Timeless Style with a Rock ‘n’ Roll Edge: In Conversation with Anine Bing
California dreaming and lasting style: meet Anine Bing – a Danish designer with serious influence. We talk about fashion memories, supermodel collaborations and her favourite places to eat, drink and shop in LA.
28 October, 2020
Danish influencer-turned-designer Anine Bing launched her namesake label from her garage in 2012, with an edit of 15 timeless pieces. Today, LA-based Bing can count the openings of almost as many stores.
An Instagram hit from the off, Bing's marrying of stylish classics with a rock 'n' roll edge - think slinky camisoles paired with biker boots and supple leather jackets - has proved a winning formula. (For reference, Bing's Instagram following currently stands at 900k).
While Instagram algorithms might have recalibrated over time, the essence of the Scandi-cool-meets-new-bohemia brand endures. That's not to suggest that Anine Bing is a brand (or a person) to rest on its laurels. Quite the opposite. Ever pushing forward into new arenas, the latest string to Bing's bow is a new, travel-inspired fragrance called Pure Noir. A 90s-style collaboration with supermodel Helena Christensen will be added to the mix later this season.
It's apparent that perhaps the greatest driver of Anine Bing's success is Bing herself. That, and the power of California dreaming of course…
Where are you from and how has your background shaped you?
I grew up in Denmark with my parents and four siblings. I got a lot of my style inspiration from my grandmother, Elly; she was an amazing woman to look up to. When I grew a little older, I started a blog. It was a great way to share my style and experiences when I was modelling around the world. When it gathered a bit of a following, I began to think about launching my own brand. I tested the idea by putting 100 pieces of my own closet online and it all sold out within an hour! With the support of my husband and his background in production, we started a small collection of 12 pieces - staples such as a white T-shirt, jeans, a leather jacket and our coveted Charlie boots, which are still available now.
What is your first fashion-related memory?
Rooting through my grandmother's closet. She had the most timeless sense of style, and I fell in love with her approach to fashion.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Timeless style with a rock 'n' roll edge. We've created a clear brand identity over the years, which has evolved yet remained classic and elevated.
Where is your design studio and what does it look like?
Our studio is based in Downtown LA, where we have roughly 80 employees. It was important for me to bring the same aesthetic to the office that I have in my stores and home. It's a large, open space flooded with natural lighting and a neutral colour palette.
Talk us through the inspiration for three of your favourite pieces…
My must-haves would be a black classic blazer, a white T-shirt and a great pair of jeans. There's no better feeling than having those go-to pieces you know you feel great in. That's the inspiration behind the entire brand: creating items for women who are ready to conquer anything.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I'm inspired by real women with a unique sense of style. I design each collection as if it is a capsule collection within a wardrobe, staying within the brand's aesthetic. I take inspiration from women, music, photographs, books, architecture and travel.
You launched your brand in 2012. How has your vision of "wardrobe essentials" evolved since then?
At the time, I felt like I had so many T-shirts and pairs of jeans in my wardrobe, but none of them had the perfect cut - so I made them myself. Since launching, we've continued to learn about new fabrics and fits. And as we've evolved, the brand has become much more elevated, though we'll always keep our classic style with a rock 'n' roll edge. I'm looking forward to our latest denim collection. We've been working tirelessly on the fit, and I think we've nailed it!
What are you working on right now?
We're launching our latest fragrance, Pure Noir, on 15 October. I haven't been this excited about a new launch in a while; it feels very different from our first scent. It reminds me of travelling to my favourite cities around the world, staying at boutique hotels and exploring new neighbourhoods.
We're also working on a cool collaboration with supermodel Helena Christensen, inspired by our shared love of the 90s off-duty model look. It has been so much fun to co-design with her.
Does travel influence your work?
Absolutely! I love travelling, especially to cities where our stores are based: New York, London and Paris, for instance. Walking around, soaking in the architecture, street style and energy of a city inspire me. It's how I came up with the idea for Pure Noir.
The best cities in the world to go shopping…
I love shopping in Paris; the options are endless there.
What's your take on souvenirs?
If I'm travelling without the kids, I bring back little tokens as a reminder that I miss them so much when I'm away.
If there was one destination you could go back to immediately, it would be…
It's so hard to choose! Right now, I'd pick Denmark. My family and I went there over summer and the kids loved it so much. It was great to have some time to relax and disconnect.
What do you think makes a good hotel?
When you walk into a hotel and instantly feel at home - something I'm especially grateful for when travelling for business. When it comes to hotels with my family, we want something that offers experiences for the children to learn about the local cultures and create memories for the future.
Your favourite weekend escapes include…
Weekends are the time I spend with my children, so we tend to stay in LA and hike in Griffith Park - it's great exercise. We also love road trips to either Santa Barbara or Palm Springs.
One piece of travel advice…
Drink lots of water and never forget snacks!
What are you reading at the moment?
Anything by my friend Mia Törnblom.
Podcasts to download now…
Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso; The Michelle Obama Podcast; The goop Podcast.
Anine Bing's Pocket Guide to LA
EAT: Go Get Em Tiger! I love its lattes and avocado toast.
DRINK + DANCE: The Sunset Tower Hotel is an LA classic. It has a cosy bar and great cocktails.
SHOP: I love to go to Melrose Avenue or the Rose Bowl Flea Market.