Photographs: Vanessa Petersen
Text: Vanessa Petersen
"So you did it…huh?"... "You made the move to Denmark!"...Welcome to this growing expat club of navigating a brand new country. I'm sure you have a list of important things to figure out, like sorting out housing, having your documents in order, and choosing a new cell phone provider…but I am here to give you a cheat sheet on another crucial subject…FASHION!
I know what you're thinking… "Is fashion really that important?" The short answer is yes. Culture shock can come in many forms, especially when dealing with components of self-expression and identity. You may be tempted to still shop at your usual brands online, but beware, it may come at additional costs if it is outside of the EU. Don't you worry…I will be sharing some local brands to keep an eye out for.
#1 Odd Lemon
I love a good clickbait name that will draw you in. Odd Lemon is a 'Danish Slow Fashion Brand Handmade In Copenhagen'. It was established in 2016, and the company intends to 'not follow trends…but rather get dressed with feelings'. They have successfully stood out in a sea of monochrome waves of black and grey. Each piece is handmade, and sizes are customised…so this brand is the embodiment of size-inclusion. For that perfect organza statement piece, Odd Lemon is a go-to must.
"Have you ever heard the saying, it takes a village?" The Danish brand WoodWood really incorporates this ideology into their textile intentions. Since 2002, WoodWood has collaborated with many brands and independent artists to fuse a fashion community based on contemporary streetwear. So regardless of the pronoun you identify with, you are sure to find the perfect wardrobe foundations at WoodWood.
#3 Nanna XL
I can still recall being in the dressing room at Nanna XL and having a supportive store attendant help me choose between two grandpa cardigans. My indecisiveness won that day, and I purchased both. I also remember when walking out, the attendant wanted to share that the clothes were all plus/extended sizes. Since 1997 Nanna XL has been a fashion-safe space for women looking for a size guide that encompasses ALL. Carrying popular brands such as Zizzi and Nanna XL allows modern and high-quality clothes to be attainable regardless of size.
We all love a solid one-shop-and-done platform, and Miinto personifies such a place. Carrying all your favourite Danish brands such as Rotate, Ganni, Stine Goya, Baum und Pferdgarten, Saks Potts, Re:designed and Malene Birger. Launched in 2009, Miinto has grown into almost three thousand independent brands showcasing three hundred thousand plus products (insert gasp). Another Danish brand to call attention to is Résumé, hoping it makes it into the Miinto virtual storefront. However, whether you are looking for a pair of shoes, dress trousers, or a cool cap…Miinto has your back.
#5 Small Business Voices
I think it's about time I promote some smaller Danish fashion brands, including myself. If you are looking for the perfect jewellery statement piece, Style Freed should be on your radar. Established in 2020, the Style Freed combines crystal healing energies with personalised hand-stamped creations. The company's objective is to create jewellery for the 'less is more type of human'. (Instagram: @thestylefreed)
Sofie Skovlund introduces the must-have accessory you never knew you needed…a wool collar. Owner of SOFcopenhagen, she creates fun and magical wool collars that serve as the perfect dose of warmth and happiness. All pieces are made to order, and she shares her process frequently on Instagram (@sofiedesignart).
De Nou is a slow-fashion brand based in Denmark. Designer, Karina Ogueri, upcycles preloved textiles with a story to tell. Each piece is curated for the individual and customised based on your size measurements. Size inclusion and breathing new life into thrifted pieces are key. (Instagram: d_e_n_o_u_)
Now that we have highlighted jewellery, accessories, and clothes from local artisans… let's talk about shoes. Ida Bergkvist Poulsen and her team collaborate with a group of craftsmen in Senegal to create handmade shoes. Ida Dakar is a brand where unique designs and bold patterns are manifested into shoe art. Her company also provides fair living wages and work opportunities in Dakar. (Instagram: Idadakar)
Before I go…I wanted to share one last brand that technically isn't Danish…but is right over the bridge in Malmö, Sweden. PampasNU has been a staple in my closet since making a move to Denmark. They offer handmade customised kimonos and kaftans, which will make you the focal point of any conversation. Their playful designs and daring colours can be seen on their Instagram, pampas.nu.
Now that you know some Danish brands to bypass customs fees in Style…I bid you "vi ses" (Danish expression for "see you later")