In celebration of International Women’s Day, we uncover the design inspiration behind some of Georg Jensen’s most iconic female designers.

Every year, as part of International Women’s Day, the world celebrates the achievements of women across the globe, and their contribution to every sphere of life – whether cultural, social or political. This year’s #BeBoldForChange theme calls on the world to demand equality, and address the gender disparity that still exists. 

Georg Jensen has a long tradition of supporting female designers, whose work forms a significant part of our heritage. Our collection includes key pieces by names including Swedish silversmith Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, Iraqi-born architect Dame Zaha Hadid and Danish designer Nina Koppel. Contemporary designers including Patricia Urquiola, Ilse Crawford and Sanne Lund Traberg have also contributed to Georg Jensen's range. Taken together these women's works are an essential contribution to design history, but also powerful proof of the capabilities of female designers.

Zaha Hadid

In 2016 the world mourned Zaha Hadid’s death – not just as an enormous blow to architecture and design, but as the loss of an irreplaceable female leader. Her distinctive style, so immediately recognisable in her buildings, found a new outlet in her Lamellae collection. Featuring the fluid curves she came to be known for, these pieces are powerful wearable editions of the sculptural forms that mark her legacy.

Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe

Swedish silversmith Vivianna Torun paved the way for successive generations of jewellery designers – staking her place in what was a male-dominated industry. Favouring precise curves – which she compared to a childhood love of ice-skating – over decoration, she designed pieces that could be owned for decades, rather than moments.

“When I work with silver I perceive within my whole being the curves, the turns, like when my skates were tracing precise and slow figures on the ice,” said Torun. These disciplined forms are apparent in her iconic Torun bangle – which nods to the machinery of the body with its delicately shaped clasp – her Forget-Me-Knot neck ring, Dew Drop earrings, and Marcia pendant.

Torun designed jewellery that could nestle into the contours of the body, or chime with the wearer’s movements. As she described it, her pieces were “for being, not appearing to be”.

However it's perhaps her Vivianna watch that she's best known for. Created as an ‘anti-watch’ in 1962, Torun designed its open-ended bangle and mirrored, numberless face as a way of freeing the wearer from what she perceived as the slavery of time. Perhaps the silversmith’s best-known design, its sculptural yet fluid form – typical of her work – appears to float above the wrist.

Nina Koppel

Danish designer Nina Koppel first collaborated with Georg Jensen in the 1980s, bringing a background in textile design, which she studied at Denmark’s School of Arts and Crafts, to the world of jewellery. Her Fusion collection was intended to involve the wearer in the design of their own piece, giving them the freedom to decide what each interlocking fragment should be made of.

Patricia Urquiola

Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has a diverse range of pieces to her name, having created interiors, furniture and architectural glass, as well as homeware for Georg Jensen. Her Urkiola collection is a distinctive range of candleholders and vessels, which gave the designer a chance to experiment with stainless steel as a new material.

The collection is distinguished by ridged lines, which contrast the apparent 'simplicity' of the steel, creating what Urquiola calls a “warm and masculine” finish. Winner of a Wallpaper* 2017 Design Award, the Urkiola pitcher is a standout piece, turning the typical structure upside down and anchoring a blade-like handle at the base of the jug.

Ilse Crawford

Ilse Crawford – who brings 14 years of experience as a design journalist to her creative output – is one of the most well-respected designers working today, awarded Maison&Objet Designer of the Year in 2016. Her practice, Studioilse, has collaborated with brands including Ikea and Wästberg, and has brought her human-centred design philosophy to interiors for Soho House and Stockholm's Grand Hotel. The Ilse collection brings out the beauty of everyday objects, favouring pleasingly simple outlines furnished in reflective materials including solid copper, brass and steel.

Sanne Lund Traberg

Sanne Lund Traberg, Design Manager at Georg Jensen, brings a diverse background to her work, with time spent at Lego as well as running her own design practice. The Manhattan collection was developed with the Georg Jensen archive in mind, and references sketches, photographs and original objects informed by more than a century of heritage. It takes cues from the Great Gatsby era, bringing a touch of Art Deco to cocktail hour.