On Cloud Nine
Sleepwear with a bit of poetry: Founder Nanna Sigsgaard takes us through the story behind the Danish nightwear brand.
Nanna, please introduce yourself?
My name is Nanna, I am 37 years old and I live in Copenhagen with my husband Johan and our two kids Addie, who’s 6 years old, and Ellis, who is 3. We live in an old town house in Frederiksberg dating back to the 1930ies. I’m a designer and a graduate from the Danish School of Design. I worked 10 years in the fashion industry right up until I decided to go solo and create my own sleepwear brand On Cloud Nine.
Why did you create On Cloud Nine?
I’ve always loved my job as a designer, also when I was designing for other brands. But I’ve also always had a dream to be in charge of my own company and make my own decisions.
And so it began: It was towards the end of 2017, and I had just received some pyjamas samples. I brought these with me, and went knocking on doors, hoping some of my favourite shops here in Copenhagen would buy into stock. They did! That was the first real step towards where we are today. I’ve been working full time on it since.
How did you move from idea to an actual clothing sample?
Thankfully, I had experience with the production process and a network that I could tap into through my previous jobs in the fashion industry, and that has proved to be a huge advantage.
I’m quite impatient when it comes to design – I’d like to see a sample as fast as can possibly be. But I also know how many things go into making great products, and so I do spend a lot of time working on the production side of things.
A sample is however necessary before moving on, as this is where I evaluate the fabric and the design. If things are not right, I’ll just have to start over again. I have no problem to “kill my darlings” – if something doesn’t look or feel right, it’s back to square one.
I’m far more challenged when it comes to building a brand. I’m quite the perfectionist, and I dont’t like to go live with things on my online shop until I am 100% certain or happy. But I’ve come to realise that I need to let go a bit, or else things end up taking up way more time than they were meant to.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Generally, all kinds of aesthetics inspire me. That could be anything from a certain atmosphere in a city, a beautiful film or a well-styled hotel room. I get very inspired by materials and colour combinations, and I can spend hours getting lost in fabrics browsing through beautiful prints, structures, weavings and colours. Most of my designs typically start with a piece of fabric that I like, and then I go from there.
What’s your favourite clothing pieces?
I love sleepwear. I love that feeling of a warm and sleepy child, who’s just waking up and starting his day playing and eating breakfast still dressed in beautiful sleepwear.
I also love that calm feeling I get when I change from ‘normal wear’ to casual wear – I use my sleepwear as casual wear, too. I typically do this at the end of my day, and it really does change my mood and energy in a good way. I’ve noticed that my kids enjoy this change as well, and sometimes they also get changed into their nightwear hours before bedtime.
Is there a piece of clothing you’ll never design?
Yes; something that’s 100% practical. I can’t design without adding a bit of poetry to what I do, and - to me - practical clothes are just not poetic.
What does your typical day look like for you?
I don’t have any typical days these days! So many things may happen that it’s rare to find two days that are the same. Planning ahead is actually one of my challenges, as things that need my immediate attention pop up all the time. But I also love that my job isn’t so predictable.
Another thing I love is all the people that I’ve met through On Cloud Nine. Especially when it comes to happy customers, who share their thoughts with me on the things that I make.
Any tips you’d like to share with those who dream of producing their own brand?
Have patience, keep going and make sure to create as many options as possible in your production and sourcing processes. Alternative options may be a lifesaver if things don’t go as planned – and, sometimes, they just don’t.
Pictures in this feature by @stephaniebachcom and @oncloudnine_copenhagen