Charlotte Lynggaard, designer and creative director of Ole Lynggaard, talks to MiNDFOOD STYLE about the renowned Danish jewellery houseâ€™s strong family heritage and whatâ€™s next for the brand.
With a father who founded one of Denmarkâ€™s most notable jewellery houses, it seemed a natural evolution for Ole Lynggaardâ€™s daughter Charlotte to take the helm as creative director for her familyâ€™s brand. â€śI can safely say that I am on the right shelf,â€ť says Lynggaard, who joined the family business more than 30 years ago.
â€śGrowing up in the industry and with a family in jewellery naturally sparks a certain passion and interest.â€ť But it wasnâ€™t straight into jewellery design for Lynggaard, who has garnered a reputation as one of Copenhagenâ€™s most stylish women. â€śAt a family-run brand, everyone must help out in any way they can,â€ť she explains. Her brother swept floors and acted as the company driver while Lynggaard had a slightly more glamorous introduction to the business in the 1980s. â€śI was the convenient choice for house model. It was great fun, and it taught me a lot about the importance of branding and of adding commercial value to your products.â€ť
However, after a stint of globetrotting, Lynggaard realised in the late 80s that she wanted to join her fatherâ€™s firm. â€śI asked him to take me on as an apprentice and our partnership grew from there.â€ť Today, as designer and creative director, she oversees every visual touchpoint for the jewellery house. From working with her in-house advertising agency to perfecting the packaging and visual merchandising, thereâ€™s very little that Lynggaard isnâ€™t involved in. â€śThis work is very fulfilling for me, yet also extremely time-consuming for a perfectionist,â€ť she admits.
Fortunately, Lynggaard has her family on call at all times â€“ six, including her husband, work in the business. â€śItâ€™s both a challenge and an advantage,â€ť she says. â€śWe are very lucky in the fact that we trust each other and respect each otherâ€™s talents.â€ť To maintain balance they make a conscious effort to leave work behind when they go home for the day. â€śIt is so important that it doesnâ€™t consume every aspect of our family life. I love working with my family.
It really is amazing to be able to share a great passion with the people you love and admire most.â€ť Remarkably at the age of 82, Ole Lynggaard is still amazing the family and their loyal clientele with new collections and designs. â€śMy father is an amazing designer and living proof that there is no expiration date on true creativity.â€ť Although creativity and talent for jewellery design runs in the family, Lynggaard says the father-daughter duo have their own traits.
â€śHe is usually drawn to fauna design whereas I am smitten with everything flora,â€ť she points out. â€śIn the early days of our partnership, it was a little difficult to wear my fatherâ€™s and my designs at the same time. But over time our expressions have somehow become much more compatible, and now it looks completely natural to wear our designs together.â€ť
The creative strand of DNA is passed on. Sofia, Charlotteâ€™s eldest daughter, is undertaking her goldsmithâ€™s apprenticeship in the Ole Lynggaard workshop. â€śShe has been completely obsessed with drawing and working with her hands since she was a little girl,â€ť Lynggaard says. â€śI have no expectation for her to follow in my footsteps, and sheâ€™s taking the time she needs to explore various creative outlets and endeavours that are interesting to her. But of course we would love our family brand to move forward with the next generation.â€ť
When it comes to designing jewellery, Lynggaard says she only creates Ole Lynggaard pieces that she would wear herself. â€śI am lucky to be inspired by the smallest things â€“ a texture, a colour, even a smell. â€śNature has always been my biggest source of inspiration,â€ť she explains. â€śI can spend hours in the forest and on the beach outside my home, and I love observing swaying branches and exploring textures and colours of forest flora.â€ť
Surprisingly, Lynggaard doesnâ€™t wear different pieces every day. â€śBut I do change a lot; I love to dress up and to experiment every day.â€ť So how does one find the jewellery of their dreams? â€śI think the most important thing is actually not a particular style of jewellery, but to find a brand representing quality and craftsmanship you can rely on,â€ť she says. Once youâ€™ve found that brand, Lynggaard says it is a matter of following your heart. â€śThere is a French saying that you should not discuss colours and taste because they are both subject to very personal opinions,â€ť she explains. â€śSome people like diamonds, some like rare stones of unique hues, some only like precious metals.â€ť