Scandinavia Standard is your one-stop destination for Scandinavian lifestyle in English. Whether you’re a local, immigrant, visitor or simply a scandiphile, you should get to live an enriched life in the city of your choice. On this website enjoy Scandinavian lifestyle, travel, design and events for locals, travellers and scandiphiles.
Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), founded by star architect Bjarke Ingels, was founded in 2006. Since then it has become one of the most important architectural offices in the world. From humble beginnings in Copenhagen to over 350 employees, 10 partners, and satellite offices in London and New York City today, BIG have designed iconic buildings and visionary concepts around the globe.
Creating both small to large scale projects, Bjarke Ingels Group has produced some of the most recognizable city architecture, including important places in Copenhagen such as urban park Superkilen, Copenhill, and Urban Rigger.
Here are some of the most influential and interesting buildings to know from Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG):
Hualien Residences by Bjarke Ingels
Still under construction, Hualien is a residential development project located in Taiwan designed to bring to mind the mountains and surrounding nature of the country.
The project offers a variety of holiday apartments for different types of families or residents, as well as activities within the facilities. The flow within the buildings is through pathways that connect the “mountains.” The project is a new development for the area and encourages citizens to explore and use this part of the country.
The apartments were designed to enhance sunlight, sloped green roofs, light material for the interior finishes, and the suggested furniture for the space was designed by Kibisi.
A secondary project, a 1:1 showroom, was built and furnished in Hualien for future residents to come and visit the new building complex. The showroom demonstrates one of the many layouts that can be found in the development.
noma Copenhagen by Bjarke Ingels Group
The opposite of a skyscraper, Copenhagen restaurant noma shows how BIG can bounce between large and small scale projects, without losing a sense of authenticity.
Located in a singular site surrounded by nature, the restaurant enhances simplicity and elegance through the exterior-interior finishes, furniture, and layout. Danish design and Nordic cuisine intermingle in a refined way to experience one of the most renowned restaurants in the world.
The restaurant is a one story building that accommodates a large kitchen and patron seating. Glass walls were placed towards the water in order to connect customers with nature. An open space allows those enjoying their meal to watch those working in the kitchen.
The interior was designed by Copenhagen-based Studio David Thulstrup, and is as wonderful as the building itself. If you want to reserve a table, bookings open three months ahead of each season and go very quickly, so we recommend you check their website for updates!
Architecture doesn’t get more fun than this! Opened in 2017, the LEGO House is an experiential centre with six separate zones and over 25 million LEGO bricks.There is a LEGO store, conference facility, multiple restaurants, and a number of incredible interactive activities for children and adults alike, including programming a robot and creating a stop-motion film.
LEGO House was a chance for Bjarke Ingels Group to showcase playfulness in a way they hadn’t been able to before, and the results are wonderful. The house itself looks like stacked, colorful LEGO bricks when viewed from above, and the roof terraces all include playgrounds.
Copenhagen Fashion Summit took place from 15th – 16th May at DR Koncerthuset in southern Copenhagen. Launched by Global Fashion Agenda in 2009, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (CPHFS) is an industry-led event that focuses on sustainability issues in fashion. Opened by patron HRH Princess Mary of Denmark and Global Fashion Agenda CEO Eva Kruse, and hosted by British television and radio presenter Gemma Cairney, the summit began with a series of keynotes and dialogues. There were panel discussions, presentations, performances, and an innovation lab that showcased emerging textile solutions. The summit felt, in equal parts, hopeful and full of gaps; similar to the global sustainability discussion more generally.
Here are the messages we took away with from Copenhagen Fashion Summit this year:
The truth is that we simply need to produce less. A lot less. Yes, there are ways to make production more sustainable and ethical. But now the question is bigger than that: is producing in and of itself an ethical act?
There will likely never be a time when we aren’t producing more items, but there’s no need for the scale of clothing and accessory production we currently have. Most fashion houses produce a minimum of four collections per year, with fast fashion working hard to catch trends and maximise consumer interest based on the breakneck pace.
What if we started by cutting production by half, or even a quarter? If every major fashion house and brand committed to producing significantly less, we would at least stop adding to the problem at the rate we do today while still maintaining the jobs of those involved at all levels of the supply chain. This is an issue that was addressed during Paul Polman’s day one speech and more generally on day two of the summit; it was exciting to hear people begin to pick up this point.
We need to be more inclusive with who is involved in these summits.
There was not one factory worker, garment worker, or farmer speaking. There were no small businesses represented.
Day two saw a more balanced schedule than day one, with the important voice of Nazma Akter, President of the Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation (SGSF) in Bangladesh. She was, however, the only representative of garment workers in the entire summit; truly a failing for what is meant to be an industry-wide event.
We simply need to invite more people to the table – more people of color, more of those doing the jobs we claim to be trying to improve, more activists, more young people, more people who are going to call out the bullshit. It’s wonderful to walk away feeling excited and hopeful, but we should also walk away feeling that the dark corners had light shed upon them, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable for having stayed in darkness for so long.
Summits are interesting and enjoyable way to bring the industry together and share knowledge, obstacles, and triumphs, but they are not enough. There needs to be actionable resources between summits that take the immense amount of knowledge displayed at this event and makes it accessible on a wider scale. Global Fashion Agenda does produce guidelines for CEOs, but this is a rarefied group and not necessarily useful for everyone. While the summit does provide video of their talks, which is wonderful, we wonder what kinds of resources, events, and actions can be taken between summits to keep the energy high year-round.
We are so grateful to have been able to attend this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit; we understand that there are many who wanted to but could not. The summit only hosted 1,300 people; CEO Eva Kruse noted in her opening remarks that there were 800 people on the waiting list. Many more, of course, were not even on that list. As Paul Polman noted in his speech, “those of you sitting here, you are the lucky ones.” Yes, and in more ways than one.
Issues of sustainability and ethical production are not abstract – they are harming people and the planet every day. The summit was not perfect, but its intentions are noble. Obviously intention and outcome are different, but we believe the desire for change and the chance to actually implement it really does exist here; it’s just about opening up the discussion to a far wider group of people. Perhaps asking an industry-based organisation to focus less on the business model of sustainability is a pipe dream, but perhaps it’s also time to recognise that the industry that caused the problem in the first place can’t be the only one to fix it.
There was an immense amount of experience, knowledge, and ambition to change the industry at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Now let’s move forward; there’s a lot of work to do.
3 days of design, the interior and product design festival in Copenhagen, takes place from 23rd – 25th May this year. The festival is full of exhibitions, talks, industry events, and open events that all design-lovers can enjoy. From sustainability-focused lectures to cocktail parties, there’s something fun for everyone.
For our recommendations, we’re highlighting only events that are free and/or open to the public, although some of them require an RSVP beforehand.
Nomad Workspace, a gorgeous co-working space in Nørrebro, hosts their second Dawn Exhibition. The exhibition runs through the entire festival and includes a number of events and brands. We’re looking forward to are the talk by Nuura Lighting designer and creative director Sofie Refer on the 24th at 4:00 pm, followed by cocktails and snacks at 5:00 pm
Color and textile designer will be giving a talk about color and its considerations in the design process. This talk is at the Kvadrat showroom in Nordhavn, designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, which is a treat to visit.
Fil de Fer’s beautiful central showroom will be styled as a Pied-à-Terre with vintage furniture and sustainable textiles; go take a stroll through and picture yourself back in 1960s Paris while also learning about recycled fabrics.
Friday, 24th – Saturday, 25th May
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Danish designer David Thulstrup, who, among other things, designed the interior of the new noma restaurant, will be giving a talk about his design process. He’s just launched a kitchen design with Reform, so have a peek at his work and get a chance to ask him some questions in a beautiful, relaxed setting.
Karla Opazo was having trouble finding the perfect shirt. You know the one – your go-to on those days when you just feel like throwing on something comfortable but you still want to look chic. The one that always makes you feel put-together and has a flattering silhouette.
At the time, Karla was working in marketing and PR in her native Sweden. She met Swedish designer Viktoria Chan and the two began working together.
“I knew I wanted to create something, but I wasn’t sure what yet. I’ve always been creative – from painting to designing – so doing something of my own was a priority. When Viktoria and I started talking about what we wanted to make, we realized that if you wanted a really great shirt, you had to pay a ton of money to a designer brand. There were no brands out there focusing on really good shirts for women at reasonable prices, and that’s what we needed. So we made it ourselves!”
Karla Opazo, co-founder of SLEEK Atelier; Photo: Kevin Boutwell
Launched in 2016 with only eight shirts, SLEEK atelier quickly drew attention in both Sweden and Denmark for its unique take on a classic item: the white button down shirt. The shirts are crisp and structured, with interesting and unexpected details like belting, ruffles, and bows. The references to the traditional button-down keep the shirts from feeling too precious.
“We work in white, black, blue, and some stripe patterns, like our popular green stripe,” Karla says, “you’ll never see us get too wild though. The whole idea is that the shirts are classic, with a twist, so they’re ultimately really wearable across trends and generations. We see girls and women of all ages buying our shirts, and we love that.” The collection now features 30 shirts and builds on itself with every collection, rather than following a seasonal model.
Each shirt is designed and named for a woman in Karla or Viktoria’s life, with specific details that would suit that woman’s life. “The X shirt was designed for a friend who is a teacher, but who loves to go out with friends at night. So I made a shirt that was quite demure in the front, but you can open the back and tie it up to give it a bit of sexiness in the evening. There’s something about the versatility of a button-down shirt that is so appealing,” Karla explains. And the name? “I was reading Vogue and they kept saying everything was sleek,” Karla laughs.”So the word just got stuck in my head.”
SLEEK atelier’s shirts are made from 100% cotton and are produced in a family-owned factory in Shanghai, where Viktoria lives. This means that she can observe the production process, and the brand has a high level of control over the designs. “Often in fashion, you’re doing a lot of back and forth with prototypes,” Karla says, “but we’re lucky. Viktoria just goes into the factory and goes through the design very specifically. Because she can work so closely with the team there, we often only have one prototype before a piece goes into production. That may seem like a small thing but for us it’s a much more sustainable way of working.”
The brand doesn’t currently have a brick-and-mortar shop; instead, they mostly sell from their webshop and through a few retailers. Karla’s apartment acts as their showroom for the time-being, and they’ve also held sales in various locations. “We’re not in a rush to have a store,” Karla says, “because we’re finding that the webshop works really well, and it also allows us to keep costs pretty low. Our prices are reasonable for the quality and design. We think everyone should be able to have shirts they love that are both well-made and affordable.”
Viktoria’s design expertise (she’s got her own brand as well, and it’s really good) coupled with Karla’s marketing skills and creative mind have made for an ideal pairing. “I’ll have an idea for a shirt and send a little sketch to Viktoria,” Karla says, “and then a few months later, she’ll send me a prototype. It’s pretty amazing to see something that was in your head become a real-life product. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that feeling! What Viktoria is really good at is bringing out the details of a design; it’s always better than I expect.”
But the best feeling of all, Karla explains, is seeing people wearing and loving their SLEEK atelier shirts. “We recently had an event and all these women came in, and a lot of them brought their daughters, or their mothers, and everyone found something that suited them. I love that we don’t have an age range, you just have to find the shirt that you connect with and that fits your lifestyle.
I remember one older woman, perhaps about 70 years old, came in and she was just so gorgeous – really chic. I said, ‘where did you find out about us?’ and she said, ‘where I find everything, of course: Instagram!’ I just thought that was great. I’ll never forget that woman; to me, she represented what we’re doing in such a great way. It’s just about being the best version of yourself.”
Camp Adventure, the 45 metre-high observation tower and nature-based activities site located in Gisselfeld Klosters Forest in Southern Zealand, Denmark, is making the forest accessible. Built by Copenhagen-based architecture firm EFFEKT, Camp Adventure offers the highest ropes course in Denmark and the most diverse range of nature activities, including zip-lines and tree-top climbing, in Scandinavia.
The crown jewel of the area is the observation tower, called Forest Tower, made of reddish-brown corten steel and oak sourced from the Bregentved and Gisselfeld estate forests. The tower is made in a hyperboloid form; the vertical steel pipes are actually rotated rather than bent, resulting in a natural curve. The tower is 135 metres high, making it the tallest point on Zealand. The view is incredible, with a clear view to the Øresund bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden (NB: one of Denmark’s favorite pastimes is telling people from which points they can see Sweden, so as you can imagine this tower is very exciting for the country at-large).
From design to construction of the tower took two years, with the actual erecting of the boardwalk and tower taking only six months; it first won the 2017 ICONIC Award in the “Visionary” category. The surface of the tower covers 1400 square metres, while the diameter goes from 28.4 meters at the top and bottom, then down to 14 metres in the centre. This shape is not only visually stunning and engaging, it also makes it possible to walk or wheel up easily and allows users to see a great deal more – both inside and outside – than they would do if the shape were cylindrical. The shape offers maximum stability, and the top observation deck is ideal for viewing the forest, almost making viewers feel like they’re floating in the tree tops.
Designed and prefabricated in a factory so the construction would be as respectful to as possible, then brought on site and erected in six months.
The construction process, as with the design process, was very much about placing the tower without harming the natural surroundings. “We had the entire structure produced and pre-fabricated in a factory,” explains Chief Operating Officer of EFFEKT, Mikkel Bøgh, “so that we could literally just put it down and build. This was done to be as respectful to the natural environment as possible, and of course also to make the process streamlined.
In addition to the tower, EFFEKT created an elevated boardwalk that is 900 metres long, also rendered in oak wood. “We elevated the path for two reasons,” says Mikkel. “The first was to give people the impression of walking through the forest in a way that felt integrated. The second was so that the boardwalk’s existence would have as little environmental impact as possible. “The best way to not mess with the soil and all the little critters on the ground is to have a walkway that doesn’t touch the ground,” says Mikkel.
The lower boardwalk is already built, and there is an upper boardwalk that has been planned and will be built soon. This part of the boardwalk will include more complicated structure aspects such as split paths that allow you to go higher, and a “take off” path that spirals upwards, but offers a lower view point than the tower. “We created this addition so that the project is always evolving and showing people new ways to experience the forest,” says Rikke.
Sustainable architecture is at the heart of Camp Adventure, and EKKEFT’s task was to build something large and functional that blended into the surroundings but also felt like a safe structure. “The idea is to increase the number of visitors by approximately 150,000 over the year, so doing that while also maintaining the forest was a very interesting problem for us,” Mikkel says.
Accessibility was also a key component of the project. “When we started making the boardwalk, we realized it was about creating place in the forest for people who may not necessarily come to the forest on their own. So we thought about groups of people who might want to use the space; the boardwalk is wheelchair accessible, and that is super important for making sure it is an inclusive area,” explains Mikkel.
For those who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in nature, Camp Adventure is an ideal catalyst for enjoying the outdoors. “This is a very curated nature experience,” Mikkel concedes, “but that’s what makes it so special. It’s for everyone! We’re hoping that by encouraging people to enjoy the forest and trees in a way that they feel comfortable, perhaps the next week they’ll go out into nature in a different way. We want it to inspire people to interact with the natural world.”
Tickets to the Forest Park are 125 DKK in advance and 150 DKK at the reception
Tickets to the Climbing Park are 300 DKK for the day for adults (15+), 200 DKK for ages 7 – 14, and 100 DKK for ages 3 – 6
Parking costs 50 DKK
Opening Hours for Forest Tower
31 March – 30 June: Every day 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
1st July – 11th August: Every day 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
12th August – 3rd November: Every day 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
4th November – 30th March: Closed
Opening Hours for Climbing Park
31 March – 30 June: Thurs – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
1st July – 11th August: Every day 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
12th August – 3rd November: Thurs – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
4th November – 30th March: Closed
Danish fashion has long been known as a bastion of minimalism and high-quality. As brands and Copenhagen Fashion Week grow on the global scene, Danish fashion and style are evolving and refining. Yes, minimalism and monochrome are still in, but so are weirder, wilder looks. Androgynous styles are popular across the gender spectrum, and casual comfort is king (most people wear sneakers to work).
Let’s dive into the aesthetics, practicalities, and names-to-know of Danish fashion.
What is Danish fashion and Danish style? Our guide has all the answers:
How to dress like a Dane
There aren’t many rules to dressing like a Dane, but there are a few guidelines that, if followed, should set you on the right track.
Second-hand isn’t second rate. Danes love flea markets, second-hand shops, and vintage. Often you can find great deals on gently used designer items, although just as often, the vintage prices are extremely high.
Copenhagen Fashion Week is the largest of the Scandinavian fashion weeks and is considered one of the most cutting edge fashion weeks worldwide. It’s still small, but not too small; international press are there, and the larger shows are starting to get global attention.
Copenhagen Fashion Week includes two fairs: Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF) and Revolver, as well as graduate shows and a huge array of events. It’s where you’ll see all the best Scandi street style for your biannual dose of sartorial inspiration.
Danish street style
Danish street style has been a global influence on fashion trends worldwide. Street style photographers who have been at the forefront of capturing Danish and Scandinavian streetstyle include Søren Jepsen/The Locals (a Dane himself) and Jason Jean.
Scandinavia Standard covers street style for every season of Copenhagen Fashion Week and it’s always full of fun and inspiration.
Big Danish fashion brands to know
Danish fast fashion brands
Yes, Denmark produces fast fashion! Though the brands that breakthrough globally tend to be design houses, there’s plenty of fast fashion in Denmark that’s both cheap and questionably-made. Some of these brands have good sustainability policies
– Moss Copenhagen: on-trend fashions that tend towards the bohemian-look, as well as athleisure and basics like t-shirts. This brand is popular amongst the younger crowd and the quality is fairly good for the prices. Their sustainability practices are unknown.
– Bestseller: this brand is kind of the Danish H&M, on a smaller scale. They own Vila, Vero Moda, Selected, Bianco, and a number of other fashion brands, as well as the eponymous line. They have a fashion investment platform called Invest FWD that has become a partner in Fashion for Good, a fashion sustainability incubator. They do not, however, provide an annual report on their website.
– Samsøe Samsøe: this brand produces trendy and foundational pieces that certainly fall into the “Scandi cool” category. They have a strong CSR policy but no annual report is available through their website.
– DK Company: this company owns a large number of Danish fashion brands..
The Scandinavian cross flag, also known as the Nordic cross flag, is widely known as the symbol of the Nordic region. Instantly recognisable, the flag design covers Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Finland. Greenland is the only Nordic country that does not use this flag; instead, they have their own image, adopted when Greenland won its independence in 1985.
Where did the Nordic cross flag originate and what does it symbolise? Learn the history of the Scandinavian flags (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) as well as that of Finland and Iceland:
The History of the Scandinavian Flag (Nordic Flag)
The Scandinavia cross flag originated as a symbol of Christianity and were used as banners during war. The Kalmar Union, which was the kingdom that united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, as well as parts of Finland and the between 1397 – 1523, adopted a flag with a red cross and yellow body, which was hoisted by troops during various wars, including the northern Crusades.
What does each Scandinavian flag (Nordic flag) look like?
Flag of Denmark (Dannebrog)
The Danish flag features a white cross and red body. It is the longest continuously-used national flag and was officially adopted in 1854, after having been the merchant ensign flag since 1748 and unofficially used around the country since the 14th century.
The origin legend of the Danish flag takes place during the Battle of Lindainse during the Livonian Crusade in 1219. The story goes that as the Danes were about to lose, Dannebrog fell from the sky and filled the hearts of the Danish soldiers with courage, spurring them to victory.
Flag of Sweden
The Swedish flag features a yellow/gold cross and a blue body. It was officially adopted in 1906. The colors are said to be inspired by the Swedish coat of arms, which features blue and gold, and was modelled on the Danish flag.
The origin legend of the Swedish flag holds that King Eric IX saw a golden cross in the blue sky when he landed in Finland during the First Swedish Crusade of 1157, prompting him to adopt the symbol and colors as his banner. Others assert that this story is a little too close to the Danish flag’s origin legend.
Flag of Norway
The Norwegian flag features a blue cross outlined in white and a red body. It was designed by member of Parliament Fredrik Meltzer and adopted in 1821, although it wasn’t officially flown until 1899 after Norway’s union with Sweden dissolved.
Flag of Finland
The Finnish flag features a blue cross and a white body. It was officially adopted in 1978 after having been used as the flag of Helsinki-based yacht club Nyländska Jaktklubben from 1861. When Finland gained its independence in 1917, the state held a competition for an official flag. The final design was by Finnish artists Eero Snellman and Bruno Tuukkane; it included a coronet and coat of arms. The flag was further updated in 1922, then again in 1978, the iteration of the current flag.
Flag of Iceland
The Icelandic flag features a red cross outlined in white with a blue body. It was officially adopted in 1944, but was used unofficially as a symbol of both Iceland and Christianity as early as 1913, and more prominently from Iceland’s independence in 1918.
Though the Icelandic flag is modelled on the Danish flag, the colors were chosen to represents important elements of Iceland: red is the fire from the island’s volcanoes, blue is the mountains, and white is the snow and ice covering the country.
Clothing rental has finally made it to Denmark. For a country so invested in sustainable fashion, it’s taken a surprisingly long time.
Danish fashion brand By Malene Birger has partnered with clothing rental platform Continued to launch Rent the Look, allowing you to rent high-end pieces from a curated collection. The items, like dresses, skirts, suits, and accessories, include both new collections and those from their archive. The platform launches on 15th May.
The available dresses run the spectrum from black tie and gala-ready to ones more suitable for a garden party. The strength of Rent the Look is that it offers options for those who would like to wear something unique and beautiful to upcoming events, but don’t a) want to pay a full ticket price and b) don’t want to add to their wardrobes.
Though By Malene Birger makes clothing for pretty much every aspect of life, the focus of their collaboration with Continued is occasion-wear. For this, they’re digging into their significant archive to pull out dresses and skirts that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Think floor-length silk dresses covered in silver sequins, strappy triangle-top dresses with numerous tiers of chiffon ruffles, and poufy princess skirts that look perfect with a tucked in t-shirt.
They also have a selection of their latest collection for a more modern look, including a patchwork tiger-stripe maxi dress and an A-line Broderie Anglaise frock with a plunging back. There’s even showpieces from runway shows, such as the patterned sequined dresses with partially detached arms
The couture and runway pieces are, unfortunately, only available in one size (typically size 36), and the newer collection come in sizes 32 – 44. There is also a smattering of accessories, including extremely rad silver sequin mules.
Continued was founded in 2017 by Vigga and Peter Svensson, also the founders of successful kids’ clothing line KATVIG. Niolaj Reffstrup, the CEO and co-owner of GANNI, was an early investor in the company, which gives an indication of the kinds of brands that Continued will be targeting with their platform.
As rental opportunities like By Malene Birger’s enter the Danish market, we are excited to see how people respond. It does address several current issues in fashion consumption, including reuse and affordability. We do wish there were more sizes available as the selection is very limited, but hopefully this is something that will change once there’s better proof of concept locally. With massive successes around the world like Rent the Runway, we predict that the clothing rental market in Denmark will grow quickly.
What better time to try out this service then a time when you want to wear something really spectacular? For any upcoming summer weddings, fancy parties, galas (do you go to galas?! Tell me more about your glamorous life!), or whenever else you want to look a little extra, give Rent the Look from By Malene Birger a try.
Want to rent By Malene Birger clothes with Rent the Look?
By Malene Birger x Continued is holding a pop-up event at Atelier September on Wednesday, 15th May from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. Go try on some unique pieces with friends, drink bubbles, and then reserve the items you love for your upcoming summer weddings and other parties.
The first Black-Owned Business and Entrepreneurs Summit took place in Copenhagen on 4th May 2019. This event brought together black-owned businesses and community leaders to share their start-up stories and networks. The day included keynote speakers, brand exhibitions, and a banquet in the evening.
Whether you were able to attend the summit or not, it’s important that the information shared at the summit be available as a resource for those who would like to start their own businesses, find mentors, or simply learn how to support black-owned businesses in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the entire Nordic region.
ConfidentGains is a holistic wellness coaching service available to individuals who are stressed and burned out from their busy day-to-day routine, wanting to achieve a more balanced, fulfilling, and confident life. As a wellness coach, Golda Fania, who has an MSc in Nutrition, is skilled at approaching people with compassion and understanding of their unique situation.
She offers a helping hand by providing guidance, evidence-based nutrition therapy and practical strategies that can inspire a long-lasting internal change in her clients. The core principle of her business is that the client is in the center, and she is the guide. Together with her clients, Golda strives to pursue and achieve their personal health goals, so they can gain more energy to live well and thrive!
QIIM is an African-inspired casual clothing line run by designer Céline Faty, originally from the French Caribbean. Prior to her fashion career, Céline was a singer for over 20 years, touring the world. While she was touring in the Ivory Coast, West Africa, she was attracted to the amazing colors and prints that the local women were proudly wearing. The timing was perfect for her, as she was ready for retraining in her professional career. As a result, in 2011, she created QIIM, a unique “African- inspired” clothing line. Through her journey as a textile designer, she met her husband, a Senegalese man. Since then, Qiim has become a small family business. Céline is also an author, motivational speaker, and mother of two children. She settled in Copenhagen five years ago with her family to share her love of art.
Born in South Africa, Zozo Ntokazi Mposula moved to Copenhagen when she was 21 years old. She studied modern dance and dance pedagogy at the Copenhagen School of the Performing Arts. In 2009, she first realised her interest in photography after discovering tumblr, but it was not until 2012 when she bought her first camera that the love story began.
Zozo began taking street portraits photographs in 2014 and became specifically interested in Afro-street style. Now her work consist of portraits, videos, beautiful stories as well as Afro-street style.
Danish fashion designer Lærke Andersen has become known on the Danish fashion scene for her workwear and sportswear-inspired clothes. But there’s an edge of artistry, experimentation, and fun that pervades her work, and certainly has been the catalyst for her success in the industry.
With degrees from Danish Design School and London’s Central Saint Martins as well as a PhD in Textiles from University of Borås in Sweden, Andersen spent the bulk of her career focused on fabrics.
“Central Saint Martins was a very important experience for me,” she explains, “because their take on textile was so technologically advanced. I learned so much about natural fabrics, but also about what we can do with technology. If we truly want to move towards sustainable production, technical fabrics will be a big part of that, and I don’t think people talk about that enough,” she says.
Between degrees, Andersen interned for Henrik Vibskov. “The environment there was really experimental and international,” she remembers. “It wasn’t even always about fashion. The playful energy there is something that I’ll never forget.”
When she finally graduate from her PhD in 2013, Lærke decided to launch her own brand – an eponymous womenswear line. “It really kicked off because some people in my running group were complaining about how they wanted fashionable athletic clothes but couldn’t find what they were looking for. So I started thinking about how you could use technical fabrics in a more fashion-forward and also sustainable way,” she says.
Making everything by hand in her Copenhagen atelier, Andersen sourced her fabrics from Italy, Sweden, and Portugal. She began putting out two small collections per year inspired by athletics and with nods to workwear and oversized, unisex silhouettes. In 2017, she won the Magasin Prize; at that time, part of the prize was that you had to do a runway show during Copenhagen Fashion Week. Her first runway collection was for autumn/winter 2018. She’s been taking part in CPHFW every season since, with a film rather than a runway show for the autumn/winter 2019 season.
“It was extremely lucky for me to win that prize and get into fashion week,” Lærke notes, “but I have to say that I do find the runway format quite restricting. We need to find other ways to showcase our work; some collections look really great on a runway, but for others it’s just not the best venue. So we need to get more creative. That was why we tried the film format,” she explains.
In addition to her biannual collections, Andersen has also recently embarked on two collaborations: one, with Danish shoe brand ARKK Copenhagen, and the other with Danish technical workwear brand Kansas.
“The sneakers with ARKK were really interesting for me,” Lærke says, “because I had never done that before, and there’s so much that goes into shoe design. Luckily ARKK is really on the cutting edge of the technology there – they make their own soles – so I had a lot to work with. What we ended up producing is very fashionable, but also wearable and has athletics mixed with workwear mixed with some fun. Very much in my wheelhouse!”
The Kansas collaboration focuses on outerwear and is a perfect distillation of the two brands. Functionality is key, but with a coolness that only Lærke can make. “I loved working with Kansas because they are so on top of the technical fabrics field. They have to be – they make real workwear – so it was just a matter of dreaming up the pieces. I’m so happy with how it’s come out.” The collaboration launches in August 2019.
Though Andersen’s work is well-known and respected within the Danish fashion industry, her largest markets are not in Scandinavia. “South Korea and Japan are where we sell the most,” she says , “But I think these collaborations might jumpstart the Scandinavian market a bit more. It’s a very exciting time! As long as I keep getting to make what I love, I’m just enjoying the process.”