I lived in Copenhagen from February 2008 to March 2010. There were so many things I loved about living there: the friends my husband and I made, the pastries, the family-friendly society, but most of all the amazing baby and children’s wear; I had never seen anything quite like it. I still haven’t.
Less than a year into our stay, I was slightly daunted knowing I was having my first child in a foreign country. I needn’t have been as it turned out, since the Danes are world leaders in midwifery and it is a remarkably kid-friendly place to live. Seeing my surroundings through pregnant eyes for the first time, I realised brilliant baby and children’s wear stores were everywhere. Seriously: so many stores, full of women designing, making and selling unique baby and children’s clothing. There were small kidswear shops dotted all through the city and its inner suburbs from stately, quiet Frederiksberg to grungy, lively Nørrebro. Streets that wound into the city centre like Farvergade and Kompagnistræde, adorable little lanes such as Værnedamsvej contained distinctive, stand out garments, while major boulevards like Gammel Kongvej had more than a few kids clothing stores. For a first-time mother on the other side of the world, there was something really reassuring about finding these stores.
The Danes have a concept, hygge, that’s notoriously hard to translate. The nearest English equivalent would be ‘cosiness,’ but that’s only about half of it. When something – a time, a place, an occasion – is hyggelig, everything is snug, familiar, and exactly as it should be. These comforting clothes from the lanes and streets of Copenhagen delivered every inch the hygge that Denmark is known for. It probably goes without saying that Dansk is the Danish word for Danish.
In 2012, I returned to life in Melbourne, to have my second baby, with family and old friends around. It was so pleasing to see these textures and colours worn again for a second time.
In 2013, my sister Briony, found herself in similar circumstances, having her first baby overseas, this time in Singapore. While we live in separate cities, we still look for the same brilliant clothing for our children. Once again these cosy Danish garments were embracing the third baby in four years.
In October 2014, Dansk Kids will go live as a virtual meander through the cobblestone streets of Copenhagen. In the meantime, we thought we would share a sneak peek behind the scenes, as we prepare the online store, meet the designers, learn about the garments that will be arriving and embrace some of that cosiness, incorporating a little of the Scandinavian way of life into our lives. Dansk Kids is a chance to see the little one you love in something you adore, knowing it was ethically made and that its style, quality and above all else its comfort, will endure.