Meet the red-hot designers bringing us minimalistic comfort and timeless party shoes
It is inevitable that when talking about the most exciting shoe designers of Scandinavia, clogs will be mentioned – but on the other hand, what could be more Nordic than wellies that match your summer dress?
A surprising number of shoe trends stem from Scandinavia, where comfort is king and good shoes are an investment to be cherished forever. It’s perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that we boast some of the best designers around. We’ve listed the up-and-comers you should invest in now, making everything from modern leather clogs to sparkly statement sandals, without forgetting a Scandi girl’s favourite staple – the chunky boot.
Anny Nord is a Swedish footwear brand with a sleek, Scandinavian aesthetic, founded by Mia Bencker. The brand, which has a clean cut and no-frills-approach to design, is named after the founder’s grandmother and specialises in timeless and ageless shoes (think uncomplicated leather boots and platform sandals). Anny Nord presents, on top of restocking classic styles, two collections a year and focuses on using recycled materials. The brand has just signed on a showroom in New York, but you'll probably already be familiar with the designs from your Instagram feed: Ariana Grande and the Hadid sisters are fans.
Finnish Terhi Pölkki launched her namesake label in 2011 after graduating from London College of Fashion. Pölkki established her signature style early on, using vegetable tanned leathers and wooden clogs for her timeless and wearable collections, that are now presented twice a year. The designer draws inspiration from her Finnish heritage which is deeply rooted in nature and sustainable living. Terhi Pölkki opened a new flagship store in Helsinki in February 2021 and celebrates her 10-year anniversary with a special collection titled ‘Timeless Beauty’ that includes wearable lug sole boots and classic shapes.
Kalda is a shoe brand Iceland can be proud of. The brand was founded by Katrín Alda Rafnsdottir who was born and raised in Iceland and trained at London College of Fashion. Rafnsdottir started her career selling vintage clothing, an aesthetic that’s still communicated through her eclectic, out-of-the-ordinary shoes. Mis-matched neon mules, cleverly cut-out boots and architectural heels are just a few of Kalda’s innovative design features in a collection that’s made from by-product leather and an eco-friendly vegan leather called BioVeg. The brand, which has just opened its first local store in the harbour of Reykjavik, has already gathered some international attention and is stocked in stores like Selfridges. Kalda’s on-trend shoes (think sock boots and ankle chain mules) are a fashion week favourite, so look out for a new category launch of bags in the near future.
Swedish native Sania Claus Demina founded her shoe brand with a clear goal: to make the most comfortable heels women have ever tried. Sania D’Mina was born after years of testing and perfecting the balance between the shoe last and the heel, resulting in a timeless collection of beautiful slingbacks, sandals and boots that aren’t tied to seasons. But don’t be fooled by the practicality: Sania D’Mina shoes are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen, from pearl-encrusted pumps to cognac-coloured boots that are designed to fit like ‘gloves for your feet’. With prioritised wearability and the wide size range offered (35-42.5) Sania D’Mina is rapidly growing popularity in the bridal market, having been picked up by Printemps Mariage in Paris.
Shoe and accessory brand ATP Atelier is the brainchild of friends Jonas Clason and Maj-La Pizzelli and stands for ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’. However, don’t let the name distract you from the wide range of summer sandals and wearable boots in which this brand specialises. ATP Atelier's mission is to challenge the concept of luxury – to make it smart, not redundant and to create iconic pieces that stay relevant for years. ATP Atelier’s shoes are designed in Stockholm and produced in Italy. You’ll find the brand throwing impressive presentations during Stockholm Fashion Week and stocked on luxury retailers like Net-A-Porter.
Custommade has grown to become one of Denmark’s more exciting womenswear brands and is now part of Copenhagen's official Fashion Week schedule. The brand specialises in romantic, feminine blouses and suited separates but has, since introducing shoes to the line in 2017, grown its footwear category to become a dominant part of the company. Dubbed the ‘Miu Miu of Scandinavia’, Custommade’s shoes are colourful and fun: think lavish pearl bows on slingback heels and diamanté-embellished, satin ballerina flats. Christian Dam, the founder and creative director, has a background in footwear and a great passion for creating beautiful shoes that can dressed up or down. "I want to underline the feminine and detailed design that makes us unique. For me it’s very important that girls feel ‘sexy’, beautiful, feminine and unique wearing Custommade shoes," he says.