Baum Und Pferdgarten Has A Whole Lot To Celebrate

As the Scandi-girl go-to celebrates 25 years in the biz, its appeal is stronger than ever.

courtesy of Baum Und Pferdgarten
Baum Und Pferdgarten

Baum und Pferdgarten is not an easy name to pronounce if you’re from the States, though it may be worth mastering if you wear one of the brand’s vibrant pieces. This is a lesson I learned the hard way after procuring a striking teal shearling coat at the company’s Copenhagen showroom — I was constantly asked who made it this winter, and stumbled through my response every time. And while I still fumble over naming the label, I always explain what makes it so special: how it was founded by two classmates with complementary style visions in the late ’90s; the way they manage to make staples that feel like fashion statements; the powerful sense of camaraderie present in their office. And thus, my poor Scandinavian language skills turn into a moment of personal connection.

Bonding over Baum feels fitting to the welcoming ethos of the Danish house. To celebrate its 25th anniversary this season, co-founders Helle Hestehave and Rikke Baumgarten brought particular attention to the people who’ve lifted them up throughout the years with a special show under the tagline “Love und Friendship since 1999.” Their runway was dotted with pals — both personal and professional — who gathered alongside jubilant employees and longtime supporters after the big event for a cozy pasta dinner filled with plenty of wine and laughter. Somewhere between my second glass of pinot and a big bowl of ravioli that night, I found myself marveling at the warmth in the room. It’s one thing to make beautiful garments, but an entirely different proposition to amass so many people who are genuinely passionate about selling and wearing them.

Helle Hestehave and Rikke Baumgarten at their Fall 2024 show.Courtesy of Baum und Pferdgarten
Looks from the Fall 2024 collection.Courtesy of Helle Hestehave and Rikke Baumgarten

“I really am proud of our team; we are like a family,” Hestehave tells me the following day. I’ve joined her and Baumgarten at their studio to chat about the significance of their latest collection and the work they’ve put into building something strong enough to last two and a half decades. At this point, the pair practically are family, considering they’ve known each other since studying fashion design together as undergraduates at the Danish Royal Academy. Somewhere between joining forces on a school project and graduating, the two realized they were destined to launch a line together.

“It’s not easy to be friends when you also share a business,” Baumgarten tells me, explaining that she and Hestehave are the rare exception to this rule. “We would probably be a boring couple if we were married, but it’s very easy for us to work together as we are interested in the same things.” Of course, having similar tastes does not mean approaching creative endeavors the same way. But luckily for them, their diverging design approaches — Baumgarten describes herself as more “flamboyant,” while Hestehave is the more minimalist of the two — work wonderfully together when it comes to clothes.

This synergy can certainly be detected in the pair’s Fall 2024 lineup, which combined a mix of sharply tailored separates (including shrunken waistcoats, Bermuda shorts, and crisp shirting) alongside softer outerwear shapes and snuggly sweaters emblazoned with words “Since 1999” — a cheeky nod to the brand’s roots. Many of the outfits were accessorized with intricate crystal necklaces, made by jeweler (and another friend of the house) Peter Jensen, and trainers created in collaboration with American sneaker stalwart Etonic, set to hit stores this summer.

“We are familiar with the printed parts and the colorful parts [of Baum und Pferdgarten], but we wanted to make our look more [refined],” notes Baumgarten. “And so instead of a print, [we might] have a structured fabric or combine two different materials.” The resulting mash-up of striped suiting, staple shirting, and more than a few sparkly stunners was experimental enough to please the legions of street style girls who rolled up to the show in head-to-toe looks from Baum’s playful sailor-inspired Spring 2024 selection. However, it also offered them items with a duality that goes beyond the specificity of dressing for international fashion weeks. The adventurous Baum we know and love, if you will, but grown up a bit.

Courtesy of Baum und Pferdgarten

Baumgarten and Hestehave, who describe themselves as “fabric freaks,” are constantly looking for fresh ways to transcend seasonal trends and add lasting value to one’s wardrobe. And while they officially started working with a consulting agency five years ago to set actionable goals toward responsible production, they have been thinking about garments with longevity since day one. “As a designer in general, I can’t imagine doing a product which you don’t believe can last,” says Baumgarten. “It would be awful to think about. Anything you buy from us should last for a long time, and you should be happy with it for a long time.”

This sentiment is well illustrated through a key component of Baum und Pferdgarten’s most recent show: an architecturally crafted white mini dress covered in 3D rosettes lifted directly from their early archives. (A version will be produced and sold this fall.) Strutting down the catwalk between a sequined maxi dress and pinstripe pants, the 20-something-year-old silhouette still looks incredibly relevant all this time later — much like Baum’s signature balance of bold and understated elements. “It’s actually funny because my daughter is also focused on how the world will look [in the future] and she doesn't want to buy anything new,” notes Hestehave with pride. “But she mentioned the white dress last night. She said, ‘wow, it's really beautiful’ and she doesn't know anything about it. So it's quite fun that she saw that as the best part of the show.”

It’s also quite poignant considering that as Baumgarten and Hestehave enter a new chapter in their careers, they can lean on a strong foundation for inspiration. “The whole idea was to investigate where we are and what is a real Baum style,” explains Baumgarten of their decision to include a vintage design amongst new ones despite “not wanting to look back; it’s boring.” As the two write a roadmap for the future, paying homage to their past only makes sense — no brand, after all, sticks around for a quarter of a century without a few good reasons. Baum und Pferdgarten’s just happen to be made from cotton, sequins, and silk.