The most exciting fashion event of the Nordic region is here. Yes, we are talking about Copenhagen Fashion Week. Amid all the COVID-19 fears, designers, models and prominent fashion figures all across the world are all flying into the Danish capital for a week full of surprises. But for those who prefer the comforts of their home, not to worry—the show will be available online too. Copenhagen is renowned as the hot spot for Scandanavian fashion, no doubt thanks to the emergence of highly sought after Nordic brands. If you’re into fashion, you would have seen Rotate Birger Christensen’s signature puffed sleeved mini dresses, Saks Potts’ candy-coloured fur-trimmed trench coats, or Ganni’s playful knitwear while scrolling through your newsfeed. These labels set the tone for Scandi-style, which is the very epitome of modernity—coining a signature chic, minimalist aesthetic that’s elevated with a refined colour palette and a heavy emphasis on texture. But above all, the city has championed the sustainable fashion movement by setting an example for the fashion industry.
The upcoming event is set to take place on August 9th, and it is pioneering the convergence of digital-meets-physical space by introducing a hybrid format. As stated on their website, Scandinavia is recovering faster than other regions from the pandemic, which means that Copenhagen Fashion Week is able to go ahead and host live events. The new format will feature a physical ‘hub’, which will bring together attendees for presentations, exclusive talks, and interviews, and brands can choose to go ahead with physical shows which will take place at unique venues selected at their discretion. The digital aspect of the event will showcase live and pre-recorded content from brands, which will be easily accessible to buyers and consumers. In addition, through a partnership with NuORDER, the world’s leading B2B eCommerce Platform, participating brands will be able to upload their full collections and interact with buyers in virtual showrooms to conduct sales all across the world.
With an exciting lineup of 34 brands set to present their SS21 collections, let’s take a closer look at some of the designers. Saks Potts is showcasing their collection in a physical show. The label is renowned for creating outerwear in bold colours, the ‘Foxy’ coat, in particular, has been the go-to piece for cool girls all across the world. For their upcoming collection, we’re excited to see what whimsical palettes they’ve dreamt up for us. Industry-favourite brand Ganni is said to be preparing a hybrid showcase. Each collection has struck the perfect balance between carefree confidence and minimalist cool—from technicolour chunky knits to flowy hemmed floral dresses. But above all, the Danish label is herald as the champion of sustainability, with so many commitments it’s hard to keep track of. The AW20 collection presented upcycled pieces in the form of sculptural set designs, and hats and tops crafted from recycled, past season fabrics, so who knows what new, eco-friendly concepts they’ve concocted this season. A newcomer to Copenhagen Fashion Week this year is none other than London-based brand Rixo—a far cry from their beginnings, which was the living room of a student flat where they first developed their brand five years ago. Opting for a digital format, the pair create beautifully printed designs, which are inspired by vintage pieces and focus on empowering women. We can’t wait to see how their summer collection will play out across our screens.
Earlier this year, event organizers presented a Sustainable Action Plan during the debut of AW2020 Copenhagen Fashion Week. The ambitious project announced goals to reduce carbon footprint by 50% and become 100% zero waste by 2022. Over the course of the next three years, organisers have pledged to ban single-use items and commit to full reuse and recycling. But most notably, they are actively tackling the environmental impact of the bi-annual event by offsetting carbon emissions from operations and developing digital solutions to minimise travel. According to a report by Ordre in earlier this year, buyers and designers alone contribute to 241,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, solely through attending fashion weeks in the four fashion capitals. To put this into perspective, that’s more than the total emissions of a small country. Worryingly, that number doesn’t take into consideration the models, press, and staff supporting the event.
The event not only holds themselves accountable but extends their commitment to sustainable practice by placing responsibility into the hands of fashion brands. Going forth from January 2023, rigorous standards will be set for all participants through a ‘Sustainability Requirements’ initiative. In order to qualify for the official schedule, brands will have to meet 17 minimum sustainability requirements. In the production process, designers will have to commit to using at least 50% certified, organic, upcycled or recycled textiles in all collections, use 100% sustainable packaging, and pledge not to destroy unsold textiles and clothes. On the catwalk itself, brands will have to think out of the box to create zero-waste set designs.
Forward-thinking Scandis are setting the standards for the new era of fashion. Industry leaders are adamant that digital solutions can never truly replace the emotional and sensory experience of viewing collections in person, which indicates that hybrid formats may be a regular occurrence for future fashion weeks. The large-scale transition to responsible and innovative business practices are paving the way for its older brothers, the ‘Big Four’, also known as the Fashion Capitals, Paris, London Milan and New York. Stay tuned and keep your eye out for HEAT’s take on the upcoming Fashion Weeks and end of season highlights.