The Danish conscious clothing brand, run by My Seline von Appen Keller – who likes to do things her own way
My, please tell us about yourself?
My name is My, I am married to Christian. We live in Frederiksberg – a residential area in Copenhagen – with our four children: Lou who is 8, Hugo 6, Nor 4 and Theo who’s 2. I’ve previously studied at Copenhagen’s University, but that just wasn’t me. So I decided to work in the fashion industry, and I’ve spent quite a few years working for the Danish companies IC Companys, Pede & Stoffer and Ganni.
I founded CO Label in December 2017, and has worked on it full time since then.
Please tell us more about the name “CO Label”. What does it mean?
‘CO’ is an abbreviation of the word “conscious”. So really ‘CO Label’ means “Conscious Label”, but that was simply too long to work with. With ‘CO’ I felt it was bit different and had its own feel to it, especially now that so many fashion brands use ‘conscious’ in their name and/or branding. I also like the visual look of the ‘CO’.
Having said that, the main idea behind my brand is to always be conscious: Conscious about the designs I make, the colours I choose, the fabric that is used, the people who produce, and the shops who sell CO Label.
How would you describe CO Label’s visual style?
CO Label is timeless, and based on the idea that all styles should fit into any child’s wardrobe. Our items are meant to go beyond trends and are meant to be pieces that your child will enjoy wearing – through time and seasons, and no matter their personal style.
Our vision is to create modern, comfortable and high quality children’s clothing, that is wonderful to wear and beautiful to look at.
Take us through your design process?
It’s quite a personal proces for me, where I’ll spend hours and days thinking about colours and styles – and what can be used for both girls and boys.
I also always consider how colours can be combined so that CO Label pieces can be worn together from top to toe, or mixed in with pieces from other brands.
Unlike many other brands in the fashion industry, you’ve chosen not to work with seasons. Why is that? What kind of reactions have you been met with?
First of all, going against the tide has led to so many interesting conversations about slow fashion vs. fast fashion, which has been great and so insightful.
Secondly, and this is a personal thing for me too, I feel it’s time that we all become think more about how we live and consume. I’d like for us all to become more aware of buying after needs and not for following trends. I know it’s easier said than done. We’ve gotten used to buying new things and wanting new things so often, putting pressure on shops to stock up on new things before the “old” items have sold, leading them to have things on sale almost all the time.
With CO Label, I wanted to create a brand that is not based on seasons, where items from one year are just as great the next. This gives both the consumer and the shops peace of mind: What they are buying today will not be outdated or on sale the next day.
Where do you find inspiration for new colours and pieces?
With four kids over the past 8 years, I’ve been paying close attention to what the kids like and have liked to wear, and what they were able to live and play in. I’ve also been taking mental notes on what styles and cuts that have suited them. And let’s not forget high quality. I’ve learned first hand that you’d want to buy good stuff that lasts – I have pieces that all our four kids have worn, which is just amazing.
What’s your dream with CO Label?
I want to put focus on buying less but choosing well. Not just for us adults, but also for our kids. I’d also like for us all to think about that we have a say in the way that we spend our money, and that our choices can have a positive impact.
For example, CO Label is produced in Italy, keeping skilled craftsmen occupied here in the EU. Also, there are strict regulations within the EU in terms of work environments ensuring a good and safe workplace for everyone involved with CO Label. There are also strict rules in the EU about what chemicals may be used in the clothing industry, and it makes me happy that we produce here under strict standards, and therefore put the least possible strains on our environment. As a consumer, it can sometimes be hard to see these things, but I feel that with awareness comes a choice – and a voice.