Barbara Potts on Designing Saks Potts' SS23 Collection Inspired by Crown Princess Mary

Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks of Saks Potts, Copenhagen's go-to cool girl brand, unveiled their Spring/Summer 2023 collection in their biggest runway show yet at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Guests headed to Kongens Nytorv for an outdoor presentation where close friends and models like Pernille Teisbaek and Erin Wasson took the stage.

Hypebae spoke to Potts about the duo's latest collection, which takes inspiration from Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. "We were inspired by the time she came from Australia to Denmark in the early 2000s, living an almost ordinary life in Copenhagen, casually walking around the streets in her stylish looks," she tells us, adding that light dresses and skirts were some of the highlights this season. Standouts include a pink sequined halter neck dress, as well as a printed wrap dress adorned with a fringed belt, an accessory spotted throughout the range.

The designs mark an ongoing transition for Saks Potts, which has gradually ruled out fur from its collections despite its fur-trimmed coats being a signature since 2014. To further their sustainability efforts, Saks and Potts are using more environmentally friendly materials such as Leather Working Group-certified ethical leather.

Continue reading for our interview with Barbara Potts on Saks Potts' SS23 collection and how their style has evolved throughout the years.

Tell us about the theme of your SS23 collection, and how you decided on the show's venue.

This season's inspiration was H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. In particular, we were inspired by the time she came from Australia to Denmark in the early 2000s, living an almost ordinary life in Copenhagen, casually walking around the streets in her stylish looks. She always looks sharp in her Millenium style clothes that were casual and elegant at the same time.

This led us to our show's venue on Kongens Nytorv — the biggest square in Denmark located in the heart of Copenhagen, surrounded by some of the most famous buildings in the city including the prestigious Hotel D’angleterre, The Royal Theatre and the colorful houses in Nyhavn famously known from Copenhagen postcards.

Which product category did you put the most focus on this season?

We focused a lot on light dresses and skirts to have a lot of items perfect for a summer in Copenhagen. This includes anything from everyday dresses in Thomas Mason cotton poplin to evening gowns made from pink sequence and others in golden fabric. We also paid a lot of attention to the outerwear category, which has always been significant in our collection and something we wear ourselves all year around.

What was the Saks Potts girl you had in mind while designing this collection? How is she different or similar to your past seasons?

H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was our main inspiration this season, so we obviously hope that she would like to wear some of the pieces from the collection. Besides that, we are always designing pieces that we miss in our own closets and that we could see our friends and our community wear.

While most Fashion Weeks are back to taking place IRL, a lot of companies in fashion have adopted a hybrid working model after the pandemic. How has Saks Potts as a brand changed over the past few years?

We discovered how time-consuming it is to travel. In the past, we had many meetings abroad because we felt they were too important to replace with a Zoom call. Ever since the pandemic, we now continue to hold virtual meetings as much as we can. In this way, we can also look forward to the few days we have a year when we travel for fashion weeks or to visit our manufacturers. This makes our way of work more sustainable in many ways.

How do you think your style (both personally and as a brand) has changed from the early days of Saks Potts, when you and Cathrine were 19 and 20 years old?

We tried so many different things in the way we design but have discovered that the best collections we made are the ones where we fully trust our intentions and our own desires. Saks Potts is a very personal brand and always reflects where Cathrine and I are in life. When we presented our Fall/Winter 2022 collection a year ago, it reflected a year affected by the pandemic where nobody knew what would happen. We spend time creating timeless pieces where everything is thought down to the most minor details and where the quality both in terms of materials and craftsmanship is perfect. While continuing our high product standards this summer collection is much more expressive in colors, prints and materials and is very recognizable Saks Potts!

Where do you see Saks Potts in five years' time?

We are an ambitious brand and we want to be the best in everything in do, whether it's being the best workplace for our employees or the best new-luxury fashion brand. It is definitely a goal that everyone knows who we are and respects what we stand for.