Icelandic Design

Culture and Culinary Tours

Icelandic design is having a moment. While still a relatively young industry in Iceland the last few years have seen an incredible growth in all areas of design, with young designers finding success both at home and out in the world. A lot of these designers draw inspiration from the magnificent Icelandic landscape and the rich heritage of folklore and myths. Young designers are supported by large events like Design March and the Reykjavik Fashion Festival where they get the opportunity to showcase their creations to a large audience. Small boutique stores are also popping up all over the country, taking the place of larger department stores and allowing design lovers easy access to one of a kind pieces. Here are some of our favourite designers at the moment. 

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The clothing designers of Farmers Market are the perfect example of marrying Icelandic traditions with modern fashion. Founded in 2005 by married couple Bergþóra and Jóel, Farmers Market emphasises sustainability in their products, using only natural fabrics like the unique Icelandic wool. Their patterns recall traditional Icelandic knitting patterns combined with modern cuts. Their children’s line is especially popular due to its wearability and warmth.

Another popular children’s label (Icelandic children are very stylish dontcha know!) is As We Grow. The idea for the company sprang from an old Icelandic woolly sweater passed around from family members to friends for years. Like Farmers Market, they are concerned with sustainability, wearability and minimising waste. Their designs are timeless, to increase the life-span of each item, and their fabrics are natural and biodegradable.  

Icelandic design

A unique jewellery statement piece puts a special touch on every outfit. Icelandic jewellery designers have become experts in working with the natural elements of Icelandic nature to create bold pieces that will compliment your style, for everyday occasions as well as the special ones. Alrun Nordic Design is a family company that uses the old Nordic runes as inspiration for their delicate earrings and necklaces. Their latest line also includes warm wollen rune blankets. The runes they use are inspired by bindrunes, used for everything from branding cattle to magic spells and powerful personal amulets in Viking times. The Vikings believed that the bindrunes would intensify the meaning of the message and Alrun’s designers encourage you to find that special piece that speaks to you personally. The goldsmith Ingi is the founder of the jewellery line Sign. Based in the south of Iceland, Ingi draws inspiration from the power and beauty of the surrounding landscape to create pieces that are simultaneously strong and delicate. Using natural stones like lava, Sign jewellery lets you bring a piece of Iceland home with you. 

Icelandic design

Icelandic product designers have found a lot of success worldwide in recent years. With the sleek minimalism usually associated with Scandinavian design (although Iceland is technically not in Scandinavia, we have a lot in common with them) but with that distinctive Icelandic touch, designers like Þórunn Árnadóttir, creator of the Pyropet, have seen their designs garner attention from style magazines and Pintrest users from all over the world. The Pyropet candles are a great example of that mix of softness and a harder edge so emblematic of Iceland and Icelanders. Before you light them they look like cool geometrical representations of cute animals like cats and bunnies, but once lit they reveal a fierce metal skeleton inside. A great addition to any home, in any state of meltdown. You might think that the chocolate makers of Omnom have it easy. After all who doesn’t like chocolate? But Omnom goes above and beyond in their creations. Every bar is produced in their small factory in downtown Reykjavik (they offer factory tours so you can see how the magic happens) and their bold flavour choices ensure that your tastebuds are in for a treat. Try the liquorice and sea salt bar for a traditional taste of Iceland.

Wall decals are a popular way to decorate your home without having to paint or make any holes in the walls. Icelandic decal designers like Vegg have a wide variety of Iceland-centric decals that range from, well Iceland itself to the runic alphabet via the ever popular puffin.  

Icelandic design

By buying a piece of Icelandic design, not only will you support local designers but you will get to own a unique piece of Icelandic culture and craft that will remind you of your time in the country, and we all know that memories are the most precious mementoes of all. 

 

 

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