Sweden is host to an array of fashion firms, from H&M to small independent designers. In the report The Spaces and Places of Swedish Fashion, Hauge Atle says, “Alongside the mass market retail chains, there is a cluster of niche-oriented, small- and medium-sized Swedish fashion ﬁrms with a brand-focused business strategy.” The idea that independent designers have always thrived in Stockholm has led to a strong sense of aesthetic identity that can be perceived in some of the capital city’s most fashionable cases. Read on to discover a few spots frequented by those with a love of design.
Östermalm: A High-End Shopping Paradise
Those into haute couture and upmarket design brands tend to flock to Östermalm — ensconced in one of the city’s most populated and wealthiest neighbourhoods. Here, beautiful historic buildings abound, many of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the Bibliotekstan area you will find an exclusive pedestrian shopping street where Swedish luxury brands such as Whyred, Hope, and Rodebjer shine. Of course, Italian fashion holds sway in boutiques such as Prada and Gucci. The sartorial Swedes are very much into Italian staples such as quality, bespoke suits, patent leather shoes, and tiny details such as designer scarves and ties. Italian accessories can also be found here, including elegant leather briefcases, designer belts, and upmarket jewellery and keychains.
Södermalm: A Place to Share Your Sense of Style
Once you have completed your high-end shopping experience, it is time to head to Södermalm – an island known for its stylish, creative vibe. Here, trendy urbanites relax after a hard day at work, chilling out at trendy cafés in the neighbourhood of SoFo (South of Folkungagatan). Södermalm is home to both affordable vintage and high-end shops. If you are looking for creative ware you might find on the catwalk at a Big Four fashion show, head to elegant boutique Nitty Gritty, where you will find stunning minimalist tops, well-cut suits, and high-end fashion wear you can show off the next time you go clubbing. For übercool vintage and secondhand clothing, head to Emmaus. There, you will find everything from cool 1970s suits to old vinyl records. Best of all, all proceeds go to charity.
Gamla Stan: Ideal for Stylish Handicrafts
Fashion lovers usually like their homes to reflect their taste. Those with an eye for design often head to Gamla Stan – one of the most aesthetically appealing areas in the whole of Stockholm, founded in the mid-13th-century. This area has a plethora of clothing and home design shops. Check out Iris Hantverk for a wide range of beautifully produced Nordic handicrafts. Gamla Stan is also home to a plethora of ‘in’ restaurants where dapper citizens like to congregate and do business and pleasure. Top places to try out include Aifur (serving medieval viking fare) and The Hairy Pig (a cool, casual spot, perfect for an after-work snack or a business lunch, located just five minutes from Gamla Stan).
Kärrtop: A Small Place to Lose Yourself In
If you feel like veering out of the centre of Stockholm, Kärrtorp is a gorgeous suburb in which to meet other fashion lovers – those who enjoy going to the theatre and enjoying heavenly pastries at what is now a classic patisserie: Ma Baker. Styled in warm red hues and gorgeous nature-inspired wall art, this café is filled with candles and warm lighting in the evening. Other cool cafés where you can spot clients dressed in hipster fashions are Drop Coffee in Wollmar Yxkullsgatan, Café String in Nytorgsgatan, and Café Pascal in the city (the latter is the ultimate Instagrammable café).
Stockholm has a host of international, national, and local boutiques where fashionable citizens flock to. However, new trends can just as well be spotted on the busy streets of the city centre, as in a small suburb. Cafés and restaurants are buzzing with life, even in the winter. Here, trendy city workers head for a coffee or drinks, keen to share their love of design with other millennials and Generation Z’ers.