5 June 2010
Fjällräven is a cool brand, as an old school outdoor brand it's right up there, a Scandinavian classic. As an enforced 'casual' brand I'd had enough of it, which unfortunately that's what it became for a couple of years over here. I first saw this brand when a certain Manchester boutique opened their doors in 2002, I bought a cap in the height of winter, it was pretty much a new label to the masses, aside from genuine outdoor enthusiasts who had probably been wearing it for years previously. I'd dare say The Arctic Fox folk may not have opened a store in the Big Apple if it wasn't for the scope they got from Oi Polloi.
I watched this brand go from what was pretty much a nice underground label to being absolutely everywhere overnight. In truth, that was probably over the course of a couple of years, from one stockist and a badly kept secret, to now being stocked all over the place, which you can totally understand from a sales point of view. I met up with one of their main UK distributors in his chalet showroom and he put on a good show for the prospective buyers we accompanied. Being stocked in high end boutiques and low end sports stores had a bearing on the brand and unfortunately it was soon on the backs of loads of people, with one or two models becoming the must have coat for the young match going 'yoof', due to being easily obtainable and relatively cheap, from a selfish point of view, that wasn't a good look, time to move on. I like the style of Fjäll, they don't really tinker about, their back to basic attitude suits and the classics stay as they are and have since they were first released, the Greenland jacket and Kanken rucksack being a fine example of that. Why change a good formula? I recently acquired a Greenland again about five years after I last bought one, and unlike last time, I decided to give this one a good going over with the Greenland Wax.
Fjäll spotting - a Greenland a snip at £21.50 in this old brochure from 1979.
Fjäll spotting : check out the Kanken rucksack from 2:28 as these Swedish ramblers take on fascism in Växjö in 1985.