Going on a Treasure Hunt in Rabens Saloner

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It would be easy to think that the Danish design aesthetic is a narrow. There’s a certain set of adjectives that have been pushed for years – monochrome, minimalist – that have come to define what we expect from the Danish aesthetic.

It’s not all nonsense, of course. There’s a reason why these images have endured; they’re partly true. But the truth found in cliche often has a limit and there’s much more going on in Denmark (and Scandinavia generally) than you might think.

Rabens Saloner is a perfect example. Started in 2007, the brand came out of Danish founder Birgitte Raben’s travels to Thailand and Bali. She created a simple cotton dress – named the Angel Dress – that quickly exploded on the Danish market and is still a summertime staple today.

Alongside co-designer Richard Kemp, Birgitte began adding pieces, building towards releasing seasonal collections, and opened a showroom in an old industrial space in NordVest. Continuing to travel back and forth from Copenhagen, Birgitte brought some interior pieces from those countries to decorate the showroom. Soon visiting buyers asked to purchase the interior pieces. Birgitte saw that the Balinese and Thai aesthetic wasn’t largely available in the Danish market and began importing not only fabric but also home goods.

Rabens Saloner Collage 3 | Scandianvia Standard

The business grew quietly and in 2010, they moved into a retail space & showroom in Vesterbro. The space was originally been an automobile showroom, large and with lots of natural light; perfect for the big interior pieces like sculpture, furniture and ceramic that Birgitte was bringing from her travels. “It’s like a little piece of Bali in Vesterbro,” laughs Eva Bartels, who has been with the company since its inception.

The brand sold to other retailers, making a name for themselves as a clothing brand that catered to those looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary. “It’s always sunny somewhere!” PR Manager Anne exclaims.

“The Rabens Saloner aesthetic isn’t minimalist. It makes you want to travel and dream. It might not be what makes up your entire wardrobe or interior space, but it will be that special piece that reminds you of a past trip, or of where you want to go. It’s also just more visually interesting to be a bit more broad with your style.”

In 2015, Rabens Saloner opened their flagship store in the centre of the city. The furniture and interior pieces they carry are only sold in this store, as well as fantastic one-of-a-kind vintage (mostly sourced from LA) which is more than enough reason to head there for an afternoon of browsing. There are three floors: the first floor is beauty, the ground floor is fashion and accessories, and the basement is interior goods.

Rabens Saloner Collage 1 | Scandianvia Standard

For beauty-philes, the small loft at the top of the shop is a must-visit. Heavily curated with beautiful brands, many of which you can’t get anywhere else in Denmark, this is the spot to be introduced to your next favorite brand. Test out the heavenly creams from Jao Brand or subtle but luxurious Linen Spray from Maria-Stella-Maris and you’ll be sold.

Rabens Saloner Collage 5 Beauty | Scandianvia Standard

The clothes and accessories are mostly Rabens Saloner’s own collections with a few extras, like jewellery and handbags, in the mix. These are pieces that are easy to mix with a more understated wardrobe for excellent effect. From the intensely decorative to simple silhouettes in bright colors, there’s really something to suit every style; everyone has a moment when black & white just isn’t enough (yes, even us).

The basement is filled with one-of-a-kind furniture, textiles and ceramic. For a person who likes to decorate with a few colorful pops of color and/or texture, Rabens Saloner is just the spot for your treasure hunt.

When I ask Eva how the brand has changed since it began, she shakes her head, explaining that though the brand has evolved in many ways, it has retained much of its core because, “Birgitte has always designed with the same honesty to herself. She believes a woman should dress for herself.”

The Rabens Saloner flagship store is an artistic universe that needs to be experienced to be understood; if you like interior design, fashion or beauty (or all of the above), it’s a space that offers something different from most places in Copenhagen while still retaining a high level of quality in its products and pride in its design.

Rabens Saloner Collage 2 | Scandianvia Standard

Rabens Saloner

Møntergade 19
1116 København K
Opening Hours:
Mon – Thurs 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sat 10.00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun Closed

See more on Rabens Saloner. Please note that they do not yet have an online store but can be found in stores around the world.

Rabens Saloner Collage 4 | Scandianvia Standard-2

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.