We discuss a mutual obsession.
What makes Danish fashion so special?
Rosa: It’s colourful, hopeful and optimistic, while still being ‘Scandi’. I also see it as liberal, but not as full-blown as in the rest of Europe.
Filippa: Danish fashion today is what Danish interior design used to be. It’s about a fresh aesthetic with practicality in focus, where practicality doesn’t have to be boring. I think Danes are the most fun and carefree of the Scandinavian people, and it’s reflected in their style.
Why do we, personally, like it so much?
F: My fondness for everything Danish began when I was little. My family would visit Copenhagen every summer, and I loved how the city was so close to Sweden, yet different and cooler, or as my parents would say, “more continental” than Stockholm. My first favourite model was Freja Beha Erichsen and my mother wore some Danish brands like Munthe plus Simonsen and Samsøe & Samsøe. Later, I began following Copenhagen people on Instagram and listened to Danish music, some songs remain favourites today. The language is also super cool. Now, international attention is brought to Copenhagen and I’m just like FINALLY! I believe Danish people have an embedded sense of style (similar to the French), and they are more experimental than Swedes.
R: From my perspective living in Sweden, since we both are from Stockholm I think you can agree with me, there is so much personality in Danish style! You have brands like DAY by Birger et Mikkelsen for example, which is a brand I’ve loved for years and always thought of as a brand representative of Danish fashion. It’s clean yet has that party vibe, you know. But not too much, it’s ‘lagom’. A bit of glitter that can be worn during the day, not too much , just enough. The woman makes the clothes not the other way around, just at it should be.
Why has it grown so popular internationally?
R: Danish fashion lies between Scandinavian and European style. A European style is easier to grasp in both an aesthetic and cultural way for people around the world, it’s better known. Danish fashion has more colour and patterns and space for ‘flaws’ than Swedish design. It gives more room for personality – a very important factor.
F: Yes, the room for personality in Danish fashion is a key factor in marketing. Instagram and media personalities are the most effective tools to spread the word in fashion. I believe Danish fashion is popular because it’s part of an aspirational lifestyle. I draw parallels to the French again, with the whole concept of a stylish lifestyle. You don’t just wear a beret, you also smoke and drink red wine to fit into the image. As for the Danish version, you wear a Saks Potts coat, cycle to work and ‘fika’ with your friend. The Danish fashion scene rides the wave of Scandi-cool, which right now, is focused on Denmark.
Let’s discuss the difference between Danish and Swedish fashion?
R: Danish and Swedish style is cohesive, straight to the point in a sort of cold way. But Swedish, in particular Stockholm style is so proper and collected. Sometimes it’s too stiff. I mean you can smell the anxiety from the clothes themselves… Danish style on the other hand is more about being suave and cool. It’s not too calculated and expected. There is no such thing as a Swedish dream style, but there is a Danish dream style, of which we secretly dream. Do you agree?
F: Totally, #copenhagengirls are a phenomenon for a reason, we want to be like them, most of all dress like them. You described our opinion on Swedish style well, it’s too stiff and anxious. Danish style dares to be trendy and sexy, which in Sweden is seen as like a sin. But if you want to be interesting in fashion, guess what, sex and trends is the way to go. While Sweden has one true style influencer, Elin Kling, Denmark has several. According to me, Swedish fashion influencers don’t have enough integrity in their style. I also feel like fashion is a bit frowned upon in Sweden, especially designer brands.
What do we think about the #copenhagengirls?
R: I’ve become head over heels, I think I’m in love with the #copenhagengirls and their style! Their easy-going effortlessness, free and ‘hygge’ way of being. Don’t get me started on their messy, chic aesthetic on Instagram. I love how they dare to own their streets, their pride over their style and how fun they seem to have. I think the #copenhagengirl refers to a laid-back girl who enjoys funky fashion and design. I secretly hope to be one someday, haha!
F: Me too! They are a long-lasting style crush of mine. Their Instagram accounts are charming, way more interesting than the polished and curated influencer feed sponsored by NA-KD. The Copenhagen girl uses her Instagram almost like a ‘finsta’ [a finsta is usually a private Instagram account that shows a real picture of your life].
How do we think the government’s financial involvement has impacted the Danish fashion scene’s success?
R: I remember Filippa, that time we had a conversation about putting together the Swedish and Danish fashion weeks together. I was opposed to the idea, you weren’t. I didn’t fully understand. However, today I think if one compares the success of the Danish fashion scene to the Swedish one. Sweden is a bit in the shadow, that is a shame because Sweden is a bigger country. I would like to say that you are probably right. The Danish state has supported the scene financially and politically and now Americans are gagging over Ganni and Saks Potts. We only have Acne!! And they show in Paris… Filippa K, but the designer lives is London…
F: Swedish fashion has so much potential, but it seems like we’re scared to promote it. Not sure how involved the Danish government is in the country’s fashion scene, but evidently Danish fashion brands seem open to international expansion as its become the country’s fourth biggest export. I still believe in the idea of a Scandinavian fashion week as our region is often seen as whole. It would allow Sweden and Denmark to exchange the best of our fashions, and I mean let’s not forget Norway has money, so let’s invite them onboard. The week could travel to a different country every season/year/two years and it would create exciting opportunities for Scandinavian media, brands and influencers.
Do we have any future predictions about the Danish fashion scene?
R: It will expand economically and culturally. It will even come to represent the whole Scandinavian fashion scene, I think. The idea of it at least. And the fashion will become more integrated within their culture as a people.
F: It already represents the Scandinavian fashion scene. Copenhagen has manifested its place on the global fashion map and I hope it remains. I see brands continuing creating great design, and new brands arise. Since both Denmark and Sweden are small countries, they would benefit from a fashion partnership. I hope to see more exchange between the countries and I predict that exciting Scandinavian fashion media could grow from it.
F: Cecilie Bahnsen, Saks Potts and Ganni.
R: Saks Potts!!! Ganni, DAY by Birger et Mikkelsen and Baum und Pferdgarten.
Favourite Instagram accounts