“Contemporary Swedish fashion designers, speculative reasons for staying whithin the Scandinavian bubble”

The gap in mainstream fashion representing Swedish designers is visible and confusing, brands with strong sustainability aims and brand identities should be visible in the industry. Or so we would think. 

The fashion industry can be a vast ocean, filled with creatives and brands trying to push through the buzz of media. Sweden has history of craftsmanship originally and a big theme through out many a brand is the sustainability aspect. 

The question for speculation is why the Swedish brands seems to not be able to push into the mainstream media? Can it be that the success of fast fashion brands such as HM and their chain of brands that has overshadowed other types of brands? Is it the Swedish mentality that is hindering the brands? 

This post aims to introduce a few Swedish brands and gems that’s is not getting its proper recognition and allow access for a larger audience. 


Atp atelier(All Tomorrows parties) is brand started by Maj-La Pitzelli and her husband. 

After being inspired by Italian leather craftsmanship they started their vision of combining it with Swedish minimalistic design. Ranging from footwear, bags and scarves. Their identity has a cool, smooth party vibe. Giving the accessories a personality an almost viewing them as art in itself.

Their brand philosophy is smart luxury, designing long lasting wearable pieces for everyday use. Investing in leather goods, craftsmanship and Swedish minimalism. 

1Atelier, Atp. “ATP Atelier - Official Site - Smart Luxury.” ATP Atelier, Atp Atelier, atpatelier.com. Accessed 14 May 2022.

Maria Nilsdotter is a jewelry brand based in Stockholm, Their philosophy roots mostly in mythical storytelling and using recycled silver as their main material. Started by Maria Nilsdotter who graduated from Central saint martins. Her work is very much based on different Swedish folklore. Her work has gained in popularity recently with her collection inspired by Astrid Lindgrens children stories such as Pippi Longstrump and “Mio min Mio”. Stories with captivating characters and messages that is translated in a wearable piece. The brands philosophy sees jewelry as daily armour that gives the wearer power in a sense.

2“About - Maria Nilsdotter.” Maria Nilsdotter, marianilsdotter.com/about. Accessed 9 May 2022.

Toteme is a Stockholm based brand started in 2014 by Elin Kling and Karl Lindman. The brand has a strong identity and sense of aesthetic. They approached the fashion scene by introducing a concept of a modern uniform. Practicality, elegance and long lasting signature pieces for ambitious women. The colour palette is cool toned and simple with focus on the design language , details and smart tailoring. 

xTotême. “About.” Totême, int.toteme-studio.com/pages/our-story. Accessed 10 May 2022.


The conclusion of my research into these brands is that Swedish people enjoy smart tailoring that fits their daily life and ambition. Making it their identity with daily armour and modern uniforms. Their is a practicality to the brands philosophy but still attention to tailoring and sustainability.  Which proves you don’t have to sacrifice one over the other. This feel in its entirety very modern and relevant and make one wonder why they are still not in the main international click of it all. One reason which can only be apparent If you are in fact from Sweden is the common Swedish way of “Jante lagen” which is a term that many people subconsciously abide. It is simple you shouldn’t think so highly of yourself. The lack of a big ego can be fatal in this industry  but the speculation continues and we will se what can unfold in the future. 


Subttitled video and final word by iconic Swedish Fashion designer and creator Gunnila Ponten who was the first designer to introduce youth fashion as concept in Sweden. 


3Form, Svensk. “GUNILLA PONTÉN / Levande Design.” Vimeo, uploaded by Svensk Form, 13 May 2022, vimeo.com/126074284.