Right Now, Europe’s Best Shopping City Isn’t Paris or Milan
Take a stroll through the new interpretation of Scandi style.
People who’ve never been to Copenhagen tend to imagine its style in extremes: cozy comfort (a.k.a. hygge) or chic minimalism. But a casual walk along the city’s cobblestoned streets tells a more nuanced story. There’s nothing quaint or austere about the way Danes dress. And amid a general resurgence of Scandinavian cool in popular culture, Copenhagen has emerged as a genuine style hub, drawing a growing international crew of editors, buyers, and street-style photographers to its fashion weeks in August and late January. Color pops up everywhere, and the dominant sensibility is a cross between romantic whimsy and streetwise cool — always with sensitivity to detail and proportion.
As Pernille Teisbæk, the city’s most visible fashion influencer and the author of Dress Scandinavian, describes it, the classic Danish style is “a playful mix of materials.” Perhaps no brand better epitomizes this look than women’s wear label Ganni, the Copenhagen fashion industry’s biggest recent success story, whose signature mash-up — silky, flouncy florals layered with nubby knitwear and graphic sweatshirts — has amassed a following of #gannigirls on Instagram. Ganni’s statement pieces can be procured from big-name retailers online, but the Copenhagen flagship corrals everything into one sleek, golden-paneled space in the heart of the IndreBy neighborhood.
This district concentrates a plethora of shopping options in what was once a medieval walled city, making for a destination that’s supremely walkable and just a bike ride away from most other attractions. Here you’ll find that Copenhagen residents have nailed the concept of elevated kicks, perhaps because their feet serve such a crucial role in transportation. Collectors are spoiled for choice: there’s Rezet Sneaker Store, a shop teeming with limited-edition specimens; Naked, which caters to the all-too-often-underserved community of female sneakerheads; and Storm, which stocks rarities by the likes of Raf Simons and Yeezy.
For more local talent, venture a block or so in either direction. Holly Golightly carries punkishly pretty jewelry by Sophie Bille Brahe and the colorful patchwork furs of wunderkind duo Saks Potts, while Lot#29 features designer Cecilie Bahnsen’s voluminous dresses and All at Sea CPH, a line devoted to the possibilities of printed pajama silk. An even deeper dive awaits shoppers at Sabine Poupinel, whose eponymous owner has been sourcing crafty pieces from Denmark’s indie avant-garde set since the 1970s and continues to pinpoint clothing and accessories that look like nothing, and no place, else.