How Sweden Is Leading In A New Era Of Fashion

Fashion has been a main topic of discussion in Stockholm this month. The Swedish Fashion Council (SFC), under the name Stockholm [X]perience launched their Fashion Transformation report, showcased key talent, unveiled a new book, as well as a new platform at a glamorous dinner at Fotografiska Stockholm.

International and local communities came together for the two-day event to recognize a new era in the Council with the launch of Fashion X, their new digital platform. The brands involved are a part of the Council’s Incubator program, and to sweeten the deal, artists in visual art and music have taken part as well.

Sweden for some isn’t the first country that comes to mind for being fashion centered. For those in the industry, it’s known that Scandinavia has a foothold in the industry from Iceland, to the Faroe Islands, Denmark, to Greenland (which actually belongs to Denmark), Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Yet, Swedish fashion is a hotbed for innovation, sustainability, and raw design talent. This new fashion era that the Council is calling, is a strategic plan for continued strength in these areas. “The Swedish Fashion Council’s work is focused on promoting, educating and innovating the fashion industry,” says Jennie Rosén the CEO for the Council. “One of the initiatives we’re working on is our incubator program: SFC Incubator. All of the brands in our incubator are combining innovative sustainable business models and creative excellence with a disruptive vision, making them front runners in the new era of fashion. The participants in the incubator receive coaching from a 360-degree approach, including everything from PR and communication to business model strategies, production, and sales.”

The Fashion Transformation, a report was discussed over a panel discussion with industry experts at Polestar Stockholm. Lucy Maguire, Senior Trends Editor at Vogue Business moderated, while participants included Isobel Farmiloe, Strategy Director at Dazed Media, Jonatan Janmark, Partner at McKinsey,
Danica Kragic, Professor in Computer Science
Suzan Hourieh Lindberg, Founder of The Social Few, Linn Af Klint Kansmark, Circular Business at H&M, Fredrik Timour, Founder of Fashion Innovation Center, Lisa Lang, Director of Legislation and EU Affairs, EIT Climate KIC, and Komal Singh, Polestar. Discussion centered around new business models, new consumer values, inclusivity, digital innovations, and a growing secondhand market.

Readers get an understanding of Sweden’s place as a leading player in the fashion ecosystem, in textile, fashion, and innovation. “The report series is the first of its kind and shows the transformation of the fashion industry from different perspectives including the acceleration of the secondhand market, the rise of digital fashion, the impact of industry 4.0 as well as the necessity of creating diverse organizations,” says Rosén. “The report also points to the political initiatives needed to further support and strengthen the transformation. Fashion Transformation is based on a combination of measurable data and interviews with experts within the industry, such as Achim Berg the Global Leader of McKinsey’s fashion, apparel and luxury group and Isobel Farmiloe, Strategy Manger at Dazed.”

The Council’s new book MODE 2022, was launched and celebrated at a dinner. The book is built on the findings from the Fashion Transformation report. It includes interviews by prominent international journalists from renowned fashion media like Vogue. Fashion’s leading voices are in the book, voices that have the influence to transform the industry. Stories about artistic talent from Feben, to Anna Uddenberg, Rave Review, Saman Amel, Fiiri Agency, Eytys, Our Legacy Workshop, and more are included in the book.

Part of the Stockholm [X]perience were the physical showcases, presentations and activations by several brands, who are emerging talent shaping the future of fashion where they have been combining innovative sustainable business models and creative excellence with a disruptive vision: Hodakova, AVAVAV’s Creative Director Beate Karlsson, BFC Newgen and SFC [Incubator] brand Feben, celebrity favourite Jade Cropper, multidimensional brand Selam Fessahaye as well as previous LVMH Prize finalists and Gucci Vault participants Rave Review.

The showcase premiered at different places around Stockholm from A House Ark, Loyal Gallery and the Stockholm Fashion District, giving visitors the ability to take in the city. Music performances at Södra Teatern, one of the country’s oldest theaters was curated by creative director Wasima Ayad, who is known as DAR WARDA, and R&B musician Mona Masrour as the headliner. Other Swedish R&B and HipHop artist performers included Jelassi and L1na.

Fashion X Dinner

The Fashion X platform, the highlight of the dinner on Thursday night gives a voice to this new era of fashion, where previously overlooked talent has a space to thrive. The platform also looks at the industry from a political, economic, social, and creative point of view.

“The dinner was the final event following a packed two-day schedule focusing on the new era of Swedish fashion. All of the most prominent industry people from Sweden, as well as local and international press from some global top titles attended. Guests included Lulu Kennedy, Founder and Director of Fashion East; Ida Petersson, Womenswear Buying Director at Browns; Leanne Elliot Young, Co-Founder and CEO of Institute of Digital Fashion; Audrey Hu, Fashion Editor of Vogue China; Lezan Lurr, Co-Founder of Namacheko; David Martin, Editor-in-Chief of ODDA Magazine; Erik Fagerlind, Co-Founder of Sneakers ‘N’ Stuff and others,” states Rosén.

There’s a lot going on in the Swedish fashion ecosystem and the Swedes don’t show any signs of slowing down, but rather the opposite. November has proven to be a success with the launch of Fashion X, the Fashion Transformation report, and MODE 2022. The Swedish Fashion Council is showing that they have the tools and savoir faire to support any talent, eliminating those who have been overlooked with inclusive measures. This isn’t a space you want to take your eyes off of.

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