What the youth of CPH teaches us about style (and life)

by Georgia Anderson


It’s no secret that the youth of today dress much better than we ever did. I won’t even describe the abominable outfits I wore, genuinely thinking they were the peak of fashion. But the danish youth of today are here to remind both me and you just how wrong we were. Anyone even remotely familiar with the essence of Scandinavian culture knows how effortlessly stylish they are, and this also applies particularly to the youth in Denmark. Walking around the city gives me the same elation as peering into the latest edition vogue magazine as a kid did. So I stopped and had conversations with a few teens about them, their style, and their views on fashion in Copenhagen.


IZOLDE & ELLA


Izolde (left) and Ella (right) were the first two girls I spoke to while I was on my way to a Sunday løppemarked, or vintage market. I

could tell right away that we were on our way to the same place, and they were so friendly that we ended up chatting the whole way there.

In typical danish style, they were much younger than they looked, and I was in utter shock when they told me that they were both 13. They explained to me that in Copenhagen

there’s two main ‘style’ groups (with

variations in between of course):

The first one is the ‘vintage style’; baggy clothes bought in vintage stores, more of a ‘street style’. Izolde identifies with this one the most. The second one is what they named the

‘influencer style’; much more feminine and colorful, and very much keeping up with trends. Ella said she was in between the two styles, but more towards the ‘influencer’ one. From top to bottom, Izolde was wearing a coat from Envii and a T-Shirt from Mads Nøregaard. She explained that both brands are very popular amongst young people in Copenhagen, and most danish teens will own at least one article of clothing from either brand. Her pants were vintage from a store in Copenhagen called Sliced Bananas, and her shoes were from Adidas. Next was her vintage Gucci bag, which I had noticed the second I laid eyes on the pair, and couldn’t wait to hear the story behind it. She recounted how she bought it at The Vintage Bar’s showroom in Copenhagen, and how it was such a fun experience. She made an appointment, and the staff showed her multiple choices while she decided which bag would go home with her.


Up next was Ella’s outfit, and she revealed that her knit jacket was from a small, cozy boutique that opens every year at Tivoli, Copenhagen’s theme park. She described that it’s one of the nicest places to get sweaters from because it feels like you are buying something original that no one really has. Ella, like Izolde, was wearing a Mads Nøregaard T-Shirt, her pants were from a danish brand called

Blendshe, and her shoes from Asics.


We then chatted a bit about what they think their futures would look like and what they’re

interested in. Izolde wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, but her main goals were to move out

at around 20 with some friends and then eventually buy her own apartment. We somehow got

onto the topic that her cousin is Bianca Bing, Anine Bing’s daughter, a famous danish

designer and influencer, who grew up in Sweden but then moved to Hollywood and became

an influencer, which she was really excited to tell me, and was interesting to hear.

Ella is really interested in design and fashion and is excited to get into that as she grows

older. Her biggest dream is to work as a designer in New York.


NOLA


This next sweet girl was so excited to talk to me about her outfit but had to run to her mom to ask if it was ok first. Once I received an excited thumbs up from about 10 meters away, we got right down to business. Nola was wearing her favorite colorful jacket that she got from Zara, along with baggy jeans that she got from her favorite skater store, Jeans Lab, which was just down the road (pointed to it excitedly). Her bag was from Ganni, and her shoes from new balance, which she described as the typical danish shoe. But she did specify with a sheepish smile that they weren’t hers, and she borrowed them from her mom. Nola’s typical outfit consists of the jacket she was wearing, an oversized sweatshirt, and her highly prized Air Jordan’s. I then asked her how she sees young people’s fashion in Copenhagen. Nola’s view was that everything is ‘very 2000s’ - lots of baggy low-rise jeans paired with crop tops. Her mom doesn’t let her wear crops tops though, but not that she’d want to anyway. Most girls wear fake nails, but she doesn’t like them and doesn’t wear them herself. Nola’s biggest dream is to be a stylist in Denmark, but she also really wants to work in a skate shop, like the one she got her pants in. She also really wants to go to New York; she went for her 10th birthday and loved it, and can’t wait to go back as soon as she can. I then thanked Nola for our conversation, and she gave me a big wide smile and said it was lots of fun.


VIOLA


I noticed Viola on the metro home one day on account of spotting her beautiful orange crochet bag, and was just dying to ask her where it was from. I don’t know what it is about the metro, but it’s quite a daunting place to talk to strangers. So as soon as we got off and were on the escalator, I sheepishly tapped on her shoulder and asked my usual “do you speak english”, as I have yet to master the danish language. As most danish people generally are, she was genuinely friendly and despite probably thinking “who is this crazy woman asking me about my outfit”, was more than happy to tell me all about it. We walked out of the station and she led me to this cool yellow wall where we took a few pictures. Viola attends a school in Nørrebro, which was recently named ‘world’s coolest’ neighborhood by Time Out magazine, where she follows a design ‘line’, or specialization. She’s not sure what she wants her future to look like, but probably something to do with design since that’s what she’s studying and enjoys it very much. Viola loves being creative; sewing, knitting, and crocheting are amongst her favorite pastimes. Viola then gave me her outfit details. Her grey pants were from neo noir, a brand that, like Mads Nørgaard and Envii, is particularly popular amongst the danish youth. Her jacket was a stunning vintage Carhart jacket that she bought at episode, a prominent vintage store amongst the European vintage scene. Her earrings were also from a danish brand, called Pico Copenhagen. And finally the bag, I was completely shocked, but honestly should have seen it coming, that she made her bag herself. She said it’s her favorite bag, and it took incredibly long to make - she crocheted it out of recycled t-shirt material, which somehow made it even cooler. She was so open about it and gladly gave me tips on where I could buy similar yarn to make it myself and specified how many rows I should crochet for each part of the bag.


Talking to all these girls was honestly great fun, and remarkably fascinating. It’s one thing to simply observe, but another to receive firsthand information and point-of-views from those you are observing. It seems that overall, many danish teens have a certain fixation of vintage & baggy clothes, and the 2000s trends. Although as Izolde and Ella explained, there is also more feminine and colorful style in Copenhagen, but from my personal experience I saw this mostly amongst adults. What was the most compelling to me, however, was this overall freedom for young people to pursue and dream about what they are truly interested in.