There has been an influx of Swedish fashion and retail businesses establishing in the UK over recent years. When you walk down Regent Street in London, you’ll pass one Swedish clothing store after another. During a time when many retail and fashion businesses struggle to remain on the high street, the opposite seems to be true for brands with Swedish roots. So, what is it about Swedish fashion that the Brits love so much?
Sweden has a worldwide reputation for being a role model; from innovation to social security, it is frequently at the forefront. This has resulted in the world, and especially the UK, casting their eyes towards the oblong country in the North for inspiration. And it seems that UK fashionistas love just about everything about Swedish clothing and design.
Swedish style – effortless with a lot of effort
Classifying typically Swedish design would most likely result in a list of words ranging from ‘boring’ to ‘stylish’, ‘timeless’ and ‘classy’. The palette is inspired by nature; neutral tones and colours, black, white and fifty shades of grey. And whether it’s talking about their weather, or painting their living rooms, Brits just seem to love grey.
Swedish fashion leaves nothing to chance. The sophisticated and simplistic style might come across as effortless, but with a lot of effort put into it. There’s a conscious thought behind everything from fabric choices to shape and cut. The Swedish mentality of equality is present also in fashion – it’s designed to be worn by anyone, at any time. Maybe this is what the Brits loves about it? A few smart buys and you can style your outfit for any occasion without having to blow your budget.
Swedes might be known for their sense of fashion, but fashion is not all about looking good. Not only Sweden, but Scandinavia in general, is known for its flair for sustainability. Scandinavians have great respect for nature and the environment, which might be the reason why sustainable thinking is present in anything from business to fashion in Scandinavia.
Sustainability is not just a trendy add-on anymore – it’s inherent in most, if not all, Scandinavian brands nowadays. Swedish fashion brings together the environmental and sustainable awareness with a well thought-through and conscious design, which is exactly what the UK consumer desires. With Britain’s desire to live a little more Scandi, and a little bit more sustainable, building on your Swedish heritage gives you the best opportunity to succeed on the UK market. That’s what children’s clothing brand Newbie by Kappahl did when launching in the UK.
Newbie describes using their unique Scandinavian features and riding on the prevalent Scandi-trend as one of the factors behind its UK success. “The UK has a desire to live a little more ‘Scandi’. Drawing on our ‘Swedish-ness’ and emphasis on sustainability resonates strongly with what the UK consumer wants”.
Diamon, experts in supporting Swedish retail brands with international expansion, says that Swedish brands have a great chance at international success simply because of the Swedish origin and the powerful reputation of brand Sweden.
“Swedish brands are associated with quality, good design and simplicity – all offered at an attractive price. Sweden doesn’t boast many luxury brands; Swedish fashion is affordable luxury that appeals to a broader audience.”
World famous and revolutionary brands like IKEA, Spotify & Volvo have helped to improve the success of other Swedish brands. These high-profile businesses from Northern Europe are leading their industries and all doing their bit to strengthen the power of brand Sweden to the world.
No place like London
With Swedish brands like Newbie, A Day’s March and Mini Rodini opening stores in London in the recent years, it’s inevitable to think that there is more opportunity for more Swedish fashion stores to succeed on the UK market, even in a time when the British high street is at a crossroads.
Swedish men’s fashion brand A Day’s March opened their first international store in central London in 2018. Their decision to open a shop in London was based on what people argue is the reason that physical stores are struggling – e-commerce. Many of their international e-commerce consumers were based in London. But successful e-commerce didn’t stop A Day’s March from wanting more. “Brick-and-mortar is not dead. There might be a shift towards online, but we believe in the mix of e-commerce and physical stores,” they say. The mix of online and offline can really make your brand stand out in a time when more shopping takes place online, as retail stores allow brands to engage with the consumer and create a powerful customer experience.
So we know that the Brits love everything Swedish, but why do Swedish brands want to set up shop in London? Diamon explains, “London has always been one of the most important places to be seen in for fashion brands. If you make it in London, it’s a seal of approval that your brand is interesting to the world”.
The UK market is large and the UK consumer, especially in London, is design conscious with a love for everything Swedish and Scandinavian. London as a fashion capital with multicultural influences is a gateway to the rest of the world. Whether you are looking for international recognition or using the UK as a steppingstone, if you can make it in London you can make it anywhere.
Expand to the UK
The world has London on its retina. And the Brits have their eyes on Scandinavia. If you want your brand to gain international exposure then London is the place to be, and now is a better time than ever. The UK has a strong interest in Swedish brands and riding on the Scandi-trend can take you further, sooner. In a world where the high street is struggling, Swedish businesses have all the opportunity to capitalise on UK success.
Goodwille supports many Swedish retail and fashion businesses in the UK, including Acne, Daniel Wellington, Lindex and Newbie by Kappahl. Read about some of the retail businesses we have assisted with their expansion to the UK here, or contact us today for more information.