The Rise of Scandi Style in the Fashion Industry

Since the rise of retail shops such as H&M, Cos, and & Other Stories (opening on Grafton Street this December) ‘Scandi Style’ is at the forefront of the fashion industry influencing consumer choices and the design choices of fashion houses and designers. In essence Scandi Style, or Scandinavian Style, is minimal affordable designs. Alike popular furniture company IKEA, Scandinavian design clothes have become one of the most important trends to follow.

Scandinavian Retail Store, H&M. Photo Credit: HandM (Flickr)
Scandinavian Retail Store, H&M. Photo Credit: HandM (Flickr)

H&M is one of the largest retail companies in the world right now with over 4000 stores operating in 62 countries. The Swedish retail company was founded by Erling Persson and opening its first store in 1947 Västerås in Sweden. At the time it was called ‘Hennes’, Swedish for ‘hers’, but later changed its name due to the inclusion of menswear creating the name we know today, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). H&M is well-known for it fast fashion which is mass produced in high trend, minimal, ready to wear designs, and has been one of the influential retail companies in bringing Scandi Style outside of Scandinavia.

Similar Scandinavian stores becoming popular on the streets of Dublin are Cos and & Other Stories, owned by the H&M Group. Cos is a Swedish ready to wear retail brand that launched in 2007. The aim of Cos is to reinvent classic and traditional pieces for men and women creating a more wearable, high trend, minimal piece for their consumers. Offering fresh, minimal designs in airy, earthy and naval colours, Cos is one of the leading scandi style brands worldwide. & Other Stories is another Scandinavian retail store, that created much excited when it was announced that it would be launching a store on Grafton Street this December. & Other Stories offers a wide range of ready to wear clothing and accessories at affordable prices, largely with minimal design in monochrome colours; embracing the aspects of Scandi style.

Not only has scandi style enraptured consumers worldwide, it has also had a major influence on fashion designers. For example, In Saint Laurent’s Spring Summer 2017 collection, minimal design and bold, solid colours take centre stage. This extremely different from their Spring Summer collection in 2005, just over 10 years ago. For SS05, Saint Laurent offered clothing in vibrant colours, with eye-catting, statement accessories, the opposite of what they offer today.

Scandi style has changed how we view clothes and have altered what the consumers now look for in fashion. Long gone are the days of high embellishment clothing and in their place are minimal, stopped back designs. However, with the reputation of the fashion industry, it won’t be long until jewel embellished, and diamond encrusted gowns walk down the runway again.

***Previously Published on The Circular on 5th December 2016

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