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(5): Hærværk, (6): This is Sweden, and (7): Mannisto

NEW: Unapologetic bad boy causing a stir with vivid renditions of Danish youth from Hærværk, This is Sweden’s anti-racist project celebrating what it truly means to be Swedish, and elaborately detailed menswear by Mannisto, inspired by ice hockey and traditional handcraft.

Edited by Robin Douglas Westling Written by Jimmy Guo

(5) Hærværk

Copenhagen, Denmark — Growing up, Niels Guntoft Hansen dreamt of becoming a musician. Yet, the Denmark-born designer has quickly become a name to watch in fashion — even though he never really dreamt of ending up in this industry. Only a few months after graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in London, Niels Gundtoft Hansen showed his first collection for Hærværk in a disheveled skatepark in Copenhagen’s infamous Christiania. The debut collection, inspired by ‘lost kids hanging out by the industrial docks with nothing but vandalism on the agenda’ soon became the talk of the town as it showcased an honest and raw reflection of his own teenage years as a skating musician. His signature use of bright colours, prints, and crude textures has quickly earned him international awards such as the Only The Brave Award sponsored by Renzo Rosso’s Diesel. The name of the brand, itself is also indicative of the story— while Niels says he took the name from an 80s German post-punk band, Hærværk is also the Danish word for ”vandalism”.

(6) This is Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden — Addressing issues such as identity, nationality, and culture; This is Sweden is an anti-racist platform founded by siblings Ana and Pablo Londono as a reaction to far-right parties gaining ground all over Europe. Their starting point was their own background; as two refugee children from Colombia, they felt there was a need to voice their own pride in growing up in a multi-cultural Sweden that welcomed them with open arms. Their aesthetic — heavily influenced by streetwear and gangs — reclaims codes and elements typically associated with nationalists to create subversive conversation starters. While cynics might imply that fashion isn’t a political matter, Anas response is: ‘Neither I nor my brother are journalists, politicians or have a profession where you are believed to be able to influence these matters. Therefore, our ambition is to create a creative platform where we could use our tools in our own fight against racism and prejudice.’ While Ana tragically passed away early in 2017, her brother Pablo continues their important work for tolerance looking for ways to scale production.

(7) Mannisto

Helsinki, Finland — With a knack for elaborate silk screen prints and unique surface designs, Colombian born, Finnish raised menswear designer Julia Männistö has received a solid amount of international recognition in the mere two years since she founded her own label Mannisto. She initially studied photography at Pekka Halonen Academy, then took on fashion at the Aalto University Helsinki, and later completed her Masters at Central Saint Martins in London. With collections fusing disparate references like ice hockey and work wear with exquisite handmade prints and South American textile art, she presents a conceptual vision of menswear. After being shortlisted as one of the semi-finalists for the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2016 she is now invited as one of the guest nation participants at the Pitti Uomo fair in Florence, Italy, in January 2018.