Greenland may be the world’s largest island, but it’s fashion scene certainly isn’t. It is very difficult for artists and designers from the Danish territory to find recognition. The location is physically isolating for artists, however, this group of Greenland fashion designers travelled to Toronto to show off their designs. We learned that the group of eight Inuit artists hailing from Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, were featured presenters at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) where people come together to share culturally inspired garments, jewellery and accessories.
“We have a great passion to promote Greenland, we want people to buy our work, take it into their living rooms and show it off,” said Hildebjørg Egilsdottir, who makes and sells clothing and small crafts from her shop Nuna Glacier, located in Nuuk. “We want to tell people our story.” She hopes to find Canadian buyers who can take her work to a wider audience.
Fashion designer Louise Lynge Berthelsen started her own label, Nuuk Couture, in 2010, which has customers in Greenland, Denmark, as well as Canada. Many of her designer dresses are inspired by traditional Inuit garments, hand-sewn and incorporating leather pieces.
Berthelsen’s most popular garments, evening dresses which highlight “feminine curves” are intended for celebratory moments,” she said. \Berthelsen runs her own clothing boutique in Nuuk geared toward tourists who’ve travelled to Greenland to see the northern lights and other wintry sights. Inspired by traditional Greenlandic and Inuit heritage, she said she was hoping to draw buyers smitten by the vibrancy of her designs.
“I’m not copying my culture, I’m inspired by it,” said Berthelsen. We find their story inspiring too!