In this age of personality, digital influence is increasingly being translated into contemporary labels that fill the gap between luxury and fast fashion. In the decade since the first Scandinavian influencer brands born of blogs (Anine Bing in 2011 and Toteme in 2014), fashion has entered a period of minimalist mania, favoring some of these labels. Yet the stereotype of the region’s style as being almost exclusively clean-lined and tonal belies the evolution of Scandi cool. Think about it: Dressed in a colorful print dress, the Ganni Girl started going global in 2012; and Rotate, the label launched by street-style faves Jeanette Madsen and Thora Valdimars, is celebrating five years of glam party looks.
Today the Scandi Girl wields as much sway as the French Girl in terms of fashion pull. Why? The consensus from the women I surveyed for this story—who came to design through blogging, social media, street style, and modeling, or some combination of all of the above—is Scandinavian fashion’s rootedness in an active way of life spent between city and country, which demands a base level of functionality.
There’s often an element of problem solving to the design process, whether that means keeping profit margins down in the interest of making quality fashion relatively accessible as Almada Label have done, or building an inclusive safe space for a community of shoppers, à la Djerf Avenue. “To us the Scandi style is all about simplicity,” say Amalie and Cecilie Moosgaard of Lié Studio. “We bike to work every morning, so we maintain a practical mindset when it comes to getting dressed.”
Cannari-Concept and Rotate, both founded by the collective attached to Birger Christensen, a leading fashion retailer in Copenhagen since 1869, are approaching fashion from a different, more skin-baring angle, while the recently launched Àvora propose a continental mix called “Scanditalian.” In other words, not all Nordic brands are minimal, but ask an influencer-turned-designer to describe Scandi cool and you’re almost guaranteed to hear the word “timeless.” I certainly did when charting the progression of Scandi influence from 2012 to today.
Anine Bing: “Timeless. Effortless. Classic.”
Born in Denmark, Anine Bing was raised in Sweden, and started her namesake brand in California where the company is based.