This post was most recently updated on August 8th, 2017
Copenhagen is the capital of all things cool. It’s true. The Danes just have something about them that sets them apart from everyone else. They’re cool without trying to be, which is most evident in their fashion sense. From streetwear to interior design, contemporary Copenhagen’s tasteful products might be the world’s best, at this very moment.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite brands, shops, and hotels in this guide to contemporary Copenhagen!
The Modern Classics:
These modern classics are the staples of Copenhagen that you should absolutely know about. These brands are likely the staples of every Dane’s closet, too! They’re not ancient fashion houses, but rather they’re modern companies that have built the foundation for contemporary Copenhagen’s streetwear culture.
Denmark encounters what seems like endless rain and snow. So in true Danish fashion, RAINS created a visually appealing line that also keeps you dry. In Denmark, built for performance doesn’t mean compromising on style. RAINS’s jackets and backpacks have become world famous for keeping up with the nastiest of storms. RAINS uses classic coat silhouettes and lightweight waterproof fabric to keep clients coming back for more.
In 2002, Karl-Oskar Olsen and Brian SS Jensen decided to give the world an insight into their lifestyles. And so, Wood Wood was born. Now, the brand combines high fashion, sports, and streetwear into their products to put out a streetwear look that’s entirely their own. They’re not your typical fashion powerhouse, as they have collaborations with companies like Nike, Lego, Adidas, and Eastpak, among at least 50 others.
Following the operation of a skateboarding chain named Streetmachine in Copenhagen, Paris, and San Diego, came Norse Projects. From their humble beginnings as a brand for skateboarders, Norse Projects has endured international success. Today, the brand features both men’s and women’s clothing for the everyday, while still implementing famous Danish style.
This is my favorite Danish brand of them all, and that’s not an easy decision to make. This contemporary Copenhagen brand was originally an eyewear line, but quickly developed other products including clothing, accessories, and even footwear. Whenever I see or touch one of Han Kjobenhaven’s products, I’m instantly blown away by the high-quality craftsmanship and materials. Jannik Wikkelso Davidsen and Tim Faith have developed a brand for the modern gentlemen – a brand that is durable, sleek, and reliable. I guarantee any Han Kjobenhavn product will last a long time in your wardrobe, without ever looking dated.
This brand seeks to push the boundaries, regarding what society sees as acceptable. For its inspiration, Soulland looks to classic Scandinavian influences including its design, cuisine, forests, and Legos. When you walk into Soulland, you see a semi-familiar Copenhagen look, but at the same time, one that is not like the others. Soulland is ready to stand out and overcome the shadow of any other similar brand. Right now, Soulland is the most innovative brand in contemporary Copenhagen’s streetwear scene.
Edgy, timeless, and minimalistic would be the best ways to describe this brand. Many would think that contemporary Copenhagen streetwear would be rugged, but that is not how things work there. Libertine Libertine is another example of the effortless look that dominates Scandinavia. This brand’s pieces fit into most social settings, but are so versatile that they simply cannot be replicated.
The Up and Comers:
Clearly influenced by the aforementioned brands, these guys are a little younger, a little crazier, and ready to push socio-political boundaries, as well as boundaries of style and design. This is the new Copenhagen streetwear.
Brought to you by young twin sisters, rumored to be design students in Copenhagen, Arrogant Artists brings qualities that I’ve never seen before. This brand’s pieces show the influence that the internet and social media have had on them, mixed in with the character of Copenhagen’s Norrebro district. These two sisters have taken their surroundings and turned them into brilliant work, just like other great artists would.
Born from the arts and street culture of Copenhagen, APOCS is the definition of contemporary Copenhagen streetwear. APOCS is a young and exciting brand, receiving attention from all the Danish powerhouses. APOCS literally stands for “A Product of Copenhagen Streets,” and so far it has stayed true to the name by using classic and modern Danish looks, with their own touch. This minimalistic brand seeks to wow you with its high-quality materials and careful craft. APOCS is cutting edge and sleek, but never flashy.
Yet another new brand emerging from the Danish capital, Visionary, has mastered the art of cut and sew like few others have. This new brand truly is a visionary in making some extremely appealing pieces that are unique to Copenhagen. Their natural, worn look is trending right now, yet they make it look authentic, the way many other brands fail to do.
During our visit to Copenhagen, we stumbled upon this relatively new store and were welcomed by a team of streetwear aficionados. Hypetrade’s team loves streetwear down to their cores and have found a way to make it a full-time affair. At their store, they have the local brands that everyone seeks, and also house a consignment shop for some of the coolest sneakers in the city. Hypetrade is definitely instrumental in the contemporary Copenhagen fashion scene. If you want to keep up with what’s up and coming, but still widely unknown, this is the place to go.
This famous Danish store began in 1925, under the direction of an ambitious entrepreneur that sought to create a store with varying aspects of never-before-seen art, design, and furniture. Fast forward to 2005, Illums Bolighus was taken over by an investment group, and flourished. Today, the store offers everything it did initially, but has now included clothing, stationary, and intricate pieces to put around your house. It’s like a toy store for adults. And it’s awesome.
In 1999, a concept was born in Copenhagen, which later turned into the largest provider of Danish craft and design. Designer Zoo houses all of its designers, where they bring out the best quality and aesthetically pleasing products possible. Everything at Designer Zoo is authentic and handmade, so to better show off their work publicly, Designer Zoo’s store is more like an exhibition where every piece stands out in its own way.
This store brings Danish design into the modern age, almost singlehandedly. This is the place where you’ll find “the next big thing,” much before it actually becomes the next big thing. At Normann’s Copenhagen, a love for Danish design and unique contemporary twists turn ordinary designs into extraordinary ones. This minimalistic shop seeks to bring a sense of modernity, openness, and timelessness into everyone’s lives.
Just like they said, everything is made in Denmark. This place is extremely proud of its heritage and culture, and wishes to share it through their abundance of Danish products. From chocolate, to handmade motorcycles, and everything in between, you’re bound to find something that sparks your interests at Made in Demark, and chances are, whatever it is will last you a lifetime.
In recent years, new hotels have popped up around the city, or have been redesigned to fit into the mold of contemporary Copenhagen. While it’s essential to be in an area that is well connected, you also want your experience to be different than the other cities you’ve been to. Here are some of the best contemporary hotels in Copenhagen for exactly that!
Located in the hip quarter of Vesterbro, the Andersen Boutique Hotel opened up in 2012. It boasts 73 guest rooms which keep the traveler in mind with wanderlust-inspired designs, spacious interiors, and comfortable layouts. The hotel has a great breakfast buffet every morning with artisanal cheeses, breads, cured meats, and much more. The hotel is so accommodating that you can rent bikes from the lobby, stop by for some free wine in the afternoon, or relax in the inviting lounge area!
In the heart of the Latin Quarter you’ll find Skt Petri, a hotel with a minimalist Scandinavian look and a cozy atmosphere. The hotel’s central location means that you’re not far from anything in Copenhagen, whether it’s restaurants, shopping, museums, or anything else! What sets it apart is its dedication to curating spaces that look amazing; you’ll see this in the lobby, the bar, the two restaurants, and especially in the guest rooms!
One of the coolest hotels that Copenhagen has to offer, the Nimb Hotel, is rather established in the city and in the hotel scene. But its recent renovation is what helped it make this post. In 2007, the entire hotel was redesigned from a completely Arabic inspired layout, to one that has kept Arabic themes, but has Scandinavian touches mixed in throughout. The result is one of a kind and simply gorgeous; it is a Scandinavian take on Moorish style.
The most creative hotel that Copenhagen has to offer lies right on the water. The CPH Living hotel is like no other because of its city amazing views and great food, and it’s small enough to feel like your own temporary home. Staying in a converted freight boat is an awesome experience; it’s the best of what a hotel can offer, without having to deal with all the people. CPH living is one of the best ways to experience contemporary Copenhagen!
Over to you! Have you visited Copenhagen before? Were you overwhelmed by the Danes’ incredible fashion sense and eye for design? What are your favorite aspects of contemporary Copenhagen? Do you wear any of these brands or shop at these stores?