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It’s one of Scandinavia’s biggest brands, but chances are you’ve never heard of Norwegian label Holzweiler. This weekend, the founders hope that will change, as the brand leaves Copenhagen Fashion Week for London with a 300-seat show in a garden in Kings Cross.

“To increase brand awareness, you have to try new things,” says co-founder Andreas Holzweiler in a cafe near the brand’s temporary studio in Shoreditch. “We started with a very small fashion week in Oslo and grew into the biggest show. Then we went to Copenhagen and started all over again as the youngest students. Now we’re in high school in London, so to speak. Nobody knows us. It’s a new situation, but we love being in the challenger position.”

Holzweiler was founded in 2012 by Andreas, his sister Suzanne and his wife Maria Skappel Holzweiler, the label’s creative director. The brand is known for simple, sophisticated casualwear, outerwear and tailoring and was one of the biggest labels in the Copenhagen Fashion Week program. It’s a premium label with prices ranging from £90 for a t-shirt to £1,125 for a coat.

However, while Holzweiler has a loyal following in Scandinavia, it has not yet achieved the same international status as Scandinavian players like Acne Studios or Ganni. In 2021, Holzweiler announced an undisclosed majority investment from Chinese company Sequoia Capital to support its international expansion. (Sequoia also invests in labels like Ami and We11done).

After the investment, this London trade fair is “central to the globalization strategy,” says Andreas, with brand awareness being the most important goal. After the investment in 2021, Holzweiler expected growth of 60 percent from 2021 to 2022. But that was before the economic downturn created new challenges for fashion labels and slowed growth. Sales rose 21 percent to $2.7 million in 2022.

Despite the difficult economic environment, it is crucial to invest in marketing now, says Andreas. So if the conditions improve, Holzweiler will be well positioned. The London show has already attracted more experienced press and buyers than previous Copenhagen shows, says marketing director Victoria Meekings: “Although Copenhagen is definitely growing, being part of the ‘Big Four’ is always an advantage,” she adds.

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