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Scandinavian Fashion: Key Lessons to Learn from Nordic Brands

Natasha Binar

The last few years have seen Scandinavian fashion influence grow around the world, thanks to brands like Ganni, Cecilie Bahnsen, and Baum und Pferdgarten. General fascination with Scandinavian lifestyle, driven very much by sustainability and minimalism, helped; however Nordic fashion remains more than just a trend. There are many indications of a speedy recovery of this particular market in the post-pandemic economic reality. Copenhagen Fashion Week has decided to go ahead with its annual edition with both physical and digital events, as well as the launch of Vogue Scandinavia just weeks before. 

In our data brief back in February, we explored the Media Impact Value™  (MIV®) of $5.5M generated from Copenhagen Fashion Week’s previous edition, as well as which Voices brought the most authority. The top Voice at CPHFW was Media, contributing to 57% of the overall MIV® at $3.1M. Ganni alone generated $675K in MIV® partnering with model and influencer Paloma Elsesser, who walked in their show. 

In our latest report, Marketing Reset: The Voices Impacting Brand Performance during Covid-19, we discovered that Scandinavian brands performed well during the past months, and kept their well-approved mixed-media strategy and focus on sustainability at the core of their businesses. 

In this article, we take a look at brands Ganni, Baum und Pferdgarten, Cecilie Bahnsen, and Stine Goya to understand their contribution to the positive market development and future outlook for Scandinavian fashion. 

Scandinavian Fashion: Key Lessons to Learn from Nordic Brands

Ganni

In the first quarter of 2020, the women’s brand known for its effortless contemporary style maintained a significant increase in Media Impact Value™ compared with last year’s numbers for the same time period generating $33M in MIV®. The largest percentage of value was generated by Media (88% vs 78% in 2019) and Influencers (7% in 2020 vs 14% in 2019). 

Back in January, Ganni launched a campaign titled: “What will 2020 bring us?” Fast forward, this season Ganni has teamed up with Levi’s on a circular capsule collection of rental denim – the most talked-about media topic in the last months, already generating over $5M in MIV®. “Designed to be worn by many, owned by none,” with the premise that denim only gets better with age, the Ganni team handpicked every pair of 501s from the Levi’s archives and upcycled and repurposed them to create a new collection. With the aim of “sharing your denim and passing it on,” customers can sign up to Ganni Repeat to wear pieces before sending them on their way for another person to rent in the future.

Cecilie Bahnsen

An astonishing development and growth of MIV® of 251.6% in the first quarter 2020 compared to 2019 from $2M to $7M, indicates that the designer and her eponymous brand is not only worth noticing but should be penciled in the book of every editor and marketer as the Nordic rising star with the fastest-growing awareness.

Immediately recognized as streetwear gear to be shown in and around Copenhagen, the brand’s Voice Mix in 2019 indicated that the largest percentage of mentions were Media and Owned Media Voices – 48% and 42% accordingly – followed by 9% via Influencers, and 1% via Partners. In 2020, Media Voices accounted for 76% of the total Voice Mix around the same time period – thanks to articles in major publications such as Forbes and Harpers Bazaar UK

 The brand uses its female creative community to get its message across, introducing artists, designers, students – all effortlessly wearing Cecilie Bahnsen on the streets and inside of their houses. 

Baum und Pferdgarten

Again, steady growth of 67% of MIV® in 2020 compared with the first months of 2019 – from $3.4M to $5.6M – comes as no surprise, indicating a growing interest of international media and consumers in Scandinavian fashion. Interestingly Media was a strong communication vehicle and accounted for 82% and 86% of all mentions in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

Founders Rikke Baumgarten und Helle Hestehave have been keeping their profile high, being regularly interviewed in media such as TextilWirtschaft – one of the core publications in the German market where the brand is well known.  

This season, the decision to have a smaller but no less significant physical show in Copenhagen has been praised in the media as the right strategic move for brand growth. 

Stine Goya

The designer opted out of a physical runway show in Copenhagen in August and presented her spring 2021 collection as a House of Goya film shot inside a newly redecorated office and featuring the Danish television personality and activist Amelia Hoy, amongst Stine Goya employees, and models dancing through space.

 

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Filmed at our CPH HQ, HOUSE OF GOYA, is a celebration of the everyday moments of our team and our network. As we weave through each room, we discover different pockets of activity and with it, the varied talents that have come together to represent the many faces of Stine Goya #stinegoya #cphfw CREATIVE TEAM CREATIVE DIRECTION : @working.holidays CREATIVE DIRECTION / PRODUCTION: @blonde.media STYLING: @working.holidays @agnesbuch COREOGRAPHY; @ronnimorgenstjerne HAIR: @linebille MAKE UP: @julieproedel SET DESIGN: @studioxviaduct @ftm_frn HOUSE OF GOYA: @anoucka_ @sarahawija @madsaxelsen @colinemarotta @ftm_frn @sarahsofieboussnina @kiahartelius @sinfohme @habitual_body_monitoring2 @jeuru @ameliahoy @stineroenne @sandirita @niccoolaybal @mymarienilsson @majiclaire @klaralopezz @cobramugler @hendedenbrune @tenderbabygirl @workerofthehole @lauralevinulrich @albaakvama

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Looking at the numbers through January to April 2020 and comparing them to the previous year, the increase of MIV® of 26% from $3.7M to $4.7M, with Media voices counting 88% of the total Voice Mix shows that the most valuable asset of the brand is its own story told and leveraged by the media. 

The control over their own storyline and use of Media Voices during Covid seems key for each of the Scandinavian fashion brands mentioned. Our Marketing Reset report with the newest data from before, during, and at the early stage of the subsequent recovery period, allows us to forecast certain predictions and reveals how the decisions brands make today, will ultimately affect how their businesses perform tomorrow. 

scandinavian fashion brands

Natasha BinarCommunication Manager Northern Europe & Middle East

London-Berlin-Munich. With her background in media management, Natasha launched projects for creative industries in East London, collaborating with the finest British talents. She also worked as Producer with British Sky Broadcasting in developing and implementing their content strategy for Sky Interactive. In Berlin, Natasha continued her consultancy work focussing on business development, digital strategies and branding. Her first book Berlin Catwalks has been released in 2011. Natasha is a senior lecturer in the Academy of Fashion and Design in Munich. She also holds a Master’s degree in Organizational and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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