Superbalist’s senior menswear buyer and product development manager visited Denmark for the weekend
We sent our senior menswear buyer, Ryan Wuest, and product development manager, Darren Williams, to Denmark for the weekend. Copenhagen and Aarhus to be specific. Aarhus? Yep, us neither. Monocle’s 2013 and 2014 pick for Best City in the World, Copenhagen, dropped to number 10 this year because “the city is just too expensive” according to the magazine’s Copenhagen correspondent and long term resident in the Danish capital. Now can you imagine how our boys from South Africa fared?
Sure the place is beautiful and is surrounded by five lakes and a harbour in the heart of the city, with amazing public transport, a rich culture, myriad restaurants and bars that close at 4am. All of which contributes to a UN World Happiness Report ranking of third. But then Denmark also has the highest taxes in the world, which doesn’t only affect the 685 000 people living in the city, who pay around €1, 110 per month to rent a one bedroom apartment, but tourists like our guys Ryan and Darren, who balked at paying the equivalent of R100 for a pint.
So yes, for this edition of Around Town With we don’t have fine dining or reviews of the hottest clubs. Nor do we tell you what the inside of a Danish theatre looks like. There’s not even an art gallery. Instead we fill you in on a witch burning festival and a canal. And if you think that’s bad, just wait until you see their photographs…
In the best cities public transport is excellent and varied and Copenhagen didn’t disappoint with clean, comfortable, air-conditioned options. This comes at a price you’d usually associate with a car repayment, and I’m not surprised that everyone there chooses to ride a bicycle instead. Nobody uses a bike chain and everyone looks so cool riding around. Saw a woman take a basket full of groceries and put it all in the basket on her bike. Class. It’s not that difficult because there are no hills, and when it rains they just put on a raincoat and get on with it. - Ryan
Burning Witch Festival
This was a weird one. It’s a celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, where the sun only sets at 11:00pm and has been going since 1536. It happens at the beach or at a person’s house and is a family affair where people picnic, barbecue, sing a song that can be translated to “We Love Our Little Land” and then burn a witch effigy over a bonfire. Despite all of this burning they still have pretty amazing carbon footprint and air pollution emission controls. - Darren
The canal off of the main square was originally used to bring product right up to the town. There are a whole lot of restaurants just behind it. Was too expensive to eat at any of them, though. Buy a sandwich and eat it while looking out at the canal. - Ryan
WoodWood and Norse Projects
There were two stores that I had to visit. WoodWood and Norse Projects. The day that I was there happened to be the day of the international Yeezy launch and each store got 30 pairs. I was walking around looking for them and thought, “No, that can’t be, why are there so many homeless people lined up outside?” Turns out that the sneakerheads there paid junkies to keep their place in line for them. Anyway, WoodWood is dope and has done so well in creating an aura around their store. They have their own brand and do collabs with other brands and just offer such a nicely curated selection. Norse Projects is the coolest. It’s tiny, there’s no counter and it’s always packed. I stood in a queue for assistance, another queue for my size, another queue to pay… Everything there is so Scandi styled. There’s no flash. Product selection is just black, white, grey and maybe navy. I really wanted to take a photograph but got kicked out after they saw me framing my shot. - Ryan
I took a propeller plane from Copenhagen to Aarhus to meet with the Danish family-owned brand, Best Seller. This group does all of the brands we sell: Vera Moda, Jack & Jones, Selected, Only & Sons… While Ryan was living it up in Copenhagen somebody had to do some work. - Darren
This is the place to eat and drink and is an up and coming hipster area full of young, creative people and independent boutiques. It’s way less commercial than the high street and is more lifestyle orientated with lots of restaurants and bars. - Ryan
The Tivoli Gardens are, like, these massive gardens. It’s like Disneyland for boring people. - Ryan