What the fashion world can learn from Scandinavian minimalist “Anti-cool”

With Copenhagen Fashion Week energetically unraveling earlier this month, the rise of Scandinavian style with its anti-cool signature has never been more marked in the industry. The Danish fashion week is now becoming close in importance to the other “big four” (New York, London, Paris, Milan), yet with an anti-establishment note that makes it more avant-garde and interesting. In fact, we believe that in a decade from now, Scandinavia will take over our current fashion capitals. Here is why:

1) Scandinavia understands that sustainability is now the priority in the industry

The notoriety of Copenhagen Fashion Week is further supported by events such as the city's fashion summit, NICE (Nordic Initiative Clean & Ethical), and world reknown native brands such as Fjällraven, Naturkompaniet and Nudiejeans carrying out sustainable initiatives. These events and programs are putting the environment on the agenda. The Copenhagen Fashion Summit is drafting the first ever UN resolution on fashion.  In that way these Vikings are establishing themselves as true pioneers in the industry, by imposing new standards on the industry: the use of organic materials, recycling apparel, localizing production... They truly inspire us at True Tribe, let's hope other fellow compatriots such as Stutterheim, HUMÖR and Acne will also follow their lead. 

2) Nordic culture knows that fashion, as we know it, is dead

The legendary Dutch trend forecaster Li Endelkoort (Time magazine named her one of the 25 most influential people in fashion) published a manifesto in 2015 titled “Anti_Fashion”. The controversial document predicts the ending of fashion within the next decade for 10 reasons. Among these reasons: the industry’s increasing insular character and isolation from society, which Endelkoort described as “a very dangerous step," in an interview with Dezeen magazine. This lack of touch is also mirrored in the education of designers who are becoming exclusively “catwalk designers; unique individuals, whereas this society is now about exchange (…) and working together in teams and groups," Li said.  She also argues that new talent and creativity is inhibited from entering the industry because of the privileged ties between big fashion houses and magazines "the new brands will never get editorial coverage in the magazines because they don't buy advertising". For Li, the consequence of this imminent demise will be a renewed focus on the clothes themselves and their quality. "This means that the economy of clothes will take over from the turnover of fashion,” she says. As a result there will be less variety and more seriality in the production of clothes, but this will not inhibit individuality, quite the contrary:

It's meant to be serial [the industrial design of fashion], meant to be all the same; proud to be all the same. People like to be the same because you like to be part of a tribe and then your hair, your tattoo is going to say who you are and no longer your clothes.

In other words, quality and minimalist design will enable your individuality to shine through the clothes, instead of having the clothes substitute that individuality.

3) Nordic style is timeless

Nordic style has adopted the anti-cool minimalist approach described by Li Endelkoort as the end of fashion long ago. In the information age characterized by the ubiquitous use of smartphones and the rise of the mindful nerd as the new alpha-male; an age where you order recycled toilet paper on amazon and pedal your way to the office on a bicycle, value is not found in temporal trends or eccentric unpractical fashion. It is found in simplicity and functionality. This is the age of “utilitarian cool”. Scandinavian clothes channel this truth with style. Scandic brands’ refrain from ostentatious logos, expensive ad-campaigns, and focus instead on essentials: simple design, comfort and ethical quality. They are the purveyors of ‘utilitarian cool’ and are fore-running the industry’s outlook on the future. At True Tribe we have embraced Scandinavian fashion for some time and we continuously thrive to emulate timeless simplicity within a 'slowfashion' business model focused on quality.  We have as a result decided to develop new sustainable backpacks that will be launching very soon. Fashion is dead, long live the Vikings!

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