For all the talk about “Scandinavian cool” in the fashion circles (and of course, on this blog, too) – minimalist, utilitarian, limited colour palette, not-trying-too-hard – and the international success of labels that champion said looks, such as Acne, Cheap Monday and COS, there is a flipside.
I’m talking about bucket loads of colour, the propensity for ditsy floral patterns and embellishments like embroidery, fringing and ruffles. Wait, am I seriously nattering on about a Swedish fashion label? Yes, I sure am. Specifically the Stockholm-based mass-market retailer Odd Molly, who recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and, judging by their numbers, has steadily been taking the world by storm, too.
Odd Molly is currently available in over 1300 stores in over 40 countries. Compare that to H&M’s 2300 stores (albeit their own) in over 43 countries. Pretty impressive for a label that truthfully, most in the fashion industry outside of Sweden would be hard-pressed to identify as Swedish. And that’s the thing.
Is France really full of chic women wearing no more than Breton tops, trench coats and ballerina flats? Or is Italy awash with only glamorous Sofia Loren-types? No, of course not, and Sweden shouldn’t have to be pigeon-holed into that “cool-casual” stereotype either.
I’ve spoken about the quirky side of Swedish fashion before, and though it’s tempting to slot Odd Molly into that category, as well, I think there is a larger picture to be seen. Although it’s important to have “high fashion” or trend-led concepts, as forwarded by the usual faces of Swedish fashion, sometimes people just want clothes that make them… well, happy. And with their unabashedly cheerful outlook along with a multi-generation approach, Odd Molly definitely taps into that need. And the Swedish fashion scene is all the better for it, I say.