Whilst I skitter around in my slippery shoes and a coat that clashes with everything else I’m wearing, the angelic beings of Reykjavík trot effortlessly across the ice, draped in quality woollen finery and heels. Heels! So, if you’re sick to death of your homely lopapeysa and want to give your winter wardrobe a boost, look to these smart and sophisticated Icelandic fashion brands, many of whom have downtown boutiques, and all which offer effortlessly cool garments built to look great and keep you warm and dry.
STEiNUNN is Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, a designer who has previously worked for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Gucci. Her signature collection is inspired by the land and culture of her homeland, focusing on her love of knits and precise detail. Her work typically features elaborate ruching and frills; the tall, avant garde hats in muted tones of burgundy and black are strange and beautiful to behold.
KIOSK, Ingólfsstræti 6
Síf Baldursdóttir is the designer behind Kyrja. Focusing on clean lines and quality fabrics, she prides herself on clothes that are cut to complement the female form, regardless of body type. Toeing the line between femininity and androgyny, her clothing takes inspiration from gothic and punk fashion, made more delicate and luxe with the liberal use of silk, bamboo and mohair in simple, refined shapes, mainly in monochrome—perfect for layering up in the cold. Find Kyrja at KIOSK, where you can also check out work by Milla Snorrason, Eygló and Helicopter.
A. M. Concept Space, Garðastræti 2
MAGNEA juxtaposes bright jewel tones with black and white staple pieces and silky floating materials with warm, comforting wool. Their aim is to celebrate traditional Icelandic materials but in new and innovative ways, and in their collection, you’ll find classic woollen jumpers and beanie hats woven from a mix of merino and mohair in trendy monochrome stripes, alongside thick dresses and skirts in pops of purple and fuchsia. Their selection of warm shawls will ensure you can complete your outfit in style while neutralising any wind chill.
Skólavörðustígur 7 & 16, and Kringlan
One of the more recognisable Icelandic fashion brands in town, Geysir was until recently mainly a stockist of other designers. Fortunately they got it together and created a signature collection featuring refined and elegant woollen staple pieces in muted tones, perfect for layering under the more jazzy numbers—like one of their 100% Icelandic wool capes, which comes in grey or cheerful mustard yellow, and features a jaunty design and a belt to tie everything together.
For those who like to keep things a little more quirky, Hildur Yeoman’s latest collection, ‘Transcendence,’ is pretty wild. Expect flared trousers, shoulder pads and flamboyant fur collars mashed with shiny silver, sequins and liberal applications of fishnet. Our pick would be a stunning flowing, elegant dress, patterned with swirling, ethereal designs reminiscent of the milky way. Look no further for your Christmas party outfit.
Farmers & Friends
Hólmaslóð 2 & Laugavegur 37
Classic Nordic design gets a chic, modern upgrade at Farmers & Friends. The vibe is part urban hipster and part country bumpkin, with a strong emphasis on sustainable, eco-friendly design made from natural, quality materials. In their store on Laugavegur, you can also find a range of Icelandic music on sale, and tasteful homewares.
Read more guides to Reykjavík here.