- Helen Armitage
Swedish fashion designers are making a name for themselves in the international fashion scene. The Culture Trip brings you ten of the best Swedish creatives – from the elegant glamour of Lars Wallin to newcomer Isabella Idberg and her street culture-inspired womenswear.
London-based womenswear designer, Simon Ekrelius, draws on a wealth of inspiration – from modern architecture and futuristic aesthetics to Russian constructivist artists like Kazimir Malevich and Alexander Rodchenko – to inform his designs. Sitting somewhere comfortably between formal and streetwear, Ekrelius’ designs are defined by his love of line, texture and volume, along with contrasts in tone and material. Ekrelius’ work has been seen in magazines like British Vogue, Dazed and ELLE Japan, and his AW15 collection ‘X’ was motivated by his own childhood memories growing up as a Generation Xer in a multicultural society. His trademark art deco-inspired silhouettes combine layers and wrap pieces that are inspired by nomadic clothing.
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Stockholm-born Anne-Sofie Back – a graduate of both Sweden’s Beckmans College of Design and the UK’s Central Saint Martins College – established her eponymous label in London in 2001 and turned heads with her playful, avant-garde designs. In 2005, she formed a second line, BACK, which focuses on wearable designs centered around Scandinavian aesthetics, androgyny, and playful silhouettes. A move back to Sweden saw her appointed as creative director of the popular Swedish fashion brand Cheap Monday. In 2014, Back became the first Swedish fashion designer to be awarded the prestigious Söderberg Prize for her contributions to Nordic arts, crafts and design.
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Born in the small town of Karlshamn, Isabella Ideberg’s love of fashion saw her travel to California to study at Long Beach City College. She returned to Sweden to finish her studies at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, where she later formed her eponymous brand. Inspired by dance and street cultures encountered on her travels, Idberg creates unique, handmade sportswear often featuring her signature element – the oversized hood.
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A designer of men’s footwear and clothing, Erïk Bjerkesjö graduated with a Masters in Advanced Footwear Design from Italy’s prestigious Polimoda before bursting onto the Swedish fashion scene as part of the 2011 Sweden Fashion Talents show. Bjerkesjö’s shoes are a contemporary take on classic Italian footwear design. Pieces are handmade in collaboration with skilled craftsmen in Tuscany – an approach which saw the designer selected as New Performer at the Florence fashion show, Pitti Uomo, in 2013. While footwear forms the bulk of Bjerkesjö’s focus, the designer has also turned his talents to an impressive clothing line characterized by clean-cut minimalism.
@storm_copenhagen @424inc @erikbjerkesjo for @hummel_hive | shoes by Erïk. In-store & Online. Team @guillermoandrade @rasmus.storm_copenhagen @erikbjerkesjo @malkitsinghdk Directed @yesawi Photography @friisen
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Self-described as “an interacting trinity of color, shape and material,” Ida Klamborn’s womenswear designs are a play on elongated silhouettes and contrasting graphics and textiles. After graduating from The Swedish School of Textiles, Klamborn immediately began impressing fashion circles with her degree collection which won the 2011 Mittelmoda Italian Fabric Award and led to a showcase of her designs at Milan Fashion Week. In 2014, Klamborn received the Swedish ELLE Award for Best Newcomer while her official debut at Stockholm Fashion Week with her AW14 collection garnered rave reviews from the Swedish fashion industry.
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Lars Wallin established his couture label in Stockholm in 1990, following his graduation from Beckmans College of Design. He got his big break two years later, when he designed for a show by famed Swedish hair stylist Björn Axén, earning him a name in fashion and celebrity circles. His elegant, glamorous dresses have been seen on members of the Swedish royal family, including Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine. In 1997, a dress Wallin designed for Sweden’s Miss World entrant, Sofia Joelsson, scooped an award for Best Evening Gown.
From the Lars Wallin #rtw Wedding Collection ✨ Dresses Carrie, Estelle & Anastasia at the @love_kevin_murphy show at @clarionpost in Gothenburg 🌺 Thank you for creating such a beautiful setting! 🌸 Styling by @michaelcardell #wedding #dress #bride #weddingdress #kevinmurphy #styling #show #sessionweekend #sessionmap #clarionpost #gothenburg #fashion #hairstyling #larswallinofficial #love
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In 2003, Carin Wester founded her eponymous label – a ready-to-wear women’s line focused on creating modern classics characterized by clean-cut lines, androgynous silhouettes and urban Scandinavian chic – and just a year later the talented designer was hailed Swedish ELLE’s Newcomer of the Year. By 2009, Wester was established as Swedish fashion heavyweight when Stockholm-based fashion magazine Damernas Värld awarded her its prestigious Guldknappen Award. Today, her designs are sold in 15 countries across the globe.
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Formed in 2006 in Stockholm by three talented sisters – Jennifer, Pernilla and Sofie Elvestedt – Minimarket quickly attracted attention for its modern, playful approach to fashion and went on to win the H&M Best Newcomer of the Year Award in 2007. Bold, vibrant prints and creative, cosmopolitan fits make Minimarket’s designs ideal for the contemporary, adventurous fashionista.
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Isabell Yalda Hellysaz
Iran-born and Sweden-raised, Isabell Yalda Hellysaz honed her talents studying at both Central Saint Martins College and the London College of Fashion before showcasing her debut collection at the latter’s Press Runway show in 2012. She received rave reviews from the likes of Indie Magazine who hailed her as one of London’s finest upcoming designers. Since moving back to Sweden, Hellysaz’s designs – clean-cut, minimalist pieces with a distinct futuristic aesthetic – have been frequently showcased at Stockholm Fashion Week.
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Malmö-based brand ALTEWAISAOME is the brainchild of design duo Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome – two friends who met in school and worked in various Italian fashion houses before coming together to establish their own label in 2009. Since their 2011 Stockholm Fashion Week debut, ALTEWAISAOME have become regulars at the biannual event and by 2014, they had established themselves as a leading name in Swedish fashion when the brand was awarded Swedish ELLE’s Designer of the Year Award. Often featuring clean-cut lines, contrasting fabrics, unique details and monochrome palettes, ALTEWAISAOME’s designs are a mix of Scandinavian minimalism and international high fashion.
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