In this blog post, we look at the fascinating world of Icelandic fashion houses. Known for their unique charm and sustainable approach, these fashion houses embody the creativity, craftsmanship, and deep connection to nature that define Icelandic fashion.

From Hildur Yeoman’s captivating storytelling to 66°North’s evolution from protecting fishermen to creating versatile outdoor attire, each fashion house has its own distinct identity. We’ll also explore Aftur’s transformative journey of breathing new life into recycled clothing and Systur og Makar’s commitment to local production and sustainability through VOLCANO DESIGN.

KRON by KRONKRON showcases timeless designs with vibrant Icelandic aesthetics. At the same time, Farmers Market blends heritage and modernity in their sustainable collections. Join us on this journey as we uncover the essence of Icelandic style and the remarkable fashion houses that shape it. From the rugged landscapes to the rich cultural tapestry, Icelandic fashion houses infuse their designs with the spirit of Iceland, creating a unique and unforgettable fashion experience.

One of our expert guides, Ester, went not too long ago and checked out a few of Reykjavik’s fashion stores. We recommend you check that out as well.

Hildur Yeoman: Fashion with a Story

Photo: Hildur Yeoman.

Hildur Yeoman is a Reykjavik-based fashion designer well-known for her womenswear label. She’s been recognized as the Fashion Designer of the Year in Iceland. She has designed clothing for celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kehlani, and Björk.

Yeoman’s designs stand out for their original storytelling and unique illustrations. Each collection she releases tells a different story, with themes ranging from Icelandic herbs and witchcraft to personal stories about her grandmother, a biker who once journeyed across the United States.

At the core of Yeoman’s brand are her distinctive prints, brought to life using traditional Icelandic handcraft techniques in novel ways. Furthermore, her design studio in central Reykjavik is where she and her team create clothes designed to enhance and empower the female form.

In addition, Yeoman places high importance on sustainability. Together with her team, she aims to use recycled materials or fabrics made from recycled threads. Moreover, overproduction is avoided, and all fabrics are utilized, striving for zero waste. Notably, the production takes place in small factories in Estonia, ensuring fair treatment and pay for workers.

Hildur Yeoman’s fashion label transcends mere clothing; it embodies storytelling, empowerment, and a steadfast commitment to sustainable practices. Each piece in her collection is meticulously crafted to highlight and flatter the female form, paying homage to the powerful legacy of self-empowered women in Iceland.

Address: Laugavegur 7, 101 Reykjavik

The Evolution of 66°North: Clothing Crafted for the Elements

Photo: 66°North.

66°North is one of the most famous Icelandic fashion houses. In the unforgiving conditions of the North Atlantic, 66°North was born. Founded in 1926 by Hans Kristjánsson, the brand was initially focused on crafting protective attire for Icelandic fishermen and other workers who wrestled with the harsh elements in Suðureyri, Súgandafjörður, located in Iceland’s Westfjords. In such extreme conditions, the appropriate attire wasn’t a luxury but a necessity for survival.

Committed to making clothing robust enough for the severe Icelandic seas, Kristjánsson moved to Norway to acquire skills in tailoring and creating fishing garments. Upon his return, he initiated what would become Sjóklæðagerð Íslands, now globally recognized as 66°North. The brand pays homage to its origins, named after the Arctic Circle’s latitude line that intersects the place of its inception.

Over the years, 66°North has evolved and expanded its horizons to encompass clothing suitable for various outdoor activities. Though the company remains true to its roots with its fisherman’s and workwear lines, it now boasts a more comprehensive selection of protective attire for diverse occasions. Notably, the company has been the trusted supplier of the Icelandic search and rescue team’s protective clothing since 1928, marking the transition of outdoor wear from oil-based canvas outfits to advanced synthetic materials, like those found in their acclaimed Snæfell Jacket.

Been a Stable For Almost a Century

With almost a century of experience grappling with Iceland’s erratic and often harsh weather, 66°North has acquired an expert understanding of creating adaptable attire. The brand believes that weather should never be an obstacle to our adventures. Each clothing item they design is meant to blend seamlessly into daily life while providing robust protection when conditions become unfavorable.

Operating its own factories since its inception in 1926, 66°North ensures top-notch quality and workmanship. While most of the production is now based in Europe, the company closely monitors the process and collaborates with premium fabric manufacturers to secure the most innovative and functional materials. Extensive testing by trained mountaineers, outdoor professionals, and rescue teams precedes the production of their attire. This meticulous process reaffirms 66°North’s commitment to crafting clothing that provides reliable protection on the city’s chilliest, rain-soaked winter days or when one brave the challenges of the great outdoors.

Addresses in downtown Reykjavik:
Laugavegur 17-19, 101 Reykjavik
Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 21:00
Sat: 09:00 – 21:00
Sun: 09:00 – 21:00

Hafnartorg, Bryggjugata 7, 101 Reykjavik
Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 18:00
Sat: 09:00 – 18:00
Sun: 09:00 – 18:00

Bankastræti 5, 101 Reykjavik
Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 20:00
Sat: 09:00 – 20:00
Sun: 09:00 – 20:00

Addresses for other stores can be found here.

Reviving Fashion: Aftur’s Journey of Sustainable Transformation

Photo: Aftur

In 1999, the Icelandic fashion house Aftur was born to breathe new life into used clothing. Local designer Bára Hólmgeirsdóttir is the creative force behind this label, renowned for her exquisite womenswear crafted from recycled clothing. Besides housing its unique collections, Aftur’s modest shop on Laugavegur Street also features a carefully curated selection of products from local and international designers.

The brand’s driving principle can be encapsulated in the slogan “Recycle or die!” While this mantra might have seemed drastic two decades ago, it aligns perfectly with today’s sustainability ethos. The modern world’s pattern of clothing consumption and disposal is alarmingly rapid. Astonishingly, only 500 grams per tonne of produced textiles ever make it back to the market.

To combat this, Aftur adopts a comprehensive approach. The team hunts for textiles in sorting plants across Europe and local secondhand shops, ensuring to coordinate their imports to reduce environmental harm. Clothing is categorized based on its potential for resale. A third category, termed ‘residual,’ comprises clothes that are either out of fashion or damaged and are unlikely to be sold in their current state. From this category, Aftur retrieves clothes, recycles the base materials, and transforms them into components of their collections.

Despite Aftur’s creations being showcased globally and worn by renowned Icelandic artists like Björk and Of Monsters And Men, the brand remains committed to its core vision. Local, sustainable production and slow fashion are for the betterment of the environment and serve a larger purpose for humanity’s well-being.

Address: Laugavegur 45, 101 Reykjavik
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00-18:00, Sat 11:00-17:00

Farmers Market: Pioneering Sustainable Fashion from Iceland’s Heart

Photo: Farmers Market.

Farmers Market, an Icelandic design and clothing brand, was founded in 2005 by a creative duo, designer Bergthora Gudnadottir, and musician Jóel Pálsson. The brand merges classic Nordic design elements with modern chic, all inspired by the vibrant Icelandic music and design scene.

The brand is deeply rooted in natural fabrics, craftsmanship, and environmental respect. Its clothing line is versatile, fitting for outdoor exploration and city life.

Farmers Market positions itself at an intersection where heritage and modernity converge; the national meets the international, and the rural blends with the urban. They view sustainable fashion and recycling not as trends but as crucial keys to a future-forward approach.

Their fabrics, sourced from industry leaders, include:

  • Italian merino and mohair yarns.
  • British Millerain’s waxed cotton.
  • Indian raw silk.
  • Unique Icelandic wool.

They uphold ethical standards in their production processes, collaborating with partners who share their vision for quality and environmental respect.

Their headquarters, Farmers & Friends, located in Reykjavik’s creative ‘Grandi’ neighborhood, hosts their design studio, warehouse, and flagship store. It’s the only location where you can find the entire Farmers Market collection, alongside an eclectic range of Icelandic music, books, bags, boots, and other items. In 2017, a second Farmers Market store was opened on Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street.

Address: Hólmaslóð 2, 101 Reykjavik
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 – 18:00, Sat-Sun: 11:00 – 18:00

Laugavegur 37, 101 Reykjavik
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 – 18:00, Sat-Sun: 11:00-21:00 

KRON by KRONKRON: Where Timeless Fashion Meets Vibrant Icelandic Aesthetics

Photo: KRONKRON.

KRONKRON, a highly esteemed Icelandic fashion brand, consistently echoes the dynamic style trends through its ageless designs. The brand offers an ever-expanding wardrobe, with collections designed for seamless integration with previous ones. Shoppers can find its pieces in two Reykjavik locations: the multi-designer Kronkron boutique and Kron, a shop dedicated solely to the label’s shoes. The creative forces behind these establishments are Hugrún Árnadóttir and Magni Þorsteinsson, the designer duo also responsible for the brand. Their distinctive style exudes a feminine grace, characterized by an exuberant palette and a varied mix of materials and textures.

The Kronkron store, established in 2004, is situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street. It showcases a range of international designers, gradually expanding to host labels such as Vivienne Westwood, Sonia Rykiel, Marc Jacobs, and Bernhard Wilhelm.

Hugrún, a Studio Bercot Paris fashion design graduate, and Magni, an influential hairstylist, share a mutual passion for fashion and beauty. The same year they met, they launched their first business venture: Kron, a stylish shoe boutique on Reykjavik’s principal shopping street.

KRON by KRONKRON Shoes

In 2008, fueled by a shared love for color and creativity, they developed their brand, KRON by KRONKRON, unveiling their first shoe collection. Their unique designs immediately gained attention, captivating women worldwide, and have grown stronger with each new collection.

The brand’s designs are:

  • An uncompromising fusion of the world’s color spectrum.
  • Featuring striking details and unusual combinations of different materials and textures.
  • Always using the finest quality material.

After the success of their shoe line, the duo introduced a clothing line in 2010. The clothing shares the same spirit as the shoes, with stunning silk dresses in beautiful colors and combinations, intricate prints, and rich details. The ready-to-wear collection was an instant success, capturing the essence of the shoes and aligning with women’s fashion needs. The clothes are high in quality, feminine, and elegant, embodying the distinctive charm of KRON by KRONKRON.

Address: Laugavegur 63B, 101 Reykjavik
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu: 10:00-18:00, Fri: 10:00-18:30, Sat: 10:00-17:00

Brá Store: Where Creativity and Craftsmanship Converge

Photo: @annamariairisar / Brá Store

The inception of the Brá store can be traced back to the youthful endeavors of Bára Atladóttir, who found her passion in fashion while experimenting with her mother’s old sewing machine. Beginning her journey by selling self-designed clothes through a modest Facebook page in 2015, Bára gradually built her name in the industry.

In 2017, the first physical BRÁ store came to life in a quaint 60-square-meter space on Laugarvegi 35. This milestone marked the transformation of Bára’s online venture into a tangible presence in the fashion market.

However, after spending two years on Laugarvegi, Bára seized the opportunity to expand her operations. She relocated BRÁ to a significantly larger 200-square-meter commercial building in Mörkin 3. The new location allowed her to realize her dream of establishing a sewing studio.

Two years later, the growth of BRÁ’s popularity necessitated yet another move. This time, they relocated across the street to a massive 600-square-meter space at Mörkina 1. This location currently houses most of BRÁ’s production, including all design and prototype work.

In a strategic move to balance its production load, BRÁ has now started to produce certain items overseas. This helps reduce the pressure on their local operations and enables them to explore and create unique pieces that are not mass-produced.

Address: Mörkin 1, 108 Reykjavík
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 – 18:00, Sat: 12:00 – 16:00

Dalsbraut 1, 600 Akureyri
Opening hours: 12:00 – 18:00, Sat: 12:00 – 16:00

Systur og Makar: Icelandic Fashion with Sustainable Practices and Local Production

Katla Hreiðarsdóttir, owner of Systur og Makar, showcasing one of her designs. Photo: Systur og Makar.

Systur og Makar was founded by sisters Katla Hreiðarsdóttir and María Krista Hreiðarsdóttir, along with María’s husband, Berki Jónsson. Katla oversees the Systur&Makar stores at Síðumúli 21 and the online platform. Originally established to encompass the sisters’ products and production within Iceland, the store focuses on clothing while offering Krista’s products and other small items and jewelry.

In addition to managing the Síðumúli store, Katla runs a studio and sewing room within the same building, ensuring efficient service, including on-the-spot alterations. VOLCANO DESIGN, directed by Katla Hreiðarsdóttir, prioritizes feminine, comfortable, and enjoyable styles for diverse groups of women. Systur og Makar takes pride in exclusively using Icelandic production in their sewing studio, promoting local craftsmanship and minimizing environmental impact.

VOLCANO DESIGN embraces sustainability by utilizing “deadstock” fabrics, remnants from unused materials in clothing production, reducing waste. This eco-conscious approach aligns with their ethos, distinguishing them from mass-produced “fast fashion.”

VOLCANO DESIGN employs a unique sizing scale tailored by Katla to reflect the preferences and needs of Icelandic women, prioritizing a beautiful fit, professional touch, and overall comfort. By championing local production, utilizing “deadstock” fabrics, and incorporating sustainability throughout their practices, Systur og Makar and VOLCANO DESIGN redefine fashion with a mindful approach that resonates with eco-conscious individuals seeking style and ethical responsibility.

Address: Síðumúli 21, 108 Reykjavik
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 – 18:00, Sat: 11:00-16:00

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