FINDERSKEEPERS has been promoted as “an indoor market where innovative design meets luxury secondhand clothing.”
The clothes are a mixture of retro/antique or good second-hand (neither term derogatory) along with hand-made clothing or clothes from a small-run by an independent producer. That was mostly in the back half of the huge hall and across the front half were crafts and design of all types and between the two a lively and really good food area. What’s not to like for a Saturday afternoon.
The venue itself, TAP1, is a large industrial building on the Carlsberg site - where the brewery was, to the west of the centre in Copenhagen, before it was moved out of the city in 2008.
It was all pretty amazing and pretty inspiring. It’s a sort of alternative Northmodern and I hope that is taken in the way it was meant - as being very very positive about both.
Design included leatherwork, textiles, ceramics, some surprisingly substantial items of furniture (including armchairs and tables) along with lighting and all from small and young independent companies and craftsmen.
Ceramics from Tina Marie Copenhagen Handmade
Here again I come up against this slight problem I have with the term craftsmen. Maybe it’s an English sensibility because I've seen too many poor-quality craft “fairs” in the UK. The word I keep coming back to is makers but I really don’t know if that translates into Danish.
Here, at FINDERSKEEPERS, the maker or, to use the Danish term, kunsthåndværker … art handworker is the clumsy literal translation into English … is also an entrepreneur and again that is used in the most positive way. Talking to people and looking at the stalls, it made me realise that everyone, with usually a very small team of people, has to design and make packaging, design and maintain a web site, deal with the finance and business side, cope with marketing and spend their whole weekend at an event like this, working hard, and that's all on top of designing and making their work.
Looking at the internet site for the venue, this event was organised through TALL GROUP and their “vision is to create sustainable companies that thrive on a global market, achieving this by encouraging pioneer thinking, guts and a clear path away from mainstream alternatives.”
Really the main point to make is that although most of the work here was 'hand made' rather than being from a large-scale factory manufacturer there was an all-pervading sense of professionalism, real commitment and self belief with a clear sense that each designer is working towards a carefully-considered and distinct style that carries across all their products, and there was, overall, great presentation, packaging, labelling and graphics. Having lived in Copenhagen for over a year now, none of this comes as a surprise to me … I am simply spelling it out for anyone who is not fortunate enough to get to the event.
What is also important is the crowd that was queuing at the door to get in. These were mostly couples and groups of friends in their 20s and early 30s. The event was packed and people were buying so obviously there is a very serious demand for high-quality design that is slightly different, more unusual than what can be seen in a store. Of course, many of the companies here sell through conventional outlets as well as their own on-line sites but people coming to the event certainly seemed to be looking for something that says a lot about the person who made it and probably, they hope, quite a bit about the taste and interests of the person buying.