Since its launch in February 2006, Sthlm Fashion Week by Berns (, the high-profile catwalk body that organizes shows for many of the country’s key players including Filippa K and Acne, has secured a place on the international fashion radar and upped Stockholm Fashion Week’s status considerably.

Presenting a flawlessly slick event over three days (June 30-July 2) and flaunting lucrative sponsorships by Mercedes-Benz and Max Factor and Princess Madeleine as its new patron, however, organizers left much to be desired. This season the event started six weeks earlier than it did a year ago to meet the demands of some of the more established names whose sale seasons fall early, thus dividing itself from the rest of the'week.'

Unable to move production back six weeks on fairly short notice, the progressive trade show +46 ( with the anticipated presentations by young designers such as Helena Hörstedt and Sandra Backlund, components that contributed to making SFW such a success last season, were regrettably left behind. Hence, part two of SFW is to be held August 11-17, much to the frustration of the international fash pack.

The rescheduling of Sthlm Fashion Week by Berns made for a more commercial affair. Big international players like Acne Jeans, Tiger of Sweden and Filippa K are indeed significant names, but new, edgy talent is crucial to moving SFW forward and making it a worthy spot on the already saturated international fashion week circuit.

However, hopes are high that next season’s edition will follow a more practical format, benefiting both visitors and participants alike by holding one event only. “Stockholm Fashion Week is still a young event and it has improved considerably in the last few seasons,” says Kristian Rajnaj, organizer of +46. “It’s unfortunate that the events have been divided this season, but we are making progress and are in discussion to try to unite to make a cohesive whole that will heighten the profile of Swedish Fashion further, and make it easier for international press to attend.”

With creativity, commercial appeal and good production skills to its advantage, Swedish fashion has more than potential to grow yet further. Here’s hoping that SFW will get on top of its challenging issues in time for edition FW 2009-10.

–Emma Holmqvist

Photo: Filippa K.