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By Sasha Mills
itte Reffstrup is Creative Director at cool-girl Danish brand Ganni, known for its fun and colourful looks and playful branding. She took over the brand with her husband Nicolaj Reffstrup in 2009, reinventing what Scandinavian fashion is known for in the process.
Ditte took us through a morning in her busy life, from making lunchboxes for her three children to getting prepared on runway days and the coffee machine that she can’t live without.
“On a runway day, the kids are still there. Of course you’re super nervous, but you need to do the lunch-boxes, you need to get them to school, they need to brush their teeth. So that kind of takes off the pressure.”
My alarm goes off at 6:30, and whether I wake up depends on what side I’m sleeping on. I’m deaf in my right ear, so very often it’s Nicolaj, my husband, getting pissed because I can’t hear my own alarm clock.
After that, I have a coffee, and I’m always thinking about when I’m going to sleep again. I’m always tired, I never wake up fully fresh – maybe it’s because I have three kids. If we’re lucky, they get up later than us, but now the big ones are starting school so they need to be up around 7:00, latest. Sometimes you’re lucky and they’re already up and have started their breakfast, but other days you’re struggling to get them up.
So I go down and have my coffee, and start to make the kids lunchboxes. We have this really good machine, an old La Pavoni Cellini. We’re very picky. There’s this ritual around having our coffee, it means so much. It’s such a good start. At the office there’s also a big, barista-style coffee machine from Victoria Arduino, and it’s a smaller version of the one we have at home.
If I’m at my parent’s place, and they have this really bad coffee machine, I don’t get as good a start to the day. It’s a treat, and it’s a ritual that I really enjoy.
In Denmark, in all schools you have to pack a lunchbox, there’s no food provided. It’s a very Danish routine to make lunchboxes for your kids.
On a runway day, the kids are still there, you know, so it’s actually pretty much the same. Of course you’re super nervous, but you need to do the lunchboxes, you need to get them to school, they need to brush their teeth. So that kind of takes off the pressure.
Whether I do skincare really depends on how much time I have. If I’m lucky enough to have 20 minutes for myself, so that I can shower and do a mini facial, I will do that – especially if I have something important during the day, and for runway days, I will prioritise a facial scrub or extra moisturiser.
I wish that I could be up earlier, maybe 6:00, so that I could always wake up and do that – but when my alarm goes off I always prefer to prioritise sleep for 30 minutes more.
I’m using this skincare brand called Biologique Recherche, it’s a french brand. You need to use so many products, I don’t have time for it – I’m actually looking for new skincare brands! I don’t want to have to use 5 or 6 serums, I don’t have time and I just give it up.
My friend Andrea Rudolph has a skincare brand called Rudolph Care, and she has a really good facial scrub that I use if my skin is very dull or greyish.
I just tried that trend that everyone is talking about, intermittent fasting, because I’d heard it was super healthy, but I didn’t even manage to do it one day! I’m a breakfast person, and I’ll pretty much eat anything – but one of my favourites is rye bread, with chocolate on. Not Nutella, it’s called Palaegschokolade. It’s like a piece of chocolate you put on. It’s a Danish thing.
“There’s this ritual around having our coffee, it means so much. It’s such a good start.”
I don’t have much routine, it’s always just the everyday grind. It depends on if I need to take the kids to school, which I’ll do in my pyjamas, but I often get dressed after the shower. I don’t have many plans, I just do what feels right.
I don’t think much about dressing, it’s about feeling. One friend told me that maybe I should think of my outfit the day before, so that I don’t get stressed, and I’m always running 10 minutes late. But that doesn’t work for me. I can find something the day before, and after my shower I’ll try to put it on and it doesn’t work for me that day. So it’s very much about how I feel.
Biking is one of my routines that I don’t want to skip. I don’t have a driver’s license, I just have a bike.
I cycle to work every day. It takes about 20 minutes, and I wear my headphones, and I listen to a podcast, or music, or call a good friend. It’s very precious time.
I’m very much a 90s person for music, but right now I’m listening to this podcast called How I Built This. One of my favourite episodes was with Ben & Jerry’s – it’s a fantastic story. It’s all about how people have made companies – it can be small ones or big ones. I’ve also listened to the one about Glossier, with Emily Weiss.
“I don’t think much about dressing, it’s about feeling.”
I will always go in and meet up with the team, and have some coffee. I’m not good at emails, I’d rather call. It’s very social, it’s all about meetings. I work with many different teams so my day is packed up with different meetings, everything from the design team to the PR team to the business team.
I have a big office with a round table and lots of chairs, so it’s very welcoming. The company has a flat structure, everyone sits together, and eats lunch together.
On a runway day we’re on the set pretty early. The rest of the team will be there setting up for the show, the models, the PR. Our shows usually start at 5:00.
Ditte Reffstrup, Creative Director at Ganni, walks us through her morning rituals.
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