Style » Fashion

Sweden's Jean Scene: Seven of the World's Best Denim Brands

by Jill Gleeson
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Feb 28, 2018
Sarva
Sarva  (Source:Philip Liljenberg)

America, it might be time to move over. Sweden, best known for ABBA, IKEA and great-looking blond people, has become the center of the blue jeans world. For two decades, since now-legendary Stockholm clothier Acne debuted their super skinny jeans, the country has been on the radar of everyone with a love for riveted work pants.

But now, along with mega-popular, long-established Swedish brands like Nudie Jeans and Dr. Denim, there is a fresh wave of new labels showing up on the derrieres of devoted denim connoisseurs everywhere. Thanks to upstarts like reDEW and Jeanerica, Sweden may have just ended the days of America's dungaree domination.


reDEW
reDEW  

reDEW

Founded in 2016 and launched in the U.S. last fall, reDEW isn't just about making the best jeans on earth; it's about saving the planet.

Cutting edge measures include the brand's Zero Cotton denim, a fabric crafted from totally renewable fibers that you'll swear is the sweetest denim ever to slide over your tush.

Zero Cotton jeans will hit fall of this year, but in the meantime, check out the Rak jean - slim fit and skinny-legged, it feels like a sexy second skin.

Available at Westerlind Outdoor, Azalea Boutique and redew8.com for $180 to $195.


Jeanerica Jeans & Co.
Jeanerica Jeans & Co.  

Jeanerica Jeans & Co.

Co-founded by Jonas Clason, Acne's former head of denim, Jeanerica debuted last fall with six classic styles, three for men and three for women. You won't find embellishments or trendy tears on any of them - simplicity rules.

Expect the line dropping in March to keep the same unfussy look. According to the Jeanerica team, "Our products are constantly refined and adjusted to stay true to denim's original function as a modern garment for everybody, constructed to last a lifetime."

Available at jeanerica.com, with most styles around $200.


Sarva
Sarva  

Sarva

The first Swedish jeans company in 35 years to produce its garments domestically, Sarva's inspiration comes from the indigenous Sami people.

Notes Anton Olsson, who founded the label in 2014, "We use the south Sami colors in our selvage and as a felt tab on the back pocket ... the patch is made out of naturally tanned reindeer leather from Kero, the world's most northern-placed leather tannery."

The label's already-iconic Riekte Sami Selvedge jeans are made of Japanese selvage fabric with nifty details like Swedish flag bar tacks finishing on the side seams.

Available at Sarva.se for about $280.


Superjeans of Sweden
Superjeans of Sweden  

Superjeans of Sweden

With denim from Spain and Italy, production in Portugal and a founder from Denmark, Superjeans of Sweden is a multinational affair.

But Bo Bech-Nielsen, who opened up shop in 2013, is quick to note he lives in Sweden, adding, "The rock 'n' roll, the car culture and the raw looks might be imported from the U.S., but they have become very Swedish over the years."

Superjeans of Sweden pays homage to the early days of American denim with touches like the classic five-pocket design with rivets found on Philip Slim Vintage, which also features a washed look.

Available at SuperjeansofSweden.se for around $170.


Dr. Denim
Dr. Denim  

Dr. Denim

Since it debuted in Gothenburg in 2004, this family-owned venture has helped keep the rebel heart of blue jeans alive.

Daniel Kvist, the company's brand experience director, says, "At Dr. Denim we very much value our progressive core and always push the boundaries of product development. For example, we currently are producing a completely new kind of jeans constructed for a seated position instead of a standing."

Created especially for people in wheelchairs, these ingenious jeans aren't the only new products on the way. Check out the spring line, including the super-skinny, super-stretch Lexy jeans for women, available at drdenimjeans.com, beginning at $60.


Nudie Jeans
Nudie Jeans  

Nudie Jeans

Since 2001, this Gothenburg-based behemoth has been setting the standard for Swedish jeans with delectable denim and forward-thinking policies, like free repairs. Prices vary almost as widely as the styles.

They're available at nudiejeans.com and shops across the U.S.


Acne Studios
Acne Studios  

Acne Studios

The granddaddy of Swedish jeans reinvented itself last year, ditching all its denim products and serving up new collections under the moniker Acne Studios BlÄ Konst (in Swedish, "blue art"). The denim has less stretch, the washes are fewer and the styles in the permanent collection number just six.

Available from about $235 to $410 at acnestudios.com and shops across the U.S.


Jill Gleeson is a travel and adventure journalist based in the Appalachians of Central Pennsylvania. Find her on Facebook and Twitter at @gopinkboots.


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