COPENHAGEN - Denmark may have been the first European country to officially enter a recession, but the bright corals and pinks in collections during Copenhagen’s fashion week seemed to express the prevailing optimism among many of the country’s fashion players.
Despite sluggish economies, an estimated 50,000 vistors, including buyers from overseas department stores plus international journalists from Paris, New York and Beijing, attended the five-day event, which ended here Aug. 10. It was held concurrent with a trio of trade shows, from mainstream brands at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair, to streetwear, denim and young designers at CPH Vision and designer names at Gallery.
Confirming Copenhagen’s status as a showcase for Nordic design, Sweden’s Cheap Monday staged its first runway show, while fellow Swedish brand Acne unveiled its latest women’s wear collection and Finland’s Marimekko showed a collection of bold nature-inspired prints, marking the first runway show by a Finnish brand here. Denmark’s Day Birger et Mikkelsen, meanwhile, staged a theatrical show to rival Paris, commandeering the city’s main square to fete its 10-year anniversary with 1,500 guests that climaxed in a firework display.
Yet there are rumblings that rising inflation and skyhigh housing prices will impact the country’s retail market. “The latest estimate was that 300 shops would close by yearend,” said Jan Busch Carlsen, directior of the CPH Vision trade show, noting that a whopping 560 fashion stores have opened across Denmark this year. “Whoever gets last on the train will have to get off very quickly.”
Many retailers here are trimming the number of suppliers, according to Michael Rand, managing director for Bitte Kai Rand. “In Denmark, there was this bonanza where everything was possible and it was very easy for new labels to get started. Now retailers aren’t taking as many chances.”
“Before, I could sell anything,” said Ane Cecile Remvig, owner of Remvig, a 1,000-square-foot store carrying mid-market labels for 25 to 35-year-olds in Copenhagen. “I was bringing in labels nobody knows. Now I’m playing it safe.”
But some say Denmark’s economic worries have been exaggerated. “I know that many small boutiques have had a slower season than last year, but it’s not as bad as you would believe when you read the newspapers,” said Hato Westrum, managing director of Hato Ans Scandinavia, which represents French denim brand Kaporal.
“We’re hearing [about recession] over and over again, but it hasn’t hit us yet,” concurred Anna Wallen, distribution and marketing manager for Sweden’s Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair.
Indeed, while some labels fear zero growth this year, others expect sales gains of between 10 and 25 percent. The Danish reputation for reliability stands them in good stead in tough markets according to Luc Biermé, sales manager for Paris’ Who’s Next trade show. “Retailers can be sure the collections will be delivered on time: That there will be a good management of stock and of the choice and the style of the product,” he said.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)