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How they make it last: Emma Oak

Posted in Style
by Beatrice Widmark on 23 August, 2015

Use as little products as possible and do some skinny dipping in salt water.

Emma Oak is one of Denmark’s most successful models. She’s walked the runway for brands such as Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney, Haider Ackermann and The Row. She grew up in Viborg, but nowadays, she lives in New York when she is not traveling around the world for job. Emmas relaxed androgynous style– boyish suits, sneakers and boots– has made her a streetstyle favorite and a great inspiration when you are looking for that casual and timeless everyday look.

Make it last chats with Emma about fashion memories, ways of making it last and more.

Most revolutionary fashion memory? 

– The Chanel shows I’ve walked are always something to remember. I see them as art pieces, they are not just fashion shows, it’s installations of contemporary culture. If I had to choose one of them, I guess the craziest experience was my first Chanel show – Chanel Couture SS13. Virgin experiences are always revolutionary in one way or the other. And this one was certainly special for me in many ways. I don’t know if my ramblings make sense, but try to check out this video of the show, and I think you know what I mean.

– For me it felt like the show was inspired by the balance of nature. Karl did an installation of real trees and forrest inside Grand Palais, and we walked a huge snail shell shaped structure. He wanted us to stroll like we were just taking a walk in the forrest. Perfect for a first time right 😉 And the music!!! Listen to the music. Sounds like mother nature is singing, haha.

How do you promote more sustainable fashion for someone who says she’s not into it?  

– I guess I try to inspire through my actions, instead of preaching about “the right thing”, haha. Good old saying: ”Actions Speak Louder Than Words”. In general, I get so tired when people try to push something down my throat. So I try not to do that myself.

Have you somehow customized a garment you already own? 

– I have absolutely no skills in garmenting what so ever, but I’m very blessed with handy friends. Just had my favorite pair of jeans fixed by my friend Jack. He uses stitching in his artwork and so he fixed my broken ass. I’ve had them for more than 8 years… They become better and more important for each time I have them fixed.

What is your best sustainable product? 

– Use as little products as possible and do some skinny dipping in salt water. One of the best things about Copenhagen is the clean water in the harbour. There’s water and canals everywhere, so you can jump in and get some refreshment anytime you want. For me that’s a great sign of urban sustainability, and personally I feel its a great way of emerging myself in the eco-system i’m part of.

emma oak-1

What do you wish became easier when it comes to fashion and sustainability? 

– Transparency, for sure. Transparency would make a huge difference in our behavior and habits around shopping. Somebody should create an international trustable standard of classifying and certifying each brand and each product.

– Today it’s impossible to see through the ins and outs of a products footprint. If we made that easier, and created a standard, by which we calculated and communicated the footprint for each product, I think people would start to shop after it. I would happily lend my thoughts and time to a project like this. So if this resonates with somebody who is reading, and you could use me in one way or the other, please reach out. I would love to help out.

Who is your style icon? 

– Eve from Adam and Eve. That band the Bible is always talking about 😉

Who would you like to spend one minute in an elevator with, if you could choose anyone? 

– You might remember that scene from Friends where Rachel Green meets mister Ralph Lauren himself in the elevator. Last year doing fashion week in New York I had the honor of sharing an elevator with the still handsome Ralph, on my way up to the show casting. We smiled and said hello as one do, and later that day I got a call from my agent. “They are asking if you are the girl from the elevator. Ralph wants you in his show”. And so my one minute in an elevator turned into a job opportunity! Haha. Great show!

Emma Oak

Occupation: Model.
Current projects in life: Washing white clothes, chess improvements, educating myself through podcasts, literature, music, film and people.
Motto in life: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Follow Emma on Instagram: @emma_oak
Picture: On Abbot Kinney


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