ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Scandi Style – The brands to know

Scandinavian High Street names such as IKEA and H&M soon reveal everything that seems to be key to the Scandi Style. Whether it be fashion, furniture, or beauty, the Scandinavian style seems to be characterised by muted colours and a minimalistic approach. But in 2016, are Scandinavian brands moving forward from the androgynous look they are so well known for? Can the upcoming Copenhagen fashion week give away any hints as to what the style is all about? A quick look at some of the best-known brands, as well as some of the lesser known brands to an international audience, might reveal a thing or two about a style that, despite its simplicity, is notoriously difficult to emulate.

The Classic Brands


Part of the H&M Group (worth £13b as of 2014, making it the highest-valued fashion brand in Europe), this Swedish brand is known for its modern minimalist styles. Its stores are well known for their casual pieces at the mid-market price point. COS creative designer Karin Gustafsson notes that ‘at Cos, we want to propose a style inspired by architecture, graphics, design and arts,’ and these influences certainly show through in their pieces: look at their knitwear for easy transitional pieces between seasons.


Filippa K

On their website, another successful Swedish brand Filippa K describes itself as ‘designed for ourselves and those around us.’ Conscious of both the modern man and woman, the brand focuses on sustainability, with their textile developers working alongside sales and marketing to explore the future of fashion. They are also tapping into the growing market of athleisure, and are busy developing their Soft Sport collection, aimed at low intensity physical activity and travel (i.e. my kind of sportswear).


Acne Studios

Probably the only kind of acne we all want. The brand says that ‘the collections are defined by Johnny Johansson’s (Creative Director) signature juxtaposing design and attention to detail […] and an eclectic use of materials and custom-developed fabrics. Their clean cuts and modern tailoring emphasise the importance of good quality staples and how a staple item doesn’t necessarily need to be ‘boring’.


Brands watch: Copenhagen Fashion Week

By Malene Berger

The Danish luxury brand isn’t so revolutionary in terms of its sharp tailoring and clean lines, but what makes the brand slightly different is the injections of colour into their pieces, whilst still emphasising the ‘easy to wear’ culture of Scandi fashion. A brief look at their most recent shows also suggest a slight move away from the androgynous look Scandinavian style is known for to a more feminine look.


Astrid Andersen

Think sports-luxe inspired menswear with this Copenhagen/London based brand. Although primarily a menswear brand, Andersen showed her first womenswear line at the AW17 Copenhagen Fashion Week. In an interview for the fashion week, Andersen claimed that the type of women she was designing for was ‘sexy but is looking for a new contemporary way to express this in a generation where gender is not so strictly defined’ – a stance that is very much reflected in her androgynous styles aimed at women.


Elaine Hersby

Also a name at Copenhagen FW, it’s a brand that cites its influences as already well-established fashion houses Acne and Henrik Vibskov. Inspired further by ‘travel and pulsating places’, their SS17 collection looks to be a fun take on monochrome, with innovative approaches to the well-established Scandi features of geometric patterns and clean cuts (think surprising cutouts against a backdrop of black and white).


Iona Thomas 

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