The Swedish outdoor-wear company Fjällräven, best known for its block-coloured Kånken bags, has opened a flagship store in Sydney, promising classic design, cinnamon buns and of course those colourful backpacks.
While it opened its first Aussie store in Melbourne less than a year ago, the seeds of Fjällräven were first sown in the 1950s, when then-14-year-old Åke Nordin was struggling to find a backpack that was both spacious and comfortable. He designed a simple wooden-framed bag, and when he launched it from his parents’ basement 10 years later, the active clothing and equipment label was born.
Trusted by the Swedes for five decades, its weatherproof equipment and jackets are staples of outdoor exploration in the Northern Hemisphere. The brand’s Sydney launch is recognition of Australia and Sweden’s shared desire for gear that looks good in the city and is functional in the great outdoors.
The York Street store is close to other outdoor shops such as Kathmandu, Paddy Palin, Mitchells Adventure and Patagonia, many of which stock a selection of Fjällräven products.
“There are some fantastic international brands that currently exist in Sydney in the outdoor space, however the overwhelming trend is all things lightweight and performance-driven, or a focus on competitive prices,” Susan Park, Fjällräven’s Australia and New Zealand brand manager, tells Broadsheet. “Fjällräven offers something quite different to the other outdoor clothing and accessory stores in Sydney and this is our strength. We celebrate our Swedish heritage with timeless designs that look just as great in the city as out on the trails. Our gear is robust and functional, and sustainably made and of the highest quality.”
The Kånken backpack will be available, alongside a range of classic clothing and accessories built with modern, weatherproof materials. High-grade natural materials have been used in the store’s construction, and Park says “the natural woods have a certain scent that will aid the people who come in the store escape the busy streets”.
Fjällräven uses recycled and organic fibres as much as possible. It’s also offering to re-wax some of its already-worn clothing and equipment in the Sydney store to keep them waterproof and encourage owners to keep their gear for a long time.
Bringing a touch of fika (Swedish coffee culture) to the CBD, the store will also serve cinnamon buns and free coffee before midday. The store will have free wi-fi and a water station for people to refill their water bottles.
38 York Street, Sydney
Mon to Wed 10am–7pm
Thu & Fri 10am–8pm
Sat & Sun 10am–5pm