We used to think that Scandi style was effortlessly minimal, yet a new wave of Nordic designers are embracing a playful maximalism. From pairing bold patterns with bright colours but still offering the key pieces we need to update our wardrobes, these brands have embraced joy
Saks Potts is the go-to brand for Copenhagen cool girls. Founded by Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks, they take their inspiration from contemporary art, mixing it up with more glamour in candy colours. Their signature piece is the eye-catching Foxy coat, which has given way to a full collection of brilliant pieces. International fans include Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga and Alexa Chung.
Founded in New York in 2000 by Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer, the brand Rodebjer has fast become a cult staple for women, thanks to its fuss free elegance. Our favourite pieces are her signature slouchy suits, muted prints in pastels, and we love her pink and white checkerboard suit for S/S 2021. The brand is committed to creating sustainable collections and using green materials that are built to last both in quality and style.
Danish designer, Stine Goya is known for joyful prints, bold silhouettes and her confident use of vibrant colours. After studying in London’s Central Saint Martins, Goya started her label in 2006 and has a loyal following who regard her clothes as uplifting and directional. She encourages her customers to be bold, mixing up her colours and prints.
In 2012, three Danish friends launched a fashion business built on pure practicality. This may seem boring on paper, but Rains is an outerwear brand that is anything but. Check out their playful reinterpretation of the classic rubber fisherman raincoat, and the way they push other outwear shapes for men and women. Latest shapes encompass sporty wardrobe essentials. The new collection still blends a Scandinavian aesthetic design, whilst pushing utilitarian outerwear shapes. It uses both neutrals and a full spectrum of colour like mango and lilac, proving you can look great in the city whatever the weather.
Danish designer Julie Brøgger launched her label in 2016 and—now based in London—creates clothes that make a women stand out. She plays across the spectrum from masculine soft tailoring to feminine colour and floral prints. Pronounced “Breu-ger”, Julie has previously worked for brands such as Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Erdem and JW Anderson, matching Danish design tradition with London cool.
The Copenhagen-based label was founded by Nellie Kamras in 2014. Kamras was working as marketing manager at her family leather business when she had her light bulb moment. What was going to be a sub collection became the launch of her own brand, which she built by taking her knowledge of luxury Scandinavian simplicity and twisting it with bold colours and daring patterns. This alluring mix, paired with an accessible price tag, has made her one of the Scandi IT brands. Everything in her collections is set to put a smile on your face, not least her oversize squishy Tote bags in brightly coloured leather and her checkerboard-patterned, faux fur Teddy coats.
Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave founded their brand in Copenhagen in 1999 with a view to dressing women who wanted to have fun with their personal expression. Their brand is just that: strong, structured silhouettes, exquisite fabrics and playful prints. The S/S 22 collection is a homage to Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, which sees the team pushing their silhouettes with rounder shapes inspired by the famous savoy vase. More feminine pieces celebrate the graphic print. Stand out pieces include the 70’s-style track jackets paired with billowing skirts.
Vogue described Central Saint Martins-trained Vibskov as the pied piper of Danish fashion, and after 20 years in the business he is the go-to for print and colour. We love his men’s oversize silhouettes, bright coloured ombre and pixilated jumpers, and graphic print socks. Look out for his concept stores in Copenhagen and New York, where you can buy his full collection along with up and coming designers and artists.
LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen's feminine, frilly designs might not automatically match up with the functionality that was once associated with Scandi design, but they showcase a whimsical modernity in their simplicity, with added details full of storytelling and romance, that make the brand difficult to resist. Bahnsen offers a collection in soft colours and black with real craft value attached. Each piece is meticulously made from fairy, dreamlike fabrics using traditional techniques. This leads naturally to sustainability with organic up-cycling happening because of the love, care and value placed on each piece.
Credited with reinventing Scandinavian style, Ganni strikes the perfect balance between Danish cool and Parisian ease. Think bright coloured gingham dresses, boyish biker jackets and lots of great denim. The brand was launched in 2000 by husband and wife team Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, and there is a lot of reference to the Ganni girl, an authentic free-spirited character who is very relaxed about fashion. While this style is actually not easy to put together, you can see why people want to buy a piece of it. Ganni has just introduced its first ever genderless collection with the relaunch of its responsible line Software.