OK, I’ll admit it: I am fully enrolled in the Scandi fan club. I know, everyone’s over it. Hyyge’s had it, Instagram can’t take any more grey interiors and we’ve all watched enough Swedish crime drama to feel thoroughly terrified. But fashion’s only just getting started. Copenhagen Fashion Week is quietly becoming one of the most interesting cities on the annual schedule, attracting industry power players and producing exciting new talent, while Stockholm and Oslo also have their own fashion weeks which, while less established, are quickly gaining momentum.
I have, like everyone else, become a firm follower of brands like Ganni and By Malene Birger, both Copenhagen-based labels that have earned cult followings in recent months. But my obsession has reached new heights thanks to a string of slightly lesser-known names, who are all making the sorts of clothes we’re all looking for – the pieces that inspire compliments, will last a long time and won’t break the bank. Most of them have been founded by women, too. Here are my current favourites that make getting dressed just that bit easier…
This Danish brand has a similar price point to Whistles and is packed with useful separates – boxy blazers, midi skirts, printed blouses – that will fit easily into your daily wardrobe. Sister label to Second Female, which was launched in Copenhagen in 2000, the brand’s philosophy is to “create a relevant wardrobe that embodies comfort and confidence”, and it really lives up to that. It’s stocked on Zalando and ASOS, as well as its own website, which helpfully lists all the prices in eight different currencies.
Only just 10 years old, Gestuz was founded by Sanne Sehested, who created the label to fulfil the needs of her own wardrobe. That means these clothes are super easy-to-wear, relaxed and strike the balance between statement pieces (silky dresses and wrap skirts) and things you can throw on with jeans (all the knitwear).
Founded by Tine Mollat in 2004, Norwegian brand ByTimo shows its collections at Oslo Runway (the city’s fashion week) and boasts a growing following of loyal fans. A good one for wedding-guest outfits, there are pretty wrap dresses, embroidered midis and some real showstopper maxi gowns, all for less than £300. Kate Middleton recently wore one of the brand’s pieces meaning that, naturally, it sold out in record timing.
Another Danish export, Envii opened its first store in 2013 and, since then, has seen 11 more open in Denmark and Amsterdam. Run by a team of 12 women, all the pieces are really affordable with a sporty edge. There are excellent colour-block knits, stripy shirts and trench coats galore – most of which are under £100. It’s a great place to buy your basics without the fear that everyone else you know will be wearing the very same thing.
A Central Saint Martins graduate, Stine Goya is rapidly carving out a name for herself as one of the most exciting designers to come out of Copenhagen Fashion Week. She’s heavily influenced by the art world, which is reflected in her painterly prints and bold use of colour. Prices are slightly more expensive – it’s about £300 for a dress – but these are pieces that you’ll keep, and wear, forever. It's just been picked up by Net-A-Porter, so expect this brand to be big news.