Producing both clean and classic pieces alongside eccentric ones, Han Kjøbenhavn exemplifies the balance and tension of fashion and style.
It’s well accepted that fashion and style are not the same thing. And this is often explained with some sort of quip, like: “Fashion is something you can buy — style is something you must live” (or some variation on that theme). But really, fashion and style are two sides of the same coin. If style is made up of those core elements that define and accentuate one’s sense of self, it is fashion that keeps them sharp. That pushes to maintain relevancy. That nudges you along on your journey, asking continuously: “Are you sure?”
Sometimes, you can be sure (most of us won’t ever have the swagger to pull off leather pants, for example). But it’s always a worthy question. Esquire said it best when they stated: “Fashion without style can be reckless. Style without fashion can be irrelevant. For a man to dress well, for a man to look his very best, he needs to embrace not one or the other but both.”
That embrace looks different for everyone. We all have our preferences. But when you review as many brands as we do, you start to see patterns over and over again. Products that are, more or less, simple variations on the same theme. In an of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that; we’re advocates of classic pieces that are timeless. But sometimes these “me too” iterations from season to season feel a bit too safe. Boring, even.
On the flip side, we’re well aware that fashion runways feature cuts, colors, and outfit combinations that are completely unapproachable for most men and are, for lack of a better word, weird. There must be a sweet spot somewhere. A middle ground.
Somewhere in that middle ground is Danish clothier Han Kjøbenhavn. Producing both clean and classic pieces alongside eccentric ones, this brand exemplifies the balance and tension of fashion and style.
The origins of the name are fairly simple: “Han” is Danish for “he” and “Kjøbenhavn” is the original spelling of Copenhagen from many years ago. The origins of the brand are fairly simple as well. What began with a line of glasses inspired by Danish architecture and furniture design (Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, and Finn Juhl to name a few), co-founders Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen and Tim Faith Hancock found success that allowed them to expand quickly into apparel. Since its launch in 2008, they’ve built a brand that is exceptionally unique and, as a result, they’ve acquired a dedicated following.
Landing somewhere in the intersection of high-end streetwear and casual high-end menswear, Han Kjøbenhavn displays flair without venturing far from the Scandinavian principles of clean design. As Copenhagen’s weather is not dissimilar to a city like San Francisco, many of their products use weather-ready materials (like military nylon rip-stop, heavyweight thermal padding, or waterproof taped seams), ideal for staying both stylish and warm in the elements. And regardless of their construction, every products displays an aesthetic that is identifiably them.
Since day one, Han Kjøbenhavn has demonstrated dedication to this distinct DNA. From collection to collection, Davidsen and Hancock have focused on creating a cohesive whole. Whether it’s a recurring color palette or specific inspiration (geometric shapes or technical performance materials, for example), there is consistency from product design and brand visualization to their fashion shows and short films (both of which are incredibly atmospheric and, in most cases, quite morbid). Similarly, Han Kjøbenhavn consistently selects grizzly individuals to don their clothes, contrasting the clean aesthetic of their products with peculiarly featured models. The result is a cold but vulnerable expression of Scandinavian style.
Be it their short films or the garments themselves, Han Kjøbenhavn has created a brand that is unique — at times bizarre — but altogether enticing. Whether you’re after timeless style or forward-looking fashion (both, yes?) Han Kjøbenhavn will help you find it.
Visit classfare.com/shop for our favorite items, or go to hankjobenhavn.com for the entire collection.