Introduction

Denmark, much like Sweden, which was featured in our previous five brands you should know instalment, is a nation often bandied into that vague category of ‘Scandinavia’ – an umbrella term that conjures images of blonde hair, recycling and crippling tax rates.

However, the country has every right to step out of Sweden’s shadow. For instance, DID YOU KNOW: Denmark has 407 archipelago islands? And only four universities? EU students studying there don’t pay tuition fees either (a particularly sore topic now I’m mining mere pebbles from an Everest of student debt).

Its people consume on average 321.7 pounds of meat per year – the term ‘carnivore’ doesn’t even cover it. They’ve produced musical greats like Aqua and Sylvester Stallone’s ex-flame Brigitte Nielsen, and they even recently won Eurovision. Colour me impressed.

Joking aside, the Danes are purported to be some of the happiest people on the planet, and after examining their home-grown fashion, it’s easy to see why. This week, we look to the region of north-west Europe to compile our list of five Danish brands you should know.

Every single name below deserves their place and with a similar climate to us Brits, they’re a perfect choice for some seasonal reinvention. After all, nobody does functional, high quality menswear quite like the Danish…

1. Norse Projects

Established by Anton Juul and Mikkel Gronnebaek, a strong interest in underground skating provided the first spark of inspiration for Norse Projects – and they’ve come a long way since their 2005 inception.

A stint in London showcased the brightest and boldest of street-inspired threads and, with such influence in tow, the pair sought to bring the same edge to Copenhagen. Cue dark imagery, next level construction and pieces that pre-empt seasonal trends. International success was always a given.

Norse Projects present that typical Danish simplicity – classic menswear that will always deserve a place within your wardrobe. Yet every single piece has also been given a subtle contemporary twist to keep ensembles original and away from mediocre cookie-cutter territory.

It just goes to show that making a statement doesn’t require garish motifs or a cringe-inducing novelty finish. Instead, don knits with a contrast back panel or Oxford shirts with alternative fabric stripes, providing both texture and impact.

Less is more, so stop over-thinking and overcomplicating – it’s labels like Norse Projects that do all the hard work, so you don’t have to.

Renowned For: Classic wardrobe staples with a modern twist.
See More: Autumn/Winter 2013 Lookbook | Spring/Summer 2013 Lookbook
Official Website: www.norseprojects.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Norse Projects Clothing, Denmark Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Norse Projects Birnir Fair Isle JumperNorse Projects Birnir Fair Isle Jumper
  • Norse Projects Men’s Anton Brushed ShirtNorse Projects Men’s Anton Brushed Shirt
  • Norse Projects Men’s Gustav Wool Crew KnitNorse Projects Men’s Gustav Wool Crew Knit
  • Norse Projects Ryan Sport Compact Jacket – CharcoalNorse Projects Ryan Sport Compact Jacket - Charcoal
  • Norse Projects Nunk Cotton Jacket – Burnt RedNorse Projects Nunk Cotton Jacket - Burnt Red
  • Norse Projects Ketel Logo Sweatshirt – EmberNorse Projects Ketel Logo Sweatshirt - Ember
  • Norse Projects Arnkell Navy ChinosNorse Projects Arnkell Navy Chinos
  • Norse Projects Kirk Cream Wool SweaterNorse Projects Kirk Cream Wool Sweater
  • Norse Projects Men’s Gustav Wool TrackpantsNorse Projects Men’s Gustav Wool Trackpants
  • Norse Projects Marl Burgundy Wool SocksNorse Projects Marl Burgundy Wool Socks
  • Norse Projects Blue Cable-knit HatNorse Projects Blue Cable-knit Hat
  • Norse Projects X Hestra Ivar Gloves – ChestnutNorse Projects X Hestra Ivar Gloves - Chestnut
2. Suit

Tailoring and streetwear really are the chalk and cheese analogy of menswear: an insoluble pairing that’s about as likely as David Gandy and Lil Wayne sharing a front row flask of ‘Purple Drank’.

Well, it’s a non-issue for Suit. Their formula of sharp yet relaxed clothing with functionality akin to outdoor gear is pretty much perfect – a rare feat of achievement for even the most colossal of brands. Craftsmanship and attention to detail provide all the statement you will ever need and Suit offers both in abundance.

High specification pieces range from tailored blazers to quilted bomber jackets, and such items manage to sit side-by-side without jarring. Their range caters to every requirement of the modern male, enabling you to quickly and easily build a capsule wardrobe full of pieces that can be mixed and matched effortlessly, in order to create individual looks on a daily basis.

Take full advantage of innovative prints, West Coast-sourced styling and strong tailoring – it’s an unusually successful combination.

Renowned For: Sharp but relaxed wardrobe staples, high quality craftsmanship.
Official Website: www.suit.dk

Example Lookbooks

Men's Suit Clothing, Denmark Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Suit Philip Cable Knit Sweater In CharcoalSuit Philip Cable Knit Sweater In Charcoal
  • Suit Sinius Technical Jacket In BurgundySuit Sinius Technical Jacket In Burgundy
  • Suit Ritter Camo Pocket ShirtSuit Ritter Camo Pocket Shirt
  • Suit Philip Cable Knit Sweater In GreenSuit Philip Cable Knit Sweater In Green
  • Suit Kalle Crew Neck Jumper In MustardSuit Kalle Crew Neck Jumper In Mustard
  • Suit Niko Dip-dye Tee In BlueSuit Niko Dip-dye Tee In Blue
  • Suit Silas – Parka – BlueSuit Silas - Parka - Blue
  • Suit Esteban – Leather Jacket – BlackSuit Esteban - Leather Jacket - Black
  • Suit Soloman – Waistcoat – BlueSuit Soloman - Waistcoat - Blue
  • Suit Cotton BlazerSuit Cotton Blazer
  • Suit Orson Skinny ChinoSuit Orson Skinny Chino
  • Suit Pocket SweatshirtSuit Pocket Sweatshirt
3. Selected Homme

A Danish label that may be more recognisable, Selected Homme has seen a huge increase in popularity over recent years. Their 1997 formation could suggest that the label is still in its infancy but their strong foothold in twenty-five countries most certainly proves otherwise – they’ve skipped the awkward puberty stage and headed straight to sharp sartorial maturity.

Still owned by the family-run Danish company Bestseller, Nordic influence steadfastly remains at the heart of this expert range.

Selected Homme is probably the biggest brand on this list – already stocked at the likes of ASOS, Topman, John Lewis and Urban Outfitters – and they’re only set to grow. With a collection that touches upon every point of the menswear spectrum, from tuxedos to workwear to footwear, pieces are all united by expert craftsmanship and sharp, clean lines.

Not only that, the brand offer all items at an extremely affordable price point, operating in a rare bracket that sits between the high street and mid-priced designer labels, offering true value for money.

Their operating motto of ‘garments that tell a story’ rings true and now you can craft your own narrative with next level Danish expertise.

Renowned For: High quality, affordable wardrobe staples.
See More: Autumn/Winter 2013 Lookbook | Homme Jeans Autumn/Winter 2013 Lookbook | Spring/Summer 2013 Lookbook
Official Website: www.selected.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Selected Homme Clothing, Denmark Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Selected Homme Mercer Double-breasted Pea CoatSelected Homme Mercer Double-breasted Pea Coat
  • Selected Homme Tower Cord Collar Check ShirtSelected Homme Tower Cord Collar Check Shirt
  • Selected Homme Penn Tee In OrangeSelected Homme Penn Tee In Orange
  • Selected Skinny Fit SuitSelected Skinny Fit Suit
  • Selected Hooded Parka JacketSelected Hooded Parka Jacket
  • Selected Quilted Leather JacketSelected Quilted Leather Jacket
  • Topman Selected Homme Roll Neck JumperTopman Selected Homme Roll Neck Jumper
  • Topman Selected Homme Slim TrousersTopman Selected Homme Slim Trousers
  • Topman Selected Homme Dot ShirtTopman Selected Homme Dot Shirt
  • Selected Homme Leon Suede Desert Boots In GreySelected Homme Leon Suede Desert Boots In Grey
  • Selected Homme Milan BroguesSelected Homme Milan Brogues
  • Selected Homme Phillo Leather Brogues In BrownSelected Homme Phillo Leather Brogues In Brown
  • Selected Nylon HoldallSelected Nylon Holdall
  • Selected ScarfSelected Scarf
  • Selected Suede BeltSelected Suede Belt
4. Anerkjendt

A brand outside the well-trodden realm of Scandinavian simplicity, Anerkjendt is for the more experimental in our midst. Distressed fabrics are pushed to breaking point and the end result is an industrial, almost punk-inspired aesthetic that will add a serrated edge to any winter ensemble.

Anerkjendt menswear is crafted with a sense of humour – a welcome breath of fresh air as more and more labels (including high street) take themselves too seriously. Less pouting Instagram selfies, more kicking back with your mates at the pub.

Innovation is at the forefront of every collection – for example, you can sport classic denim shirts with multiple different-dye panels for a gradient of colour. Alternatively, jersey blazers are given ribbed collars, creating an almost bomber hybrid, whilst abstract prints dominate their playful t-shirt line.

A full Anerkjendt look from head-to-toe may be eyebrow raising, but every dresser would do well to incorporate such idiosyncrasy from time to time. Taking the plunge has never looked so appealing.

Renowned For: Quirky and unique statement pieces.
See More: Autumn 2013 Collection | Spring/Summer 2013 Collection
Official Website: www.anerkjendt.dk

Example Lookbooks

Men's Anerkjendt Clothing, Denmark Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Anerkjendt Tjalfe Multicoloured SweaterAnerkjendt Tjalfe Multicoloured Sweater
  • Anerkjendt JumperAnerkjendt Jumper
  • Anerkjendt Men’s Mark ShirtAnerkjendt Men’s Mark Shirt
  • Anerkjendt Teys Sassa Quilted Shoulder SweaterAnerkjendt Teys Sassa Quilted Shoulder Sweater
  • Anerkjendt Mac Tribal ShirtAnerkjendt Mac Tribal Shirt
  • Anerkjendt Raw Selvedge JeansAnerkjendt Raw Selvedge Jeans
  • Ankerkjendt Flannel ShirtAnkerkjendt Flannel Shirt
  • Ankerkjendt Bomber JacketAnkerkjendt Bomber Jacket
  • Anerkjendt Mens Kion Leather JacketAnerkjendt Mens Kion Leather Jacket
  • Anerkjendt Men’s Matti Contrast Sleeve ShirtAnerkjendt Men’s Matti Contrast Sleeve Shirt
  • Anerkjendt Wash Out Tee In BordeauxAnerkjendt Wash Out Tee In Bordeaux
  • Anerkjendt Men’s Saxo HatAnerkjendt Men’s Saxo Hat
5. Minimum

1997 saw the very first Minimum store open, and from there, the label has exploded into twenty-five showrooms worldwide and produces four annual menswear collections – not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.

The brand has successfully redefined the industrial aesthetic and operates from Aarhus, one of the biggest factory ports in Denmark. Such rough-hewn surroundings is more than evident in every single piece as masculine charcoal hues are merged with sublime crafting methods. Those seeking a touch of vibrancy this season better look away now.

Minimum’s real strength comes in the form of gradient knitwear and solid pieces that can be layered into any ensemble. Achieving ultimate effortlessness is ironically a process of much thought and experimentation; Minimum, however, has curtailed all the woes of contemporary menswear by providing the initial platform.

Quilting, crosshatch and classic silhouettes – it’s all here.

Renowned For: Timeless, rugged pieces.
See More: Autumn/Winter 2013 Campaign | Summer 2013 Collection | Spring 2013 Collection
Official Website: www.minimum.dk

Example Lookbooks

Men's Minimum Clothing, Denmark Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Minimum T-shirt With Scoop NeckMinimum T-shirt With Scoop Neck
  • Minimum Trousers With Pleated FrontMinimum Trousers With Pleated Front
  • Minimum ParkaMinimum Parka
  • Minimum Jumper With Dash PatternMinimum Jumper With Dash Pattern
  • Minimum Jumper With Button ShoulderMinimum Jumper With Button Shoulder
  • Minimum Shirt With Check And Contrast PocketMinimum Shirt With Check And Contrast Pocket
  • Minimum Pedro ShirtMinimum Pedro Shirt
  • Minimum Vandy – Cardigan – PetrolMinimum Vandy - Cardigan - Petrol
  • Minimum Sam One Button BlazerMinimum Sam One Button Blazer
  • Minimum Five Pocket Detail TrousersMinimum Five Pocket Detail Trousers
  • Minimum Hooded ParkaMinimum Hooded Parka
  • Minimum Franco – Summer Jacket – BlueMinimum Franco - Summer Jacket - Blue
Final Word

If we had our way, there’d be dozens more included on our top five Danish brand list but alas, there’s only so much typing and reading us sartorialists can perform. With that in mind, let us give an honourable mention to the likes of Samsoe & Samsoe, NN.07 and Knowledge Cotton Apparel – all industry innovators that continually raise the bar.

Take a slice of our Scandinavian style smorgasbord this winter and flirt with previously unknown or emerging brands. Developing a truly unique personal style demands researching the unfamiliar, so go ahead and conquer contemporary menswear with the aid of our Nordic cousins. Bravo, Denmark, bravo.

What do you think to our list? Any others you would add? As always, we’re all ears here at FashionBeans