How Copenhagen is embracing its intimacy to stand out in fashion

Hold on to your designer hats, as Copenhagen’s biannual fashion week is sashaying into town. There’s no escaping the festival, which for five days from Wednesday until Sunday will be making its presence known in every other exhibition centre, cocktail bar, fancy restaurant and nightclub in the city. 

But how big is Copenhagen Fashion Week outside Danish shores? Can it compete with the likes of New York, Paris, Milan and London, or even Stockholm, for that matter? 

Accessible not exclusive
According to Anne Christine Persson from the Danish Fashion Institute, who is the vice president and development director at Copenhagen Fashion Week, it can but it doesn’t need to. After all, the city of Copenhagen is geographically much smaller than its rivals, and it can use this size to its advantage.

“Copenhagen Fashion Week is more intimate than other fashion weeks around the world. It really speaks to the people,” she enthused.

“Everyone gets much more involved: you can see fashion week in the streets. The city is dressed in fashion and is more alive during Fashion Week.”

The intimacy lends itself to accessibility, a factor often missing from the really big weeks, which are still known for their many barriers of exclusivity. And it’s clear that while exclusivity is increasingly frowned upon, accessibility is trending. in attendance
The worldwide fashion community is waking up to this. One of the world’s biggest fashion websites,, will for the first time cover Copenhagen Fashion Week this season – a move that is being seen as a monumental leap forward in terms of Copenhagen’s place in the international fashion community.

“The Danish Fashion Institute has achieved a lot in its 10-year lifespan and one of the most important milestones is definitely that has chosen Copenhagen Fashion Week to be a part of their regular fashion week coverage,” continued Persson.

“It is one of the greatest acknowledgements Danish fashion has gotten in a long time. Maybe the biggest.”

Excited about trade fairs
It’s not just the runways that are boasting some of the treasures of the design world either. Revolver and CIFF will between them host five trade fairs, which will offer insider information on upcoming trends, curated by one of the two aforementioned companies. 

Persson has high hopes for the trade shows, citing CIFF Raven’s menswear as one of the collections she is most excited about. Despite giving little away, Anne thinks that Copenhagen Fashion Week’s trade shows look set to be of a high calibre, attracting attention worldwide.

“So far this season it seems like we have lots of great buyers and press attending from around the world, who can expect to see a lot of amazing design,” she contended.

A buzz of anticipation
The Weekly Post was present as Tommy Hilfiger kicked off proceedings with a breakfast morning to preview its Autumn Winter 2015 line in trendy Christianshavn, showcasing thick but tailored woollen coats, sturdy but chic leather loafers and boots, and marrying slick lines with subtle hints of pattern in their menswear range.

There was a clear buzz of anticipation regarding the catwalk shows, where experts expect to see plenty of the slick functionality seen on Copenhagen’s streets. It is an expectation that does not surprise Persson. 

“The style here is very cool, down to earth and creative,” she said.

 “It’s functional too. Danish fashion is designed so people can look fashionable even when they’re cycling to work. It’s functional and fashionable.”

Forget the rankings!
Given all the buoyancy it’s surprising to see that Copenhagen is currently sliding down the fashion week rankings  (see factfile) compiled by Global Language Monitor (GLM), where it currently sits 43rd, 13 places down from last year, with the comment: “Copenhagen and Stockholm continue to contend for leadership in the Nordic World.” 

But it should be noted that Global Language Monitor’s rankings are based on online mentions. The comment itself (see factfile) makes no reference to the sudden fall and betrays a limited knowledge of fashion.

After all, everybody knows Copenhagen is number one in the Nordics. Don’t they?