Photo by Henrik Bulow
Danish brand DAY Birger et Mikkelsen was founded in Copenhagen in 1997 by Keld
Mikkelsen, who with his pioneering vision, set out to create a fashion label which embodied ethnic influences, masculine but feminine tailoring and vintage inspired elements - the result was a luxe mix of modern and stylish Scandi cool classic basics and separates with a modern bohemian vibe, or as Keld himself says, "a fusion between near and far. Local and global. The sophistication of a jet setter mixed with the free spirit of a modern gypsy".
With inventive detailing and trend-led embellishments, DAY is one of those labels we women love, because you can mix and match day and eveningwear as their designs work across both. DAY has become the go-to label for your perfect capsule wardrobe, which explains why celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Richie and Kate Middleton love it.
As the Scandi fashion revolution continues, with the elements of functionality, common sense and minimalism becoming achingly hip, emphasised by designers such as Ann-Sofie Back, Stylein, Acne, V Ave Shoe Repair, Whyred, Dagmar and BLK DNM - DAY is a driving force in the fast-rising fashion wave.
The brand has now become a global company comprising the DAY WOMEN's Main Line and a younger diffusion line, 2ND DAY, a mix of urban and androgynous styles which launched in 2011.
The brand's popularity can be seen in their collaborations with high-profile fashion movers and shakers, such as model Caroline de Maigret who appeared in their AW12 campaign, and now with Columbine Smille (pronounced Smeele, as in peel, not smile), the Swedish fashion blogger, stylist, muse, editor of STYLEBY and every girl's girl crush, who fronts the brand's SS13 and AW13 campaigns.
As one of the most influential names on the Swedish fashion scene, the brand chose Columbine for her individual personal style which fuses a bohemian twist, and fits perfectly with DAY's overall design signature and visual aesthetic. Having met her at the recent MyWardrobe and DAY event held here in London (MyWardobe have sold the label since 2006), it's obvious that Columbine embodies everything Scandi cool stands for - meaning she's the kind of girl who styles up a pair of jeans, a jumper and heels and makes 'casual' look effortlessly 'cool' - something the rest of us probably take hours in front of a mirror to achieve.
The SS13 campaign plays to the brand's strength in a mix of simple and sophisticated images shot in founder Keld Mikkelsen's home - it's a neutral mix of innovative tailoring, boho prints, embellished sheer and silk tops and one of the most coveted army style breaker jackets this season, perfectly teamed with an embroidered-bib sleeveless shirt - think Ibiza meets Stockholm.
Speaking about the collection and being the face of the brand for this year, Columbine told me, "I'm really happy to be involved with this collaboration as Day Birger et Mikkelsen make the kind of clothes I've always worn and liked. I like pieces which contrast between dressy and casual, and that's what their design process is about. There are some really beautiful pieces this season."
Whether established or up-and-coming, the on-going and growing appeal of Scandinavian designers lies in their unique ability to create cool and refined collections with attention to detail using high quality materials. Their commitment to sustainable and ethical production methods is also to be applauded, proving that high street fashion doesn't have to come with an environmentally damaging price tag.
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