Getting To Know: Michael Lennheden – Parel Studios

Born out of Copenhagen in 2020, Parel Studios began with the simple mission of amplifying the essence of functional design in products – striking the balance between functionality and aesthetics in the space of traditional workwear, lifestyle and activewear. The name Parel comes from the word apparel, and signifies the brands ethos of clothing that works for all ranges of activity. Parel aims to easily offer comfort and confidence in people’s daily routines by creating practical, functional apparel with an all-day usability.

In conjunction with our first collection from Parel Studios at HIP, we caught up with Copenhagen based Michael Lennheder – founder and creative director of the upcoming functional led label.

Please introduce yourself, what you do and where you are based?

My name is Michael Lennheden, founder and creative director of Parel Studios. Based out here in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I have a background in Industrial design and for the past 5 years been working as head of footwear for Amsterdam based fashion label Filling Pieces.

What does an average day in the life look like currently working on the brand?

It’s really a little bit of everything honestly, we are just 2 people at Parel so we wear a lot of different hats. It can be anything from client support with customers, FaceTime calls with factories, or warehouse organising (we recently just moved to a bigger office/warehouse again). There are weeks we are working on prepping the webshop and we’ll shoot flatshots and on-model pictures in our office, or we are on an outdoor shoot, or we are packing orders and dropping them off at the post office. Sometimes we also just drink coffee and talk shit. We try to do everything ourselves still, both to stay on top of all corners of the brand but also to cut cost which is super crucial in the beginning stage of starting a company.

Obviously the most fun part is the prepping of a new season, building a collection, the sketches, the techpacks and the moment when the samples arrive and you see the ideas you had for the first time in real.

Tell us about Parel – how did the brand originally start and what’s your mission plan?

The name Parel is borrowed from the word ‘apparel’. It’s a short brand name, and that was important for me. I like short and clear brand names, and it had to be something that was sharp, short, and somewhat recognisable and easy to remember. The mission with the brand is to make timeless useful clothing for everyone, that helps you feel confident and comfortable while you do your thing you know? It’s for us the no-nonsense approach to clothing that we like. We want to create good gear for your everyday wardrobe. We are trying to look away from quick trends or useless fashion. We are on a constant journey on trying to understand what makes a good item, and then make it just a little bit better every time. We call that ‘Apparel Research Program’.

Parel has a futuristic yet clean feel to it, where do you see the future of how we approach clothing in general going?

Yeah we definitely have a “clean feel to it”. But I think that also has to do with the core mission of the brand which is to make no-nonsense products, then you naturally take away anything that don’t serve a function or is aesthetically pleasing, you know?

I don’t know if you can say we have a futuristic feel to it, but maybe it does? I mean I like to think we are wearing clothes different today than we did in previous generations. We want to be able to go to the office, go shopping, hang out with friends and be a little active all in a day, and I think we want to be able to do that wearing something that is fitting for all scenarios right? Or have the ability to feel natural in all the elements. At least that’s how I like to dress.

Have you been surprised in different ways the brand has been interpreted?

I don’t know if I have been surprised so to say, but definitely super interesting to see the difference in the kind of people who wears it. I think what is so great is that it really fits everyone, it’s the fresh streetwear kids, the trendy city girls, the casual outdoor guy and the minimal classic type guys. And my retired father who sails on his sailing boat, it looks very natural on him too. I think that is what have been an interesting thing to see, how wide the appreciation for the brand has been.

What’s your current favourite piece from the SS22 collection and why?

My favourite piece? I like them all! I think it is the Legan pants, I literally wear them everywhere! They are so easy to wear with everything and really comfortable. The shorts and Prespa set in brown and blue is great too!

What’s next for you and Parel?

Well, hopefully a lot of great stuff! We only just started the journey.

Keep up to date with Parel Studios here.

Parel Studios – new to HIP. Online now.