The history of Icelandic fashion is mostly built around technical-wear; brands that have learned to help people handle the harsh weather conditions throughout a large part of a year. 66°North has a been a clear leader on the scene since the brand was founded in 1926, first producing clothes for Icelandic fishermen and ICE-SAR (Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue).
Recently, other brands have been emerging on the Icelandic fashion and design scene. There’s a DIY vibe and sense of playfulness to the collections that showcases the first blooms of Iceland’s artistic fashion scene. As with much of the design in Iceland, sustainability is a key factor found throughout the brands’ ethos. Color, pattern, and general eschewing of minimalism are found in many of these brands; Iceland is a country that truly plays by its own fashion rules.
These are the cool Icelandic fashion brands you need to know about:
This multidisciplinary studio focuses on creating products – clothes and interior items – made from recycled or leftover materials. Their clothes are made from deadstock fabric; their pieces blend fun colors and textures with classic silhouettes.
With pattern-heavy, colorful, and figure-hugging designs, Holder Yeoman has fast become an Icelandic favorite with celebrities and the general population alike. Her work is joyful and a bit tongue-in-cheek; definitely not minimalist!
This technical-wear brand is as cool as it is hardworking. They’ve collaborated with a number of great designers, including GANNI. But their commitment to really high-quality items, regardless of how hip the silhouette might be, is what makes them dependable and worth the investment. If you need a great winter jacket or raincoat, it doesn’t get better than this.
Developed as a testament to the bathing culture in Iceland – people are really into their bathing, and wouldn’t you be, with all those hot springs? – swimslow designs minimalist swimwear that is produced from leftover luxury materials in Italy. The suits are beautiful; another great reason to take a dip while you’re in Iceland!
Inklaw is Iceland’s first streetwear label, and they’re doing things a little differently. Creating sleek, minimalist, and wearable pieces wasn’t enough; they wanted each one to be unique. They incorporate paint into every sweatshirt, jacket, pair of pants, and all other items.
Icelandic fashion designer Eygló has won numerous awards for her work, and is part of the fashion collective shop KIOSK in downtown Reykjavik – a popular destination for those looking for the latest local fashion. Her work is funny and loud (a recent collection was titled “Murder She Wrote”), with unexpected silhouettes and humorous patterns that nevertheless look stylish and cool.