Updated: Jun 19
Move over Brandy Melville. There’s a new trend in town.
The popularity of Brandy Melville in the past few years has climaxed in the world's period of self isolation – with £20 plaid cardigans being sold on Depop (an online thrift store app) for an eyewatering £100. But the tide is turning. Whilst Brandy Melville thrives in sunny California, in England, summer lasts for approximately two weeks. And with colder weather looming already, comes the prediction of a new trend.
Scandi-fashion has always been popular.
Simplicity, colour-matching, classy. These are all words that come to mind when we are asked to consider this Nordic style. Of course, Scandinavian fashion and Nordic fashion is not new. At its core, its design aims to improve people’s lives under the modernist mantra “form follows function”. As such, in achieving the ultimate state of cosiness, most Scandinavian clothing breaks the confinements of classic form-fitting shapes. Designers experiment with soft ovoid silhouettes whilst playing with strong geometric cuts as a tribute to minimalism. Not to mention, Nordic designers are renowned for their appreciation for their environment and its inhabitants. That’s why they are among the best supporters of sustainable, or ethical, fashion. Trying to step away from fast, destructive fashion (that brands such as Brandy Melville, Pretty Little Thing and others promote) it emphasises environmental, social and economic responsibility. Moreover, consumers and designers favour high-quality capsule wardrobe with classic-cut garments that they can wear in multiple ways. Because of this, you don’t need to have a natural talent at putting garments together into a work of art. Layering, matching colours and a ‘less is more’ approach is what Scandi-fashion has been all about for decades.
So, where, I hear you ask, does this have a place in the fast-paced teenage world of fast fashion, next-day delivery and 15 second videos? Enter: the Danish influencer.
Scandi-style shops like COS and Arket are exceedingly popular amongst the UK's adults and yet there is no affordable version of it for teenagers. Thus, my exploration into teenage Scandi-fashion started with Barbara Kristofferson, (@barbarakristofferson) Danish macro-influencer with 387k followers to her name. Her satisfyingly colour co-ordinated outfits (even her phone cases match) caught my eye first. Pastels dominate the feed, with baby blue bucket hats, lettuce-hemmed t-shirts and matching Nike Air Force 1’s. If spring had an Instagram account, this would be it. But, as I was falling into the Instagram explore page/rabbit hole, I noticed that she was not the only Danish influencer catching the eyes of teens around the world. Josefine HJ (@josefinehj), Amanda Marie Nielsen (@amandampn) and Anna Astrup (@annaastrup) all follow suit with an average of 465k followers each.
Now, I’ve always been interested in European fashion. French girl chic is something that my friends and I consistently strive towards (bonjour Camille Charriere) and when travelling I found my Dutch friends always seemed the most elegant and effortlessly put together. But this is something slightly different. The ability to shop a whole outfit in one place, in one colour and one style is fast, efficient and works every time.
As we come out of the pandemic, I can’t see girls wandering shopping centres aimlessly in the packs, in the near future. Instead, a one stop shop for all of your outfit needs seems to fit the bill. An affordable mix 'n match capsule wardrobe, à la Scandinavia, akin to the style of Barbara and her blonde Instagram buddies will be the next big thing - and the popular lettuce-hemmed, pastel tops work with jeans, so British summer weather is no barrier! Not to mention, the fact that young adults seem heavily preoccupied with Climate Change (70% of adults aged 18 to 34 say they worry about global warming compared to 56% of those aged 55 or older*) hopefully means that we will be looking for more sustainable clothing brand alternatives – something that Scandi-fashion clearly promotes.
What, at the moment, is so attractive about this style of clothing is the sheer physical unattainability of the clothes. The majority of Barbara Kristofferson's wardrobe is either a) out of the price range for a teenager or b) unavailable in the UK. Perhaps, in the place of Italian Cali-style fast fashion Brandy Melville, a new brand that provides all of the above qualities, will take its place.
So let this be my prediction. Granted, Brandy Melville may evolve to fit these new trends, but I fear that it may fall as quickly as it rose. If you look at its predecessors: Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Jack Wills – it is clear to see that teenage brands have an expiry date. In its place will rise, the hopefully more sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, 'teenage edition' of Scandi-fashion.
*according to the YPCCC (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication)
please note: all photographs taken from Instagram are not mine, unless stated otherwise. I have attached the link to the owner's accounts. All rights go to them, of course.