LF : Lady Fur
LOH : Lise Okkels Hansen
LF :You were born in Denmark and you have studied marketing and communications in Denmark, Australia and England. Why did you decide to specialize in the fur trade and work for Kopenhagen Fur?
LOH : My father owns a mink farm and I have therefore been part of the fur industry from a young age where I helped look after the animals. Going to the Kopenhagen Fur auctions as a child was always special. When I got the opportunity to go and work for Kopenhagen Fur in Beijing, it was not a difficult decision to say yes.
LF : You have spent the last year at the Kopenhagen Fur Offices in Beijing working as a Brand Manager. Which are the difficulties you met and which are the positive aspects? Tell us about your experience in Beijing.
LOH : It was definitely difficult to overcome the language barrier. Although I did intensive Chinese classes, it was difficult to communicate with people. Luckily, I had very nice Chinese colleagues that always helped me translate and my Chinese did improve over time. Overall, my stay in China was incredibly interesting and I learnt a lot from working there. I love the people, the food and the culture in China – and I miss it every day!
LF : From the point of view of the leather-fur market, which are the differences between the European and the Chinese market?
LOH : The size of the market – until you go to China, it is difficult to imagine just how many people wear fur coats. In Northern China, it gets very cold in winter and wearing fur is a natural part of everyday life.
LF : Did you have the opportunity to meet Chinese fashion designers? If yes, tell us about them.
LOH : I was fortunate to meet with Guo Pei, a Chinese couture designer that Kopenhagen Fur collaborates with. She is an amazing and very passionate woman. She has a very beautiful workshop in Beijing where all of the Chinese celebrities go to have one-off pieces tailor-made for them.
LF : Kopenhagen Fur also sponsors a fur design class at Tsinghua University and I attended the upcoming designers’ graduation show. It was very inspiring to see their designs and I got to meet the winner of the fur design competition. She won a trip to Kopenhagen Studio in Copenhagen where she designed a fur iPhone cover.
LF : Would you live in Beijing for the rest of your life?
LOH : For now, I am back in Denmark – but I would love to go back and live in Beijing or another Chinese city at some point in the future.
LF : Tell us about a typical day in Beijing.
LOH : The beauty of working in Beijing is that there are no typical days. Some days are spent at the office whilst others are spend traveling the country to visit customers.
LF : What about your future plans?
LOH : Nobody knows what the future might hold. But I am positive that I will be working more with Chinese market in the coming years.