Founded in the early 1980s by Gerdur Kristjansdottir, Icelandic Design has always been a labor of love. Gerdur, a native of Reykjavik, Iceland, comes from a long lineage of craftspeople. Her passion for knitting and embroidery comes through in the clothing she’s designed for over 30 years. Gerdur learned to knit at the age of seven from her mother who used to make the entire family’s clothes and wool socks to stay warm through the harsh Icelandic winters. Summers would find Gerdur sheering sheep on her uncle’s sheep farm. The shorn wool would be spun by a neighbor and turned into lovingly-constructed warm wool sweaters for the coming winter.
Gerdur’s and Icelandic Design’s passion for creating ‘wearable art’ is done today through the care of small, localized workforces who source the materials we use to create our clothing. We employ knitters who can work out of their homes or in collaboratives, so they can stay close to their families. Over the years, we’ve developed long-term relationships with hundreds of knitters in other countries, such as Nepal, Peru and China, who manufacture Icelandic Design.
After more than 30 years of pouring her heart into the brand, Gerdur decided she was ready to move on. She remains dedicated and wanted to ensure that Icelandic Design would be taken over by a company with the same commitment to producing high-quality apparel, as well as a history of good business practices and a commitment to the people they employ. Icelandic Design is now a part of a family of brands that date back to 1965 and have been family-owned and operated from the start, Sportif USA. Sportif USA will continue to work with the Icelandic Design team and factories to create well-constructed knits for women who love the Icelandic Design brand and fine fashion.