EDITORIAL: GRAHAM + RICHARD, COUPLES, CREATIVES & CULTURAL EXPLORERS
In conversation with the British expat couple Graham Addinall and Richard Kemp. We met them in their eclectic Vesterbro home for a cup of tea and their point of view on moving to a completely different city in a country they have never been before. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Both of you are born and raised in Britain, now living on Vesterbro in Copenhagen, Denmark. Can you tell us about your journey to where you are today?
Graham: I can answer for both of us! We met back when we were at university in Nottingham. Richard was studying fashion and I psychology, but after graduating we both ended up eventually working for Paul Smith. I was headhunted by Day Birger Mikkelsen to be the head of men’s design and we decided to make a change to our lives and try a couple of years in Copenhagen, a city we didn’t know at all. Fifteen years later, and a few job changes along the way, we are still here and very settled in Vesterbro.
What was your first impression of Copenhagen and the Danish culture in general?
Graham: I loved how attractive the city was, especially by the water. It felt clean, civilized, and relaxed. I liked the Danes immediately. We share a similar sense of humor and I found people friendly and easy to talk to.
Richard: I found a sense of ease and relaxation immediately (that was poles apart from the UK) and despite what the Danes say, they are a very friendly bunch of people.
What made you want to stay and create a life in Denmark?Graham + Richard: It sort of crept up on us. After the first couple of years loving it, but feeling it was temporary, we realized we had a great group of Danish friends, loved the work/life balance, and were very settled here. The real change came when our landlord offered to sell us the apartment we were renting and when we decided to buy, we knew we were here to stay. Brexit in the UK underlined that!
As an international couple, you have a lot of artefacts from around the world in your home including cool coffee table books, quirky figures, and puzzles. How would you describe your home and interior style?
Graham: Eclectic, not minimalist, but hopefully interesting. Everything we own has a story behind it and was chosen by us or gifted by people who know us, so I feel it has a lot of our personality in it.
Richard: I think it’s a fabulously creative mess of our own making. And we love it!
You both have an impressive record within the fashion industry. What does fashion mean to you other than being something you create and work with?
Graham: I like the way that your clothes can express a lot about your personality. It can signify your place in the world and your social network. But it is just fashion – we can’t get too serious about trousers and shirts!
Richard: We’re not doing brain surgery here, but fashion does fuel our creativity. I’m continually inspired by stylish people (not necessarily fashionable people).
From your perspective, Richard. What is a typical Graham Addinall uniform?
Richard: I feel there isn’t a short sleeved patterned shirt that Graham wouldn’t wear! (He does have nice arms though…). He always dresses classic, but there is a quirky edge to it. And the clothes never wear him.
And the same type of question for you Graham. What is a typical Richard Kemp uniform?
Graham: Richard is the king of tonal dressing! He loves wearing shades of a similar color. He’s more daring than I am and much more considered. I’m a bit slap dash in comparison.
With both of you being stylists, designers, and certain names in the fashion industry, how would you define good style?
Graham: Know what suits you and what works for your life, then be a little braver and push yourself a bit. Do not follow trends!
Richard: Effortless! Looking like you are trying too hard is never stylish. You can buy
fashion, but you can’t buy style as the great Iris Apfel once said.
And lastly, as the true Vesterbro residents you have become. Where do you hang-out the most?
Graham+ Richard: Riga for summer wine, Itzy Pitzi for takeaway pizza, Pate Pate and Brasserie Saigon for casual dinner and Kødbyen’s Fiskebar for something fancier.