Standout local talents, diversity and Nordic collabs — 8 takes from our visit to Copenhagen Fashion Week
Copenhagen continues its attempts to establish itself as the centre of sustainable fashion by pushing and incentivising brands to speed up their efforts and increase focus on social responsibility.
9 Feb 2022

Just in time for fashion week, Denmark fittingly lifted all COVID restrictions, ”Not only is it the first day of Copenhagen Fashion Week, but it is also the first day in a very long time that things are back to normal in Denmark,” said Cecile Thorsmark, Copenhagen Fashion Week CEO in her opening speech. 

The event was showcased in a mixture of live shows and digital screenings, allowing a broader audience considering that the whole event — including shows, panel talks and films — was streamed live via YouTube and CPHFW’s official website. Nevertheless, the city welcomed a vast amount of international visitors (Scandinavian MIND included) ready to display their best looks in the Danish capital. With boots on the ground, here are our hot takes on some exciting happenings of the week:

Iso.Poetism by James Cochrane Photo Credits: © Zalando SE

Zalando and Designers’ Nest celebrate innovation and sustainable practices

The opening show for the week was Iso. Poetism by the Danish designer Tobias Birk Nielsen, who happens to be the winner of the Zalando Sustainability award. With his collection “The Echoes Which We Remain”, he approaches sustainability using Korean textiles made with fully-recycled fibres, but also innovative dyeing techniques. The other finalists, Fassbender and Tomorrow Denim, were also recognized by the jury as brands that inspire and integrate sustainability throughout the entire supply chain while creating well-constructed fashion pieces.

Boram Yoo.

As for the Designers’ Nest Award, it was received by Boram Yoo, an MA-graduate of Aalto University in Finland.  Each year, 10 nordic finalists present their graduate work during CPHFW, where the awarded designers receive internships and support through mentors and aid for the production of a commercial collection.

Soulland by James Cochrane Photo.

Diversity and inclusivity are here to stay

During the week, a series of talks were organised to tackle different relevant topics within fashion. A varied panel of creatives and professionals gathered each time to discuss the current issues regarding the industry and their visions on how to manage the situation. In the case of representation, Aram Ostadian-Binai, CEO and founder of The Soulfuls, discussed with Mica Oh, founder of Danmarks Intersektionelle Højskole, Veronica D’Souza, advisor and speaker for Geist Agency, and Robin Douglas Westling, creative director for the Swedish Fashion Council, about how diversity is experienced in the fashion industry, especially in the Nordics. The panellists incentivised aspiring fashion enthusiasts from the POC communities to pursue their goals regardless of the limitations they may face. They also encouraged companies to reflect on the positive aspects of having a diverse team, when different visions bring something new to the table.

In terms of visibility, it has become a norm in the Danish runways to see different body types, ethnicities, skin tones and ages. Participant brands seem to understand that a good way to reach their audience is to put their creations on bodies that are representative of contemporary society and its customers. But is it enough to showcase diverse models?

As for now, the only fashion brand co-founded by a Black person during the event has been Soulland, a prestigious street-wear brand in Denmark that is both cool and effortless. Co-founder and Creative Director Silas Oda Adler, who is also a partner and board member of Nineteen Sixty Nine perfumes, has been vocal about the racial disparities in the industry and uses design as a medium to create diverse cultural expressions, collaborating with the community to enact social change. This serves as an example that there is a place for everyone in fashion at the executive level, as it should be.

A. Roege Hove.

A. Roege Hove is reinventing knitwear

A Danish designer that has succeeded in embedding diversity in her design process is A. Roege Hove, who through exquisite craftsmanship creates modern knitwear that allows the material, the silhouettes and the dressed bodies to influence each other mutually, celebrating figure and heterogeneity, instead of trying to conceal them. The designer, who previously received the Magasin du Nord fashion prize, stayed loyal to her signature look for the AW22 collection, but also added new elements such as contrast and layering through a palette of deep chestnut tones, vibrant turquoise and monochromatic black and white transparencies.

Jade Cropper.

The Swedish Fashion Council and Jade Cropper representing Sweden

Copenhagen Fashion Week has partnered with the Swedish Fashion Council to support emerging designer talent across the Nordics. Furthermore, Swedish designer Jade Cropper, who is part of the incubator programme Swedish Fashion Talents, received the Talent Slot prize for this year and presented her latest collection last week. Cropper’s designs are characterized for being versatile, beautifully deconstructed and unapologetically sexy. The collection became one of the highlights of the week, widely spread on social media both by industry professionals and public figures visiting the event.


Marimekko and Trine Søndergaard partner up for exhibition

Finnish design house Marimekko participated in Copenhagen Fashion Week with a digital show, presenting Creative Director Rebekka Bay‘s collection, who also joined forces with Danish visual artist Trine Søndergaard.

— This season, we investigated the arts of tailoring and layering, which are common features found in folk wear all around the world. Layering different pieces with a different function allows the wearer to style the same piece up or down for a myriad of occasions and weathers. In our Fall/Winter 2022 collection, each piece can be worn on its own or layered with existing pieces of one’s wardrobe. Combinability and modularity continue to be at the centre of Marimekko’s updated design ethos, said Rebekka Bay. 

The collaboration between the creators consisted of a portrait exhibition entitled ”New Folk – New Traditions” and is built on a shared interest in female culture and costume.


(di)vision creates NFT in partnership with Adidas and Brand New Vision

Together with the latest collection ”Guests on Earth” (di)vision launches their first NFT, an alien named Ozzy, dressed in distinctive (di)vision bipartite garments. Inspired by the Pentagon UAP report as well as UFOs, the brand dwelled in the idea of the unknown and space, showcasing the collection at Copenhagen’s Planetarium. Via Instagram, the brand announced the collaboration where 25 NFT units would be launched, but not only that, 10 attendees to the physical show would have the chance to win one of the units via raffle. The NFT owners could also receive real physical products from the line worth 850 €. (di)vision added that it can be expected to find future wearability of the brand in the metaverse.

Martin Asbjørn.

Martin Asbjørn comes back with a genderless line

Having only used male models before, this season’s collection ‘Progressive Mix’ introduced a new idea of fluid viewpoint and “for every gender and body” ethos, including female models.

— A beautiful garment has the power to elevate and empower the wearer, whoever they are or decide to be through them, said Asbjørn.

Among the feminine-inclined pieces, he introduced slip dresses, miniskirts and sequins, but maintaining the androgynous vibe of the brand. Tailoring is at the core of the brand, now experimenting with pleats, asymmetry and exposed linings, but also combining business wear and lounge.

VIA Design and Business.

CIFF and VIA Design and Business display local talent

 In parallel to Copenhagen Fashion Week, CIFF functions as a showroom for local talent and helps brands to get exposure in the market. For this season’s event, they partnered with VIA Design and Business by showcasing the work of 14 graduates who exhibited their individual comments to the state of the fashion industry and their vision on new and alternative ways of creating and defining fashion for a responsible future. The projects addressed a wide range of perspectives related to responsible design development, including the use of deadstock, zero waste, longevity, awareness, and social responsibility.