Another beautiful pair


This is a reprint to mark the recent launch of another beautiful pair of Bartels shoe and the inclusion of Bartels shoes in HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no. 6.

Whether SLOW FASHION, which I have been working with since 2000 has its own particular aesthetic? If your assumption is that SLOW means ash-coloured and muted, don’t go away. In this story, I will put that prejudice to rest for good.
I hung out at Les Trois Cochons in Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen, with Eva Bartels, who is the head of the brand Bartels since 1920.

I have known Eva for many years, ever since she was in upper secondary school and repeatedly invested her allowance in clothes from the shop I had then in Copenhagen. Later she worked for me for a while, in fact, she even came along when I moved to Stockholm and worked there fore some time. Ever since, we have stayed in touch.

I asked Eva whether it was even relevant to the Bartels story to mention that we go back a long time. Eva replied, ‘Yes, it’s highly relevant. It was your shop that laid the foundation for my very understanding of Slow Fashion.’
Does that make me proud? It makes me SO proud! Apart from my own children, nothing makes me prouder than if I can plant a seed, nurture it and see it take root and grow.

As long as I have known Eva she has talked about shoes. At first I had no idea that shoes were part of her family baggage. Maybe she had not even realized the significance of that detail.

She has design training, first from the textile college Hellerup Håndarbejdsseminarium, where her focus was on entrepreneurship and marketing, then from the Arsutoria school in Milan, where she trained as a shoe designer. Next, she went to Australia, where she sold shoes for a living and went surfing in her spare time. Back in Copenhagen, Eva has been active in a variety of roles in the Copenhagen fashion scene.

Over the years, she often thought about founding her own shoe brand, sometimes mostly toying with the idea, at other giving it more serious thought.
It was only in recent years that Eva realized she has a family legacy she can build on.
Eva’s great-grandparents Louis and Emma Bartels came to Denmark as refugees from Germany during the First World War. The enterprising couple established a shoe factory in Sommerstedgade in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district, and soon they were part of Copenhagen’s upper middle class, and the leading ladies in the city bought their shoes from Bartels Damernes Sko (Bartels Ladies Shoes). The thriving company was later continued by their children, Eva’s grandparents. Over time, the factory outgrew the premises and relocated to the nearby town of Rødovre. At the height of its success, Bartels Damernes Sko had 70 employees.
Eva’s father virtually grew up in the factory, and he and his sister continued the shoe adventure well into the 1960s. Later, when mass-produced products from the Far East made domestic production difficult, if not downright impossible, Eva’s father continued in the shoe business but now as a sales representative.
Eva is getting into the stride of the story, and I learn that a few years ago, she suddenly realized that she could relaunch Bartels Damernes Sko as ‘Bartels since 1920’. She also came to appreciate the potential of her history and the handed-down experience.

Now, she has opened the company archives and found a handful of drawings which she has respectfully reformulated and updated.

She has taken the leap into shoe design and manufacturing and launched an exquisite little collection. A collection with historical references but in a super-modern take. Most of the shoes have textile uppers, made in carefully selected fabrics. Eva has a passion for stripes and uses surplus textiles from the parasol industry. ‘I like the idea of letting nothing go to waste,’ says Eva, adding ‘My shoes are not made for a particular season, which means they don’t go out of fashion once the season is over. They don’t go on sale, and my hope is that they will last a long time and have their own story wherever they end up.’ They are produced in Italy, by a family company specializing in bridal shoes.

‘The factory is like a gift from heaven,’ says Eva, who loves Italy and also loves the culture in the small flexible company, which, in addition to focusing on quality, also focuses on comfort. A bride has to be able to wear her wedding shoes for many hours, so the shoes have to stay comfortable all day. ’Flexibility is crucial for my ability to relaunch the Bartels brand. I am not interested in – or capable of – ordering hundreds of pairs in each style; I do limited editions.’





Endnu et smukt par



Dette er en genudgivelse i anledningen af at Bartels igen og igen udkommer med nye fine sko, og i anledning af at jeg har vist Bartels sko i HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no. 6

Om SLOW FASHION, som jeg har beskæftiget mig med siden 2000, har en særlig æstetik?
Hvis din fordom er, at SLOW er askegråt og nedtonet så følg med her. I denne historie afliver jeg den fordom for altid.
Jeg har hængt ud på Les Trois Cochons på Værnedamsvej i København sammen med Eva Bartels, som står bag Bartels since 1920.

Jeg har kendt Eva i rigtig mange år. Lige siden hun som purung gymnasiepige, gang på gang, investerede sine lommepenge i tøj i min butik i København. Siden arbejdede hun i en periode for mig, hun fulgte endda med mig, da jeg flyttede til Stockholm og arbejdede i en periode der. Siden har vi haft løbende kontakt.

Jeg spurgte Eva, om det overhovedet var vigtigt for historien om Bartels, at nævne at vi har kendt hinanden længe. Til det svarede Eva: ”Ja det er vigtigt, det var hos dig jeg lagde hele grunden til min forståelse af Slow Fashion”.
OM jeg er stolt? Jeg er MEGA stolt, bortset fra mine børn, er der intet som gør mig mere stolt, end, hvis jeg kan være med til at så frø, gøde dem og se dem spirer.
Så længe jeg har kendt Eva, har hun talt om sko. Først vidste jeg intet om, at hun havde sko med i sin familiære bagage. Måske vidste hun ikke en gang selv, hvor vigtig den detalje var.

Hun uddannede sig. Først på Hellerup Håndarbejde Seminarium, her med fokus på entreprenørskab og markedsføring, siden til skomodellør på skolen Arsutoria school i MIlano. Derefter tog hun til Australien, hvor hun solgte hun sko i arbejdstiden og surfede i fritiden. Tilbage i København har Eva arbejdet flere år i den Københavnske modebranche på forskellig vis.
Tanken om at etablere et eget skobrand har undervejs fyldt, nogle gange mere andre gange mindre.
Først de senere år er det gået op for Eva, at hun har en familiær arv, som hun kan læne sig op ad.
Historien er, at Evas oldeforældre Louis og Emma Bartels kom til Danmark som flygtninge fra Tyskland under første verdenskrig. De var driftige og etablerede sig i Sommerstedgade på Vesterbro med en skotøjsfabrik, snart var de en del af det københavnske borgerskab og de fine damer i byen købte Bartels Damernes Sko. Bartels Damernes Sko blev en solid virksomhed som deres børn, Evas bedsteforældre drev videre. Med tiden blev fabrikken så stor, at den flyttede ud af byen, til Rødovre. I dens storhedstid beskæftigede Bartels Damernes Sko 70 medarbejdere.
Evas far voksede op på fabrikken og han og hans søster fortsatte skoeventyret langt op gennem 60erne. Siden hen, da masseproducerede varer fra Fjernøsten gjorde det svært, for ikke at sige umuligt, at fortsætte med at producere i Danmark, drev Evas far agenturvirksomhed, men stadig i skobranchen.
Eva taler sig varm, og jeg hører, at hun, på et eller andet tidspunkt for nogle år siden pludselig forstod, at hun kunne re-etablere Bartels Damernes Sko som et Bartels since 1920 og hun forstod hvilket potentiale der ligger i historien og i den nedarvede erfaring.

Nu har hun støvet arkiverne af og fundet en håndfuld tegninger som hun i stor respekt har reformuleret og opdateret.

Hun er sprunget ud som skodesigner og producent med en lille fin kollektion. En kollektion med historiske referencer men i super moderne tapning. Mange af skoene er med tekstilt overlæder og tekstilerne er omhyggeligt udvalgt. Eva har passion for striber og tekstilerne er overskudsproduktion fra parasolindustrien. ”Jeg kan lide tanken om, at intet går til spilde” siger Eva og i forlængelse af det siger hun: ”Mine sko er ikke skabt til en bestemt sæson og er derfor heller ikke umoderne når sæsonen er slut, de kommer ikke på udsalg, og min forhåbning er, at de vil leve længe og få et personligt liv der, hvor de kommer frem”.

Produktionen foregår i Italien i en familievirksomhed, som har specialiseret sig i brudesko.
”Fabrikken er en gave sendt fra himlen” siger Eva, som både elsker Italien, og elsker den kultur som hersker i den lille fleksible virksomhed, som ud over kvalitet ovenikøbet har fokus på komfort. Brudesko skal man kunne have på i mange timer uden, at det bliver ubekvemt. ”Fleksibiliteten er alfa og omega for at det kan lade sig gøre at genstarte Bartels sko, jeg hverken kan eller vil aftage mange hundrede par i hver style, jeg laver limited editions.”