Nicholas Nybro Danish Design’s Lone Ranger, Settles Down

Nicholas Nybro works only when inspiration hits him, so he usually has several projects running at the same time. It’s an approach that’s worked well in his career so far.

After graduating in 2009, Nybro joined flamboyant brand ‘Moonspoon Saloon’ and was almost immediately a pillar of the Copenhagen fashion scene. In 2015, he was nominated for the ‘Dansk Design Talent’ award and in 2016 became a household name when he took part in Vild med Dans, Denmark’s version of Strictly Come Dancing. Now, he’s preparing to give up his independence and settle-down at one of Scandinavia’s largest design houses. After curating a collection for CPHFW SS19, Ivan Grundahl have asked Nybro to stay on as their head of design.


nicholas nybro Ivan Grundahl


Accepting the new position, Nybro admits, was daunting, as it requires he step directly into the shoes of their legendary founder, who died in 2016. “Ivan Grundahl designed his collections in the very place I’m sitting now,” he says, clearly apprehensive. Nevertheless, Nybro is confident he can finish Grundahl’s work. “Like Ivan,” he says, “I’m embracing every imaginable body shape.” Grundahl’s inspiration is particularly evident in ‘Journey’, Nybro’s collection at CPHFW this week. It’s based on Karen Blixen, a character who fascinated Grundahl. “It’s a series about growing,” Nybro explains, “about growing from a girl into a woman, a journey seen in playful silhouettes that transform into tighter and straighter cuts.”


nicholas nybro Ivan Grundahl


The collection will undoubtedly attract attention, so this week Nybro will be swept up in the action. Next week, however, as the excitement dispels, he must start thinking about deadlines, an alien concept after so long going it alone. “The idea of working nine to five is strange,” Nybro admits, “I’m used to working when ideas present themselves and this doesn’t necessarily happen in an office. I’ve never needed to settle in a big design house before.”

In 2016 Danish tabloids focused on a conspicuous red dress designed by Nybro and worn by actress Ghita Nørby. He knew she liked it, but he didn’t know she’d wear it to a ball at Christiansborg Palace, hosted by Queen Margrethe. On social media it was compared to a deflated balloon, a parachute, even a placenta. But, while it probably didn’t suit the occasion, it was intriguing, wacky and eye-catching; symptomatic of Nybro’s creativity. By maintaining creative distance, Nybro will enter his new role effortlessly, injecting much needed energy to a house still in mourning. If Nybro gets hung up on business, however, he’ll wind up frustrated and deflated. Somewhat like the dress.