More than 30 Nordic designers are showcasing the Spring/Summer collections they hope we will be wearing or be inspired by this time next year, with most of the catwalk events happening at Stockholm's Berns
, a nineteenth century building that doubles up as a night club, hotel, restaurant and conference venue.
But sports brand Björn Borg instead took over Långholmen island in the Swedish capital on Monday evening, to create a Mars-themed environment complete with red rocks, dust and a giant crator underneath Västerbron bridge, for what is sure to be one of the most talked about catwalks of the entire week.
Four volunteer astronauts who are taking part in the Mars One mission — designed to create a human colony on the planet from 2026 — were flown in for the show and sat centre-stage on the makeshift red planet, as models showcased the Swedish brand's latest sportswear collection with a space-age twist.
The astronauts included Alexandra Doyle, 29, who was born in South Africa but grew up in the UK and is down to the last 100 candidates hoping to make the final selection for the mission.
She told The Local she was thrilled to have been part of the show and said travelling to Sweden had also long been a dream, alongside the much more dangerous journey to Mars that she is training for.
“I love it, oh my god yeah I absolutely love it. I have been wanting to come to Sweden – especially Stockholm – for such a long time, but I have never had the opportunity.”
The law graduate who funded her studies by working by day as a dental nurse, said she was “the opposite of scared” about being part of the space mission.
“When you first hear about the Mars One project I think it either fills you with awe or with wonder or it makes you feel sick.”
She then explained that she definitely fell into the former category, before making a reference to a passion for Nordic history.
“I am in absolutely in awe of the pioneers that have gone before us – the first discoverers of the New World, the Vikings…and just the next step is Mars, the next step is space exploration…it’s the most exciting, amazing thing I could think of.”
Björn Borg said in its press release that it wanted to pay tribute to the Mars mission because it felt a connection between its hardwearing clothing and the challenging upcoming space journey.
Elsewhere, leading Swedish labels including Whyred, Cheap Monday and Carin Wester were scheduled to host their own shows in the coming days, while organisers highlighted Giorgi Rostiashvili, ATP Atelier and All Blues as three of the best newcomers to look out for on the catwalks. In total more than 450 brands are being represented.
Stockholm Fashion Week first launched in 2005 and while it does not have the same lure as Paris, London, New York or Milan, it nevertheless attracts growing numbers of global bloggers, journalists and designers keen to spot the trends coming out of Scandinavia's most fashion-conscious capital.
This year's event was launched by Sweden's Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg.
The Swedish fashion sector had sales of 237 billion SEK ($28 million) in 2013 and is one of Sweden's most important creative industries.