You are currently viewing The true Mariniére
Pressefoto: Mads Nørgaard Copenhagen

The true Mariniére

The true Mariniére appeared at the seaside of France, in the late 1850’s. Surfacing as a naval wardrobe, that later on appeared on local fishermen, yachtsmen and others enjoying the seaside-life –  while wearing a shirt covered in stripes.

A humble design of stripes, that soon became known as the Breton stripe. Original designed with an inclusion of 20 navy blue stripes, each one 10 millimeters wide and spaced 20 millimeters apart, and is said to contain the number of stripes connected to the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s victories.

It has been seen on the well-known artist Pablo Picasso and the french fashion designer Coco Chanel, who also introduced the classic striped shirt to women’s fashion in 1917, by taking inspiration from the fishermen at the very same seaside of France. And by that, the true Mariniére became a solid part of the fashion scene.

Decades later, the true Marinére appeared on the shoulders of one of the most avantgarde artists of his time, Andy Warhol.
During the opening of his art studio, The Factory, in the early 1960s, Warhol where photographed on a fire escape staircase dressed in the legendary Breton stripes, once worn by the navy, french fishermen, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel and the artist Pablo Picasso.

In 1983 the tru Marinére resurfaced when the french fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier introduced his La Mariniére and the Breton stripe, with the presentation of his first prêt-á-porter (ready to wear red.) collection for men.

And even earlier than that, in 1967, the stripes related to the true Mariniére, appeared on the danish fashion scene, when the Grand old man of the danish fashion scene Jørgen Nørgaard, reinvigorated the legendary stripes and contributed to the story of, what once where associated with the naval wardrobe of France, into not only a contemporary fashion element, but a fashion icon.

Since then, the stripes related to the true Mariniére, have been a synonymous with danish fashion, as well.

From the early beginning danish fashion have been represented in iconic lines, silhouettes, designs and statements, that created the images of danish fashion throughout the international fashion scene. An image that still dominates the danish part of the fashion scene, as well, as the international to this day.

The Made In Denmark part took place from the beginning and the stripes related to the true Mariniére fitted right in.

In times before and after the second World War, the danish fashion scene was more monochrome, then we know it today, and represented mostly a few shades of black, grey and dark blue colours.

And seen from the view of Copenhagen, the war marked the difference between the pre-war times and after.

After the war the world was optimistic and had more than enough room for changes, also in the view of fashion. But in the following years after the war, the lack of fabrics for clothing was notable and clothes was made of the fabric you could get, like parachutes, which were made of silk at that time and then used to make dresses.

And like other countries, Denmark had the eyes turned towards Paris, before and after the war, when it came to fashion. At that time, Paris had been the capital of fashion for centuries and continued to be so after the war, when Christian Dior introduced his Ligne Corolle collection – named New Look by the Press, in 1947. Dior’s New Look, changed fashion and became the new epoke. Now the skirts had to be longer, more voluminous and one dress could be created by 15 meters of luxurious fabric.

People was shocked and amazed and the fashion lines of Dior was nearly impossible to follow, unless you as a fashion retailer had good connections in the fashion and textile industry and as a costumer were able to afford the expensive tailored skirts, containing meters of luxurious fabric.

Dior’s lines did not seem suitable for the people in Denmark, at that time.

A decade later, in the late 1950’s, Denmark started to feel the revolution of that time. A revolution that changed our view of fashion, the danish fashion scene and the later the view of danish fashion for good.

1950‘s Made in Denmark – Nørgaard Paa Strøget

More than a decade after the war, in 1958, the danish designer and Grand old man of the danish fashion scene Jørgen Nørgaard took over his family-owned store “Sørgemagasinet” in Stroget, at Amagertorv 13 in Copenhagen, after his father Mathias M. Nørgaard and changed it into Nørgaard paa Strøget.

Nørgaard paa Strøget came along with the beginning of the teenage-revolution, at that time and it soon became one of the first teenage shops in Copenhagen, where the aim was to introduce the new teenage- and youth culture in Denmark and sell clothes and fashion in a timely matter. And with a closing-down sale at the old family store “Sørgemagasinet” called: “Mess and Clear” ( Rod og Rul, in danish) – after a danish re-write of Rock and Roll, a new era began at the address Amagertorv 13, where the democratization of fashion, clean lines, minimalism, long-term basic designs have been in focus ever since.

With a variety of clothing, that felt the spirit of the times emerging youth/teenage revolution and window decorations as provocative and sensuous, performed with the advanced artists at the time, the Nørgaard Paa Strøget store, was marked as a different fashion store.

In the beginning of the revolution, the inspiration came from a part of the American dream, where teenagers found themself inspired by the style of the icons James Jean and Marlon Brando, where jeans, white t-shirts and leather jackets played the part of some of the main-characters.

This marked a new part in the fashion history. A part, where the rebellion and the sexuality took it’s place, in the danish fashion scene.

During the 1960’s the fashion icon Twiggy made her impression in the international fashion scene, with her le garcon look (a boyish look red.), represented by the short hair and clothing with a straight line silhouette with no visible feminin shapes, but always a very short skirt.

Through out the decade of the 1960’s the skirts and dresses became shorter and shorter and bare upper-thighs became a normal fashion-related picture on the streets. And during 1970’s the skirt’s length were shortened even further and the short skirts and dresses somehow turned into very short hotpants – leaving not much to the imagination and they where worn as shorts.


In the middle of these revolutions, Jørgen Nørgaard created the 101 ribbed t-shirt. With inspiration of the 1960’s t-shirt from America, Jørgen Nørgaard invented the 101 classic – the rib, thinking that: “The t-shirt should have longer sleeves, to be twice as warm. It should have more colours, be easy to wash and first of all, it must have a sexuality in itself and show what we are – then and now – called “ the city’s best breast”.

In 1967 the 101 classic ribbed t-shirt and the now legendary Nørgaard stripes was born and was from the beginning MADE IN DENMARK. Named no. 101. by the fabric and the dream of driving on the road of California, with that number. Designed in 20 colours and 10 stripes and was worn by both sexes, with no relation to gender.

It was worn along with the jeans and short skirts in the 1960’s, as well as the hotpants in the 1970‘s and became a part of the youth and women-revolution during the late 1960’s towards the 1970‘s.

And The 101 ribbed and striped soon became a danish design icon, throughout the international fashion scene and where later added to the collection at the danish Art and -Industry museum.

This part of danish fashion became the first part of the construction of danish fashion and what later became known as some of the foundation of the danish fashion image, started out with ribbed t-shirts, basic lines and a the legendary stribes.

The ribbed 101 t-shirt, the basic lines, statements and legendary stripes continued to grow and have since then, been a dominating part of danish fashion ever since.

The legendary stripes in the third generation of Nørgaard

A decade later the third generation of Nørgaard became a part of the danish fashion scene. In 1986 the son of Jørgen Nørgaard, Mads Nørgaard opened his first store at Amagertorv in Stroget in Copenhagen and by the same year, his first collection in his own name Mads Nørgaard Copenhagen, was born.

The first Mads Nørgaard Copenhagen collection was exclusively a men’s collection, which was created out of the belief, of what Mads Nørgaard felt was missing in other collections and in the fashion scene in general. A decade later, in 1996, the Mads Nørgaard Copenhagen women  collection became a part of the collection and was in the beginning, like his men’s line, based on his signature basic-designs, but soon both lines (men and women red.) represented hole collections, covering a complete wardrobe.

Mads Nørgaard soon reached the entire fashion scene. Continuing with his fathers fondness for stripes and the legendary Nørgaard stripes, became a part of the third Nørgaard generation and had been a solid part of each of Mads Nørgaards collections ever since the first one.

In 2012, Mads Nørgaard took over his fathers store, Nørgaard paa Strøget, next door and by that the iconic 101 t-shirt, as well.

And to this day, to generations and close to five decades later, the legendary Nørgaard stripes and the iconic 101 are still very much alive.

Today the Nørgaard stripes have been released once again in new colours and designs over the years, in collaborations with other brands and fashion names, such as the swedish label Acne Studios and the danish multibrand store dr. Adams.

And in 2014, the stripes where even introduced in a new solid Mads Nørgaard Copenhagen collection called: MADE IN DENMARK.

A basic collection representing a men and woman line of simple designs, with no pockets, no zippers and no buttons – only the legendary stripes and a small selection of colours. Made entirely out of jersey and made in Denmark. Knitted in Herning, dyed around Vejle in Jutland and produced on Zealand.

In the same year the iconic 101 ribbed t-shirt and the legendary stripes went abroad on it’s first official foray, when the German Photographer Joans Unger documented the 101 t-shirt on a road-trip around the world. And close to five decades after it’s birth in 1967, the 101 tee, was in stock in selected fashion stores in Northern Europe, for the first time.

Made in Denmark – today

Soon after the iconic 101 t-shirts first official trip abroad, the androgynous look, where the border between X and Y could be erased in one look and the normcore phenomenon, based on an androgynous look, where gender takes no part and the “normal” look became hardcore, both became integrated looks/images throughout the entire fashion scene.

They both have roots in a political matter. Both changed the fashion scene and none of them were defined by gender, but often erased the border between X and Y.

Today the designers collections are still represented in a men’s and a women line, but often the borders between the sexes are erased. In danish fashion it have appeared so once in a while, during the last decades. Because of our dominating minimalistic look, where long-termed basic designs often created a base and the minimalistic rarely made lines between the sexes.   

The 101 tee as well as the legendary stripes was also a danish design icon, with no general relation to gender. It was sexless and as it turnes out, timeless.

The iconic 101 tee and the legendary stripes became, soon after their birth, nearly half a century ago to this day, a very dominating part of danish fashion and image.

An image, that have represented clean lines, minimalism and long-term basic designs from the very beginning and never been loud or exaggerated, regarding to appearance. Created by an earlier generation of Danish fashion and carried out by the younger today, where the image still represents our clean even artistic line, our minimalistic look, where even the most loudest print could be dominated and thereby presented as a minimalistic and danish inspired look.

Today the image might be louder and more exaggerated, but it is still not regarding to appearance. Every country around the world have their fashion signatur. And the danish one are still represented with roods of clean lines, minimalism and long-termed basic designs ass well as the iconic 101 and stripes!

In other words: The true Mariniére stripes, that once upon a time, where associated with the naval wardrobe in the late 1850’s France and worn by local fishermen, sailors and others related to the seaside, has long ago went from being a dresscode related to the french naval or seaside to a classic fashion icon, but to this day it is still associated with the sailors of a lost time as well as our maritime heritage, in one way or another.

And the legendary stripes have been seen throughout numerous of seasons and reinvigorated numerous of times.

Today, the true is associated with sustainability and organic cotton, as well as Danish design and clothing MADE IN DENMARK.
And the tru Marinére, made in a sustainable way, with organic cotton, is still present at Mads Nørgaard, as a permanent part of the seasonal collections.

But the inspiration from the 1850’s naval wardrobe, local french fishermen, the artist Pablo Picasso or even the french Couturier Mademoiselle Coco Chanel also appears in other danish designers collections.

In 2018 the danish brand Le Pirol, was founded by the danish designer Morten Underbjerg, who also seemed to have had a long love affair, with the true Marinére.
And with inspiration from the local fishermen from the seaside of France and the artists Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, the true Marinére, with the humble sailor stripes, took part of his collection as well – and from the beginning, they were made in organic cotton or wool, as all his items.

And they were, from the beginning, also MADE IN DENMARK.
Coco Chanels version, were intended to be worn by the masculine gender, as well as the artist Pablo Picassos, the french navy and the local fishermen from the french seaside.

But in our time a true Marinére does not have to be worn at the seaside of France, by a fisherman or even have any relations to the navy, the seaside of France or any other country for that mather. 

And today, the True Marinére does not even have a gender, to relate to. 

Now the true Marinére is just associated to the one carrying the legendary stripes, in a nobel matter.

Embracing the iconic stripes, that according to the original rules or myth includes 20 navy blue stripes, each one 10 millimeters wide and spaced 20 millimeters apart, and is said to contain the number of stripes connected to the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s victories. Or the transformation of the iconic, where you kan where as many stripes as you wish, across or beside one another or as a single striped part shirt as it was ones.

With the true Mariniére.

In our time, we just added the sustainable, the organic and the MADE IN DENMARK part.

To the story of the true Marinére. 

Pressefoto: Mads Nørdgaard Copenhagen