• Sweden edition
 
GREAT SWEDISH BRANDS
Ten Swedish brands everyone should know
Photo: Absolut Vodka; Exotic Car Life/Flickr; Jason Hargrove/Flickr (file)

Ten Swedish brands everyone should know

Published: 08 Nov 2011 11:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Nov 2011 17:37 GMT+01:00

Here’s a list of ten Swedish products and brands you should also get to know if you don't already. Related gallery.

Cheap Monday

Swedish fashion become synonymous with this rock inspired, old school brand in recent years. Its characteristic washed-out slim jeans with the unique skull label have spread widely across the world since Örjan Anderson and Adam Friberg founded the company in Stockholm in 2000.

Cheap Monday recently released its first ever shoe collection, and also sold a rather odd collection of jeans named “Customized by Nature” during a recent show in Paris. As the name suggests, a number of jeans were placed left outside to soak up mother nature’s harsh treatment and come out as 30 individual pairs of jeans.

Acne Jeans

Acne Jeans is slightly older than Cheap Monday, and another popular fashion export out of Sweden. It was founded in Stockholm in 1996 by a group of four, and has since been climbing steadily towards the group’s common goal to create a lifestyle of subtle luxury.

Founder and Creative Director Jonny Johansson, and Thomas Persson, editor for Acne’s own magazine, Acne Paper, were featured in the New York Times as their new store in the fashion metropolis started attracting new costumers.

Hasselblad camera

For almost as long as the camera has existed, Swedish camera company Hasselblad has been in the photography business. In 1841, the first store opened up in Gothenburg, and 100 years later, Victor, a fourth generation Hasselblad, grew up to take a big step for the family business.

During World WarII, German surveillance planes flew back and forth over the Swedish border to Norway. Many crashed, and when Swedish authorities managed to seize a surveillance camera from one of the planes, the camera expert Victor Hasselblad was asked to reproduce it.

“No, but I can make a better one,” he allegedly responded. Months later, in 1941, the first Hasselblad factory was established, producing their first camera, the HK 7, for the Swedish military.

Today, Hasselblad is known as an exclusive and luxurious optics brand, making cameras, scanners and accessories for the thick wallets, such as the H4D Limited Edition Ferrari camera, priced at €21,499 ($30,000).

Koenigsegg

Someone looking for a “safe family car” will most likely stumble across Swedish machines such as Volvo and Saab. But let’s be honest, those brands both have seen better days.

However, there is another car brand that might not commonly be pinpointed to Sweden, which has completely different features.

Since enthusiast Christian von Koenigsegg founded the company in 1994, he has been working towards creating the perfect super car, building only a few individual cars each year.

One of the standing world records for Koenigsegg is held by its model Agera R for going 0-300 km/h in 14.53 seconds. Forbes magazine praised another Koenigsegg model as one of the top 10 most beautiful cars in the world.

Filippa K

“Uncomplicated yet modern clothes to suit every occasion.” That’s what the creators of Swedish fashion brand Filippa K had in mind when they formed the business in 1993.

Filippa Knutsson wanted to fill the gap she’d discovered on the Swedish clothing market, and left clothing store Gul&Blå to start her own business along with Patrik Kihlborg and Karin Segerblom.

Early on, Filippa K became a big national success in Sweden with the characteristic women’s stretch jeans. A few years later Filippa K Man was launched, and the success started to spread across Europe and North America.

WESC

WeSC, short for We are the Superlative Conspiracy and casually known as We, was founded in Sweden in 1999. At first flourishing mainly in street and skateboarding subcultures, a clever marketing scheme soon led to the brand becoming widely known internationally.

Instead of regular advertising, We pretty much relied solely on famous actors and artists to wear, and thus promote their clothes.

Now the brand has stores in for example Tokyo, Paris and New York and is a global phenomenon, not least for its colourful and stylish headphones in an endless number of varieties.

Absolut Vodka

One can assume that Absolut Vodka founder Lars Olsson Smith was thrilled when, in 1922, Swedes voted in the country’s first referendum not to issue a complete ban on alcohol, roughly 40 years after his groundbreaking liquor was introduced.

Swedes seemed to have been left unconvinced by the campaign for prohibition, which featured a man passed out with a bottle in hand in front of his devastated wife and kid. Instead, fun-loving Swedes were more swayed by the warning about loosing their nubbe (shot of schnapps) for traditional crayfish festivities which Swedes hold very dear.

The good news allowed Absolut Vodka to grow increasingly popular, and in 1979, the company V&S Group completed what became a wildly successful launch on the American market. Six years later, Absolut Vodka was the most imported vodka in the US, and it is currently the third largest producer of alcoholic spirits in the world.

While Absolut vodka remains closely associated with Sweden, the brand was bought by French firm Pernod-Ricard as part of its acquisition of the V&S Group in 2008.

Husqvarna

Whether your hobby is sowing, cooking, gardening or motocross, you will have no trouble finding a highly-esteemed machine produced by this legendary Swedish company.

Husqvarna was founded in 1689 as a weapons foundry for the Swedish military, and the logo was made to resemble the sight and barrel of the musket rifle.

Almost 200 years later, Husqvarna started making domestic appliances and sewing machines, and later on bikes and motorcycles. In fact, their motorcycles were used in the Swedish military and included option of attaching skis to the side for snowy winters.

The Husqvarna Group is currently the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products such as chainsaws and lawnmowers, and it was the first to introduce a solar powered robotic lawn mower.

The Pirate Bay

One of the newer "brands" out of Sweden that have made it big internationally, is the extremely controversial website The Pirate Bay.

Launched in 2003, this tracker site was a pioneer within online distribution of digital media. However, its success would become too great for its own good, one might argue. In 2006, Swedish police raided their server halls and confiscated all their servers.

Three years later, the four founders of the site were sentenced to several stiff prison sentences and hefty fines for facilitating the violation of Swedish copyright laws. Nevertheless, the site is still a big actor in file sharing and has servers halls all around the world.

Snus

People have sniffed it, smoked it and chewed it, but Swedes were among the first to embed tobacco under their upper lips.

Not technically a brand, snus, also known as wet snuff, is a tobacco product invented in Sweden in the early 1800s, when tobacco was still a common crop to grow in the chilly country. Snus has had tough competition from both cigars and cigarettes throughout the years, but had a big upswing when reports started showing the harmfulness of smoking.

In later years snus increased in popularity in Sweden after smoking was banned in restaurants in 2005. American news show CBS 60 Minutes devoted an episode in 2010 to examining the Swedish product and its pros and cons compared to smoking.

While Swedish Match remains the dominant manufacturer of snus in Sweden and is attempting to market the product abroad, US tobacco companies have also begun to selling snus products inspired by the Swedish original.

Related links:

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:50 November 8, 2011 by bubbagump
I might be mistaken, but Eletrolux probably should be on this list. And again, not 100% here, but Absolut vodka is now French.
16:53 November 8, 2011 by Migga
@ Adrian37

What does your link have to do with this article?
16:58 November 8, 2011 by skogsbo
whilst not techincally pure Swedish, volvo, scania..
17:24 November 8, 2011 by Gm_Tuzik
Those links do NOT work :(
17:48 November 8, 2011 by Rick Methven
Whereas Volvo /Scania/Saab cars are no longer 100% Swedish they are built on Swedish ingenuity.

Saab Aircraft military aircraft are still Swedish and the design of the Draken, Viggen and Gripen are 100% Swedish and in aviation Boeing has used Swedish technology in their aircraft.
18:50 November 8, 2011 by fashionterror
Yepp, my grandmother should definitively know that Cheap Monday is a Swedish brand!

http://www.fashionterror.org/
23:18 November 8, 2011 by swenrika
There is a lot of good that comes from Sweden.. a small county by number of people only, but some great minds :)
02:14 November 9, 2011 by Marc the Texan
How about Tetrapak.
02:17 November 9, 2011 by xexon
I don't expect to see Hasselblad survive. The digital revolution has got to be killing them.

I live in timber country in the Pacific NW of the US. Husqvarna is a respected name around here. They have a bright future.

I used to like Volvo's. You could spot that square box going down the road easily amid all the other square boxes of 30 years ago. Now, they just blend in. You can see the front and get an idea it's a Volvo, but the rear end looks like everybody else's. No imagination.

x
08:43 November 9, 2011 by swedekk
Some famous Hasselblad pictures.

http://www.hasselblad.com/about-hasselblad/hasselblad-in-space.aspx
09:04 November 9, 2011 by matwright06
Skype & Nudie jeans could probably hit that list before a few of the others...then there's Björn Borg, and Spotify!
09:45 November 9, 2011 by Swedifornia
Skype and Spotify are on this list:

http://www.thelocal.se/36004/20110907/

They should probably make one more with the ones mentioned in the comments.
16:43 November 9, 2011 by Adnan M
Snus is the Swedish invention? I doubt that though. There are couple of countries outside Europe which are known for using snus. Snus there is more commonly used by men than in Sweden. They have a very little idea about snus to be also used in Sweden.
17:37 November 9, 2011 by Migga
@ Adnan M

Snus is Swedish. Are you sure you aren`t thinking about snuff, dissolvable tobacco or chewing tobacco? Snus as we know it today was created in Sweden.

/watch?v=0TOggbNAdgQ&feature=related
21:52 November 10, 2011 by skogsbo
Astra zeneca and skf, who make ball bearings, far bigger globally than some clothing label or website, which could easily be gone in 5-10 years
15:35 November 11, 2011 by Fika
and don't forget about the Swedish Greeting Giant - Fika Town www.fikatown.com
00:52 November 12, 2011 by ingela
My dad was in the team with Victor Hasselblad, when they built the first camera.

He worked for them until he retired in 1983. Brilliant camera, I think they will survive

many more years.
06:59 November 13, 2011 by dukesy
I agree with the comment about Volvo,big square boxes on wheels,not todays `jelly mold` shape that blends in. I believe,although i stand to be corrected,was the `side impact system not originally a Swedish idea. Knowing a neighbour of mine in Newcastle that has/is retoring a 144S,on a `68` vintage plate,what happened to the classic `Swedish Tank`,if you hit someones car,worry about the other car.....not the Volvo......great cars,go anywhere,and 40 yrs later some are still on the road. The Brits could build ships,and the Swedes could build cars.

Also,off your list,although probably just a small company compared to some....Abba sea foods,i believe they date back to the 1920`s....certainly produce some nice sea food.....and of course for record sales and some fantastic,timeless music,on a par with the likes of The Beatles,The Beach Boys,to name but 2 is Abba,the Foursome must surely be on your list somewhere...certainly put Sweden on the map in a BIG way. (proud to admit to being a fan)..but they are Swedish homegrown talent. (Not much of that left in the charts now....all covers)

Anyway,thats my rant....great site,very interesting to read...keep it up

John from Uk
21:38 November 13, 2011 by Dimukas
Oriflame , Oriflame, Oriflame !!!
11:39 November 20, 2011 by kicki
Have we forgot Findus and WASA bread ( now Barilla owned)..
Today's headlines
Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

Elections 2014
Liberals hint at bringing back conscription
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Liberals hint at bringing back conscription

With Russia becoming "all the more aggressive", the Liberal Party leader and education minister, Jan Björklund, has suggested that Sweden may have to reintroduce conscription. READ  

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Roles were reversed in a bear hunt on Thursday night, when a Swedish hunter was attacked by his prey, leaving the man in hospital in a serious condition. READ  

How immigration became a key election issue
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

How immigration became a key election issue

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt sparked a furore with recent comments that put rising refugee costs in focus before the elections. But why did he bring it up, and will it affect the outcome? READ  

 Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership

A Swedish court has rejected a request from the Chinese-owned automaker NEVS, which owns the financially-troubled Swedish brand Saab, to be placed in receivership until it could attract new financing. READ  

Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
The view of Kebnekaise's southern peak, soon to be the second highest peak in the country. Photo: Stockholm University

Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year

Mount Kebnekaise's southern peak will no longer be the highest point in Sweden by 2015, researchers predicted on Thursday, adding that the change will spell a major blow for tourism in the region. READ  

Gothenburg preschools end school photography
Moments like these are a thing of the past for Gothenburg preschoolers. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Gothenburg preschools end school photography

Preschool managers in Gothenburg have decided to ban class photos at preschools in their municipality, citing the different financial situations of families as one reason for the change. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
This is Stockholm. Don’t worry - be happy. File photo: ASIFE/iStockphoto

Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm

Many consider Sweden a pretty safe place to live, but what if an icicle pierces your little toe or a ray of midnight sun sets fire to your kettle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sorting out insurance in Sweden. READ  

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
The cast of The Cold Swedish Winter.

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show

The Local chats to UK funnyman Danny Robins about his new radio show The Cold Swedish Winter, which is making waves on BBC radio. He talks elk, moose, and what it means to be a Swedophile. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

759
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se