In a little capital called Reykjavik on a small island called Iceland, eight fashion labels gathered for the city’s fifth Reykjavik Fashion Festival. Held at the end of March, fashion lovers from around the world gathered to celebrate these designers who choose to make Reykjavik their HQ. While the event is quite modest compared to cities like New York, Paris, or even the budding fashion hub Sydney, there’s plenty of creative juices flowing through the city. And although Reykjavik is known for churning out musical masterminds like Bjork, Sigur Ros, and Of Monsters and Men, we’ve picked three up-and-coming designers from RFF who can easily garner a fan base across the Atlantic and beyond.
Harpa Einarsdóttir, an Iceland Academy of the Arts alum, started her line Ziska in 2011 after working for a video game developer (she designed the “virtual” clothes) and a stint doing costume design for theater. Einarsdóttir boasts an award-winning ability to grasp ethereal elements and ideas and apply them towards her sharply tailored and wearable clothes. For fall, Einarsdóttir was inspired by Mongolian eagle hunters, glaciers, tundras, and strong courageous women, which she translated into tuxedo-style jackets, grid cut-out tops, and a trippy motif that will likely trump this season’s popular marble print.
2. Sigga Maija
After graduating from Icelandic University of Arts in 2011, Sigríður María Sigurjónsdóttir traveled to Paris to intern for Sonia Rykiel and returned to Reykjavik to work for labels like Kron by KronKron and JÖR. Now that she’s founded her own label Sigga Maija, her debut fall 2014 collection was one of the most anticipated brands at RFF. The show received positive reviews thanks to her coveted leather jackets and cool silk separates in quirky hand-sketched human figure prints.
Designer Magnea Einarsdóttir studied at London’s established Central Saint Martins, specializing in knitwear. And we have to give her props for leaving such a fashion-fueled city to start her own line Magnea in Iceland. Since Einarsdóttir mainly focuses on textiles, you’ll always find her collections to be a refreshing and unexpected mix of materials.