“The people are what make Stockholm cool”
Fashion designer Marina Kereklidou knows her way around Stockholm. This is her personal guide to the most stylish spots in the Swedish capital.
Marina Kereklidou is a fashion designer whose journey to become a local style icon started with her eponymous and highly praised label in the 90s. This spearheaded what would soon be a tide of young Swedish designers flowing into the world of fashion. Today, after being Head of Fashion at prestigious luxury brand Busnel, Marina is the Creative Director at one of Sweden’s biggest optician chain stores and also a personal stylist for the biggest names in Swedish music.
Marina loves coming home to Stockholm, the city she’s lived in for most of her life but often leaves for trips to bigger cities. What she likes is the immediate feeling of coolness. And though it may take a while for a person visiting Stockholm for the first time, it soon dawns on them too: it’s the people you see on the street that make the Swedish capital such a design haven. The stores, galleries and museums perhaps can’t compete with Paris or New York, but what they might lack in prestige is compensated for by the stylish crowds.
When asked to describe her home city in one word Marina quickly goes for “convenient”. Stockholm is a small capital city with every design destination within walking distance. And although it is small, Stockholm’s different districts all have a distinct character – and their own hidden gems that make it worth the stroll.
Acne Archive for the fashion nerd
"Acne has meant everything for Swedish fashion! They have succeeded in the thing that all independent designers dream of - to become so large and prestigious that they can afford to be completely without compromise. And that’s down to their jeans that are still incredibly popular. Acne has their own unique way of expressing and displaying their clothes, and as a stylist you can use them in loads of different ways to get the right look. I was one of the first people in Stockholm to get myself a pair of their first jeans with the legendary red seams. The Acne Archive store is located in picturesque Birkastan, and that's where hardcore fans can find their favourites from old collections.”
Acne Archive, Torsgatan 53
Bibliotekstan for the sharpest in Swedish fashion
“Bibliotekstan, between Norrmalmstorg and Stureplan is an obvious stop for the fashion-conscious tourist. Within just a few hundred metres you’ll find the very best of what Swedish fashion has to offer: Hope, Whyred and Rodebjer, Acne’s flagship store and of course H&M-owned Cos and & Other Stories. It is not that long since it used to be difficult to find Swedish fashion, but today it is well and truly present. And there's a domestic pride about that, and rightly so. Swedish design is characterised by - and succeeds in - finding that difficult balance between simplicity and wearability, and at the same time coolness"
Bibliotekstan, Biblioteksgatan (and around)
Nitty Gritty, Södermalm's fashion Mecca
"Although Stockholm is a fairly small capital city, each district has its own distinct character. Södermalm is perhaps the area with the most apparent identity and is usually compared to Brooklyn, with good reason. Full of hipsters, in other words. Krukmakargatan in between Zinkensdamm and Mariatorget is well worth a visit for the fan of fashion. Both Our Legacy and Nitty Gritty, long an institution for men’s fashion, with a dynamic range of both streetish and stylish, are located here. And right in the middle of the two is where you’ll find Papercut, Sweden's best-stocked magazine shop.
Nitty Gritty, Krukmakargatan 24, 26
Krukmakargatan in between Zinkensdamm and Mariatorget, with Nitty Gritty and other shops, is well worth a visit for the fan of fashion. Photo: Anton Olin
A black classic
"On Brunnsgatan, an anonymous street between Hötorget and Stureplan, every fashion-lover’s favourite store Jus is tucked away. Ulrika Nilsson who runs Jus has a talent for always picking out the best from the collections of international designers. I can’t go in here without finding something I want. This last time it was a black pleated skirt from Comme Des Garcons that I totally fell in love with. Jus is the place to go for its carefully selected range of renowned international brands and also for independent Swedish fashion designers such as Diana Orving and Ida Sjöstet.”
Jus, Brunnsgatan 7
Jus is the place to go for its carefully selected range of renowned international brands and also for independent Swedish fashion designers. Photo: Anton Olin
Home from home at Ett Hem
”My husband and I sometimes check in to a hotel in Stockholm to be tourists in our own city for a few days. Our favourite hotel to stay at is Ett Hem. In a beautiful town house in the equally beautiful Lärkstaden district, Ise Crawford has managed to create a personal and tasteful design hotel that really does justice to its name - as it truly feels like coming home. There is only one disadvantage to the hotel; they have too few rooms and it is so popular that it always seems to be fully booked. But for those who book early enough it’s a wonderful place to stay in Stockholm.”
Ett Hem, Sköldungagatan 2
In the very centre of the city
"Brunkebergstorg which is located right in the heart of Stockholm is going through an exciting transformation right now. A hundred years ago it was a meeting point for society and now there seems to be a desire to recreate that feeling in this square that has been a little forgotten for years. The hotel At Six has recently opened up here, and in addition to the fact that it has the most central location you can get, the hotel offers a cosy and stylish listening lounge and a very elegant cocktail bar.”
At Six, Brunkebergstorg 6
Just like stepping into a Bergman film
“I’m not there often enough, but every time I go to Skogskyrkogården cemetery, which is actually very close to the city, I’m struck by what a fantastic place it is. Just like stepping into a Bergman film, barren and dramatic, and so nicely done. It’s pretty obvious that people with design skills have been part of things here. When Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz designed the cemetery in the beginning of the twentieth century, they based it around the concept of grief, but if you visit without going to a funeral it’s actually more of an exhilarating experience being met by all the epic chapels and the bare nature.”
Skogskyrkogården, Sockenvägen 492
Skogskyrkogården cemetery was designed in the beginning of the twentieth century. Photo: Anton Olin
Nature and culture in perfect harmony
“One of the main reasons that Stockholm is sometimes called the most beautiful city in the world is of course it’s closeness to the sea and the archipelago. If you go to Artipelag, an art gallery just half an hour from the city (or slightly longer if you choose to go by boat), you get the best of both worlds: design and archipelago in perfect symbiosis. They have succeeded in integrating nature and the sculptural so seamlessly and elegantly here. Artipelag is a privately-owned art gallery - with high quality in their exhibitions and a restaurant that is almost as good - and I love the fact that there are people who take this kind of initiative."
Artipelag, Artipelagstigen 1