Nordic fashion labels 

Scandinavia (aka the Nordic countries) is renowned for her high quality, pure & basic design, whether in home ware or in fashion. For those who are interested in Nordic fashion, we have made a selection of some fascinating Scandinavian labels to check out. All of these labels (and many more) are available at www.yoox.com 

Acne Studios

Approaching its 20th anniversary, Acne Studios (often shortened to just Acne) is arguably one of the first brands to bridge the gaps between high fashion, ready-to-wear and streetwear. Like many of today’s hottest labels, Acne is a master of creating something for everyone. For the fashion aficionado, their eccentric suiting and reassuringly expensive designs will go perfectly with a strictly-designer ensemble. For the well-heeled part-timer, their designs are amped-up enough to turn heads.

Astrid Andersen

Astrid Andersen is a truly fascinating story. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Andersen launched her menswear label in 2010 and is known for her bold, unapologetic approach to classic sportswear, from the silhouettes to the symbology. As a result, you get two-piece tracksuits covered in big collegiate fonts, fluorescent fabrics and long cuts reminiscent of basketball uniforms, and lots of shiny nylons.

Cheap Monday

The Cheap Monday brand is pretty much a household name these days; part-owned by high street giant H&M and selling a product that appeals to every demographic, if you haven’t heard of the Swedish brand you’ve probably been living under a rock. That being said, like all good ideas, Cheap Monday was born from necessity; filling a gap that needed filling. Starting out as a second-hand store, the high-price of denim was point of discussion, so they began creating decent-quality, affordable jeans.

Elka

Rooted firmly in the world of work and utilitarianism, Elka never even wanted to be cool. It was founded in 1958 in Karup, Denmark and primarily manufactures heavy-duty rainwear for industrial workers, but somewhere along the way Scandinavia’s tastemakers caught on to how solid Elka rainjackets are and they became part of the fabric. In recent years the Scandinavian brand has collaborated with Norse Projects, ellesse and cult London store Goodhood, solidifying its status.

Elvine

ELVINE’s brand manifesto draws heavily from Swedish heritage. The brand was named after founder Daniel Mänd’s grandmother Elvine Mänd, an Estonian seamstress who fled to Sweden during World War II. Made for the sidewalk and not the catwalk, Elvine product is made to be equally at home in the city as in Sweden’s rough, uncharted territories, maintaining functionality and a utilitarian edge no matter what.

Eytys

Launched in 2013, Eytys (pronounced ‘80s’) might be the youngest brand in this whole list, but you’ve probably already come across them on the brand roster of one of the world’s leading fashion stores. The story is perhaps not far from many other Scandinavian brands; Eytys just make good stuff.

Filippa K

Named after founder Filippa Knutsson, Filippa K is a men’s and womenswear retailer with a strong focus on timeless classics done well. Far from the bold and brash end of fashion, the brand places a strong emphasis on straightforward wardrobe essentials with universal appeal, creating a perfect balance between style and accessibility.

Han Kjobenhavn

Originally founded in 2009 as an eyewear brand, there’s something about Han Kjøbenhavn that oozes class. Though you might not know their clothing, you’ve surely seen their inimitable lookbooks, modeled by a distinctive silver-haired Danish gentleman with a stare that could cut through diamond. But back to the clothes. Han Kjøbenhavn injects a bit of color and fun into their designs in a way that surely only a Scandinavian brand could.

Hay

Dressing well is one thing, but living well is entirely another. Bringing the effortless Scandinavian aesthetic to the world of homewares and furniture, Danish brand HAY has established itself as a go-to name for any contemporary tastemaker looking to give their environment a touch of Nordic class. HAY product brings Bauhaus functionalism, Pop Art playfulness, Cubist geometry and straight-up timeless design under one roof.

Henrik Vibskov

Graduate of Central Saint Martins in London Henrik Vibskov is one of few Danish designers with runway fashion credentials. Commonly associated with the “New Nordic Movement,” Vibskov’s avant-garde and forward-thinking designs in clothing, furniture, art and music, have drawn considerable praise from around the world.

Libertine

As their name suggests, Libertine-Libertine is a Scandinavian brand rooted in ideas of liberation and free-spirit. Founded in 2009 by three friends in Copenhagen, their designs lie on the intersections of form and function. Individual pieces appear stripped down to their essence; nothing more than they need to be. As you piece the outfit together, however, you discover carefully-considered designs that just look great.

Mads Norgaard

Designer Mads Nørgaard founded his eponymous clothing brand in 1986 and today the imprint operates a number of brick-and-mortar locations in Denmark, proffering both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear. A ubiquitous style choice for Danes, Mads Nørgaard isn’t entirely a fast fashion enterprise, but certainly bears some similarities to its big box counterparts like H&M or Uniqlo. After 29 years, the franchise of boutiques is still sticking to its guns.

Mismo

Driven by pragmatism, Mismo looks to equip modern wayfarers with the ultimate travel companion in luggage form, specializing in streamlined accessories and leather goods that embrace Dieter Rams’ truism “Form follows function.” The Nordic atelier has certainly found its center by adhering to purist principles and remaining passionate about design.

Nudie Jeans

Nudie Jeans is a welcome Scandinavian anomaly, and they do the job well. Founded in 2001 by Maria Erixon, a former employee of Lee denim, this Swedish brand brings a laissez-faire attitude to the dogmatic world of raw denim. Other brands might tell you to take your jeans for a swim in the ocean, or hand-wash them with a particular detergent ratio following moon cycles, or check the temperature and density of grass before sitting down to ensure the perfect fade, but Nudie is refreshingly casual.

Our Legacy

With their minimalist aesthetic, immaculate basics and stripped-down color schemes, everything about Our Legacy screams “Copenhagen”, but these guys actually hail from Sweden. At its heart, the Scandinavian brand is driven by a desire to create the archetypal wardrobe; no extra baggage, no superfluous details, just good clothes. This philosophy is complemented by product names, ranging from the descriptive “pocket tee” or “turtleneck” to the more emotive “great sweat” and “perfect tee”.

Rains

RAINS has experienced a relatively rapid rise to success over the past few years, which is perhaps not surprising when you consider Denmark’s maritime climate and purported 121 days of rainfall per year. Not unlike a few other brands mentioned here, RAINS blends contemporary fashion cuts with weather-ready textiles, starting with classic rain anoraks but soon expanding into all manner of waterproof apparel and accessories.

SamsoeSamsoe

Originally a jewelry store in downtown Copenhagen, brothers Klaus and Preben Samsøe launched their eponymous brand in 1993 and soon expanded into basic t-shirts, something which is now a signature item of the brand. Their chief menswear designer, Gitte Wetter Olufsen, describes earlier creations as “stylish and democratic,” but recent expansions into more trend-conscious and contemporary offerings have seen Samsøe & Samsøe gaining considerable audiences overseas.

Sandqvist

Founded in 2004 by brothers Anton & Daniel Sandqvist and their friend Sebastian Westin, Sandqvist is a Swedish luggage company that produces clean, quality backpacks, duffle bags and accessories true to Scandinavian principles. Forget cheap nylons, paper-thin polyester, flaky plastic-leather and zippers that break after a month. Sandqvist’s signature material of sorts is a heavyweight, waxed cotton canvas, complemented by genuine leather straps and handles.

SNS Herning

Step away from the hype and fervor, for a minute. Forget about the street styles and red carpets and celebrity endorsements and collaborations. SNS Herning is a family-owned, independent knitwear company, based in the Danish city of Herning (population roughly 47,000). Founded in 1931, this label specializes in beautiful knitwear geared for the Nordic fisherman, and its machines are currently operated by a grand total of four people. No pointless details, no big graphics, no hyped ups.

Stutterheim

Okay, so you probably look at Stutterheim’s product and feel like you’ve seen it somewhere else, but what this Swedish brand did was take a functional clothing design and inject it with that unique contemporary Scandinavian design language. Not only that, Stutterheim took that same impenetrable rubber fabric and applied it to a number of essential silhouettes; chore coats, fishtail parkas, coaches jackets, pea coats, M-65s, MA-1 bombers.

Style Butler

Style Butler was first born in late 2004 out of Dane Pernille Leschly Halle’s desire to create high-end women’s clothing from luxury fabrics. Not long after, her sister Cathrine Alva-Jørgensen joined her in the venture, taking charge of the business development, and the first collection launched in 2005. Within no time Style Butler had a growing presence in Europe and a reputation for beautiful collections.

swedishhasbeens

The sandals and clogs from Swedish Hasbeens are based on original 70’s models and are made of ecologically prepared natural grain leather. All shoes are handmade with respect for people and the environment in the old traditional way, and in small factories that have made shoes for decades. Production methods and material are kind to nature and people. Made in Sweden.

Swims

Take a good idea (waterproof clothing) and apply it to something that needs that treatment (footwear). Johan Ringdal founded his Scandinavian label in 2006 when he became fed up of dressing sharp and getting caught out in the rain. The solution? A comprehensive range of brogues, wingtips, loafers and dress shoes made from 100% waterproof material. Blending watertight nylon with classic materials such as leather and nubuck, Swims has created boardroom footwear.

Wesc

One of the OGs of Scandinavian streetwear, WeSC (short for ‘We are the Superlative Conspiracy’) is a Swedish streetwear label rooted in snowboarding and skateboarding. Now in its 18th year of operations, WeSC has worked with a number of brand ambassadors (known as ‘WeActivists’) such as Jason Lee and Ray Barbee as well as Swedish snowboarder Ingemar Backman and big-room house producer Axwell.

Won Hundred

Before launching his own brand, designer Nikolaj Nielsen was an industry veteran with a considerable background in denim, but in 2004 he created Won Hundred and set out to change the understanding of fashion in Denmark. Drawing from a plethora of cultural and artistic influences, Won Hundred creates clothing for men and women that have a clean, minimalist edge throughout, but with an added touch of flair.

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Scandinavian Originals
Scandinavian design, Nordic design
Scandinavian design, Nordic design

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