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Søren-Jepsen
Timothée Richard 12.16.20

Made in Denmark

Decodings

Is there a new wave of fashion coming out of Denmark? It certainly looks like it, judging by the large number of brands reaching beyond the clichés of “selectness” to propose other angles of desirability.

The luxury sector is booming in Denmark, whose domestic market is marked by high disposable income, low unemployment and – for nearly 7 years now – negative interest rates at national banks. Experts are regarding the Danish luxury market as a global case study.

While the country is internationally recognized for its approach to design, a socio style that was put forward during a few years ago for its avant-gardism on social issues, the country has also updated his style, adopting a vision more in step with international demand.

Make way for Danish fashion

Worth about 550 million U.S. dollars (481 million euros), fashion constitutes the largest segment of the Danish luxury market in terms of sales. It’s also the most significant showcase for the new “Made in Denmark” trend lending itself to export abroad.

Riding the wave of new Scandi style (mentioned in “Folk Utility” profile in our publication Living Expressions), the brand Aiayu embodies this new vision.

Aiayu collection FW 19

The “all black” collections, formerly a staple of Nordic fashion, have given way to an “organic” look featuring materials like flax, cotton, silk and hemp, without overdoing the casual attitude.

This stance has been saluted by reviewers who note the “strong messages” including the “made to last” mantra expressed by 2017 LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen (e.g.in her modern version of the bridesmaid’s dress).

Cécilie Bahnsen, Collections FW 19 & SS20

Copenhagen Fashion Week bears witness to this regional creative/cultural revival. Long neglected by buyers for scheduling reasons, this event has gained in extravagance and is getting their attention. In the last two years, it has grown in scale as it presents cult brands to the public at large.

Among these cult brands are Ganni – a new standard-bearer for Danish cool – and Saks Potts, launched by Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks, designated by Vogue magazine last spring as  “Copenhagen’s coolest label”. Popular with celebrities like Cardi B and Kendall Jenner, the latter has rapidly become a touchstone for the desirability of Danish fashion, finding inspiration close to contemporary art. Today, its products are carried by more than 50 retailers all over the world.

Ganni, Collection FW 2019
Saks Potts, FW 19

The latest twists in food

This contemporary vision, which runs a bit countercurrent, is totally edgy yet draws on tradition.  Its influence on the food sector is confirmed by the growing market share of NOLO (no and low alcohol) beverages in Europe, the United States and China.

Featuring a lifestyle deemed healthy and eco-aware, Copenhagen was picked as “the top city to travel to in 2019” by The Lonely Planet. Several small brands are applying the “raw food” approach to beverages, seeking to provide alternative drinks containing little or no sugar or alcohol and/or unexpected ingredients.

Swoon reflects this thoughtful and (still) unconventional mood, advocating “living the sweet life” without sugar, and Empirical Spirit calls itself as a “flavor company”, highlights the taste experience and relies ingredients like rhubarb, jasmine and koji to create energizing “freedom spirits” that come in minimalist packaging and are marketed with a big dose of humor that has gone over well with customers since the brand was established in 2017.

Swoon
Empirical Spirits

Cover: Søren Jepsen

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