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Founders of the fashion label

05 / The Tastemakers: Stine Goya and Thomas Hertz


Where is home for you both?

Copenhagen - we’ve just moved actually to a beautiful area of town called Kartoffelrækkerne, which funnily translates to “Potato Houses”. The area is rows of small, cozy streets that are more or less pedestrian. It has such a community feeling with children playing outside and friendly chats amongst neighbours.


Tell us about your brand and how the idea was established.

I established Stine Goya just over 13 years ago as a point of difference to the minimalist offering that was synonymous with Scandinavian design at the time. I’ve always been drawn to colour and translating painterly techniques or artistic themes in my work and feel there was a need to design and present something confident, bold and different. I think Copenhagen is such an inspiring city, and through my studies and travels I’ve focused on weaving together a narrative that is globally inspired but locally rooted. Our prints are all drawn, painted and developed in-house - there’s an atelier vibe to the way we work.


It’s great how family orientated your business is. Do you have any advice for couples who want to go into business together?

Working together successfully is about patience, balance and boundaries. All of which we definitely struggle with, but it at least creates a framework we aim to work towards. Myself and Thomas speak and discuss work constantly - it’s completely integrated into our lives - we are both our best and our worst soundboards when it comes to making decisions. I would also advise that couples in business establish or bring together (if their company permits) a strong support network and team. It means you aren’t the only voices driving the business forward and it also means you’re able to push pause every once in a while and get that much needed headspace.

How does the art you buy influence or inspire you?

I am a big collector of Danish and Northern European artists & designers - again I think it’s that focus on cherishing something local in a global context. We have brilliant artists here and intuitively I feel they match the world I have created both for my brand and for myself. The works we’ve invested in - some from friends and some from absolute icons have helped to complete the vision of the Goya universe. I look for unexpected pieces that fit unexpected contexts and always with colour. 



The Spring 2020 show in Copenhagen was so dynamic. Where do the ideas for your runway shows come from?

I often look to an artist(s) or a specific artistic movement to act as the catalyst for my designs. It give framework to the process and allows me to create a strong design narrative or red thread through each collection. For SS20, our initial inspiration sprung from the 1990s documentary “Paris Is Burning” which profiled the New York Ballroom scene of the 80s. It was such a simultaneously extravagant and tragic period in LGBTQ+ history and I felt inspired to try and capture the spirit that I believed made these houses such strong, dynamic and necessary communities. 


Colour is a huge part of the brand, does this translate into your home? 

Definitely. The entrance hallway is lilac and pale blue for a start! I don’t think I would be able to live and breathe the message of my brand if I didn’t literally live and breathe in that world. It feels so natural to me now - why go for sombre palette or all-white, when every pantone is a possibility?


What are your weekends like, how do you like to switch off?

In the summer, I love visiting our summer house - just long walks on the coast, wood fires with a book or games with my family. It’s such a luxury to have the possibility to remove yourself from the everyday - I try and make it count.


Do you have a favourite gallery in Copenhagen?

I love Etage Projects by Marie Foerlev and Studio x Viaduct by Kirstine Meier Carlson. Both are coincidently right around the corner from each other and only a 10 minute walk from the office - so you can imagine how often I’m in there! Marie at Etage Projects is more focused on contemporary & up-and-coming artists, while the Kistine’s offering is more product and furniture design driven. Honestly both are hard to leave without becoming completely obsessed with something I’ve seen. Their eye, curation and confidence in their artists are truly inspiring - ideas are fresh and concept driven which keeps you interested and constantly in this state of further educating yourself to what’s out there. 




What exciting projects are ahead?

For our AW20 Collection, we collaborated with an amazingly talented group of Copenhagen based omni-instrumentalists who performed an entirely improvised piece for our show, after never having performed together before. It was this beautiful and crazy powerful performance that really bought a different energy to the show than that of SS20. My hope is that season on season we continue in this vein, using our shows as a platform for rising talents and our collections and a more collaborative means of design.

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