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Confident Copenhagen continues to shine

Baum und pferdgarten aw20 4 (38)

A busy week in the Danish capital brought star buyers, innovative brands and creative collections together for an event that is steadily gaining momentum and buzz.

Times are changing in fashion. As a new decade dawns, Copenhagen Fashion Week, held in Denmark’s capital on 28-31 January, continued to build its name as an essential date in the industry calender.

Top-name buyers, a sustainable slant and a spirit of inclusivity made the autumn 20 trade shows and catwalks a vibrant, optimistic declaration of things to come.

Copenhagen stands apart from other international fashion weeks as it also includes two flagship trade shows: CIFF at the Bella Center, and Revolver in the trendy Meatpacking District. 

The buyers in attendance read like a Who’s Who of luxury fashion: Browns, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Moda Operandi and more. Ganni and Cecilie Bahnsen were the big draws, but there were also strong shows from Soulland and Rotate Birger Christensen. 

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Cecilie Bahnsen autumn 20

Running on 28-31 January, Copenhagen Fashion Week stands apart from other international fashion weeks as it also includes two flagship trade shows – CIFF at the Bella Center, and Revolver in the heart of the city’s trendy Meatpacking District. Both trade shows and the catwalks proved equally alluring for buyers from across the industry.

The list of buyers spotted by Drapers reads like a who’s who of luxury fashion: Browns, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Moda Operandi and more all lined up on the front rows. Ganni and Cecilie Bahnsen were the headline draws from the week, which also included strong shows from Soulland and Rotate Birger Christensen, the hit label from Danish influencers Jeanette Madsen and Thora Valdimars.

Models of diverse body types, ages and ethnicities were seen across the catwalks, including at Ganni, Baum und Pferdgarten, and Soulland. It was a forward-looking contrast to stereotypical catwalk line-ups and a further demonstration of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s inclusive reputation.

Ganni autumn 20 copenhagen fashion week

Ganni autumn 20

Even more dominant was the focus on sustainability. Baum und Pferdgarten has set itself ambitious targets, including to reduce its use of conventional viscose by 2024. Meanwhile Soulland has produced 80% of its collection from sustainable fibres for autumn 20.

Beyond the designers themselves, this season Copenhagen Fashion Week also launched its Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022, outlining its plans to transition to a more eco-conscious model – including reducing its “climate impact” by 50% and aiming for zero waste by 2022. Signs of this were already visible, among them recyclable water cartons instead of plastic bottles and green, electric taxis to ferry show-goers between venues.

It was also a talking point for many at Revolver and CIFF. At CIFF, denim brand Lee hosted an immersive sustainability experience in collaboration with Stavros Karelis, founder of London independent Machine-A, and sustainability organisation Fashion Revolution’s Orsola de Castro. This included installations of the brand’s partnership with London designer Bethany Williams, as well as an upcycling station, where visitors could customise old Lee jeans.

Brands gave both shows a warm review and the city clearly retained its reputation as a key buying destination. Both shows were consistently busy, with a buzz rarely seen in UK trade shows. Buyers came from as far afield as Japan, and Nordic and European countries were represented in large numbers. 

The two trade shows are going from strength to strength, and host a growing amount of interesting and noteworthy brands. Next season, Revolver plans to open a new venue, close to its current home, to expand its offer even further.

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