Danish jewellery designer Marlene Juhl Jørgensen has been one of the leading forces on the Copenhagen fashion scene for more than 25 years. An award-winning designer and goldsmith, she has been based in the same tiny boutique on one of the trendiest streets in Copenhagen for all these years. FINEMATTER goes behind-the-scenes to see how their coveted designs are handmade directly in their workshop, and to hear how Marlene’s journey to become one of the most respected Danish jewellery designers started.
On a narrow street in inner Copenhagen, sandwiched between the glossy store fronts of the trendiest Danish fashion brands lies Marlene Juhl Jørgensen’s flagship store and workshop.
It’s a tiny space – the kind that quickly feels full of customers, crowding around the tall glass display cases lining the walls.
Beginnings in the Big Apple
Marlene Juhl Jørgensen has sold her jewellery in this exact store for more than 25 years now. As she remembers it, the street was a little less trendy then, but neighbours such as Ganni, Gestuz and Munthe have helped this stretch of Copenhagen become a favourite destination for the city’s fashion-forward crowd.
Originally a trained goldsmith, Marlene went on to study design at the Parsons School of Design, and train at the Jewellery Arts Institute in New York. After selling her designs in high-end boutiques in the Big Apple, demand for her jewellery in Copenhagen convinced her to open her first shop, originally named Figaro’s Bryllup (Figaro’s Wedding).
The shop has since taken on her own name, but the location, and the interior has pretty much stayed the same. “It’s only me who’s getting older!” Marlene joked, when we visited the store. Her succes on the Danish fashion scene culminated in the award for Jewellery Brand of the Year by Elle Magazine in 2016 – a moment that Marlene still considers one of the highlights of her career.
Craftsmanship Above All
Her commitment to the craft of jewellery has remained consistent too, as the brand grew and expanded. Today every piece of Marlene Juhl Jørgensen jewellery still begins and ends its creation in the studio directly behind Marlene’s shop. Here, sat around workbenches strewn with cutters, pliers, hammers and torches, a handful of goldsmiths work on current and new designs under Marlene’s supervision, using gold, diamonds and colourful gem stones.
We were given a special opportunity to witness this atmosphere when we visited the store and workshop. Watch the video above for a fascinating look at how Marlene Juhl Jørgensen became a leading force on the Danish jewellery scene, and how her coveted jewellery pieces are created.