fantastic, there's nothing better.”