Nicklas Skovgaard is the Copenhagen-based designer spearheading a 1980s fashion revival

Chosen by Wallpaper* in January as a fashion star to watch, Scarlett Conlon travels to Copenhagen to meet Nicklas Skovgaard, an on-rise-designer whose warped partywear is inspired by outré 1980s style codes

Copenhagen Fashion Week A/W 2024 Nicklas Skovgaard runway show
Nicklas Skovgaard’s A/W 2024 collection, shown as part of Copenhagen Fashion Week earlier thi month
(Image credit: Photography by James Cochrane, courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Week)

If anyone was wondering when the 1980s fashion revival was going to ramp up, look towards Copenhagen, where the city’s breakout design star, Nicklas Skovgaard, is single-handedly reigniting the era that brought us white stilettos and shoulder pads. 

‘It’s kind of weird, but I’ve always had this obsession with the 1980s since I was a young,’ says Skovgaard, who had Melanie Griffith’s Tess McGill from Working Girl, Lecia Jönsson of Danish band Laban, and his aerobics instructor mother, Annie, on his mood board for A/W 2024 (the collection was shown earlier this month as part of  Copenhagen Fashion Week).

Nicklas Skovgaard: Copenhagen’s designer to watch

Emerging Designers and Fashion Designers Set to Define 2024

Nicklas Skovgaard’s A/W 2024 collection, as featured in the Wallpaper* Rising Stars January 2024 Issue of Wallpaper*

(Image credit: Photography by Sasha Marro, fashion by Jason Hughes)

‘I was born in the mid-1990s so I never experienced the 1980s myself, but I remember as a child always hearing my mother telling me about the time of her life when she was in her mid-to-late twenties,’ he says. ‘It’s the time of my life that I’m living right now so I guess that’s why it appeals to me.’ It turns out that the fashion world also wants to embrace the decade, as interpreted through Skovgaard’s eyes, with the same enthusiasm.

Subsequently, the young Dane has become somewhat of a national treasure within just two seasons of showing collections at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Following the success of his debut show in August which saw the designer collaborate with the performance artist Britt Liberg to stage a one-woman show – she modelled every single look in the collection to rapturous applause and critical acclaim – he was asked to open the five-day event for the A/W 2024 season. It’s a trajectory the 29-year-old is handling with characteristic humility.

Copenhagen fashion week show

Nicklas Skovgaard’s S/S 2024 show, which featured performance artist Britt Liberg

(Image credit: Photography by James Cochrane, courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Week)

‘It was a great honour [opening fashion week] but also a great deal of pressure on top of last season,’ he tells Wallpaper*. ‘From the beginning, I kept on saying to myself that I wanted to create a show just like we wanted it to be, without thinking too much about what we did last season and not having any high praise or pressure or affect our choices in terms of creating and making the show.’ For the A/W 2024 collection, he did just that, having each of his models saunter around a deconsecrated church pulling playful poses that could have jumped off the cover of an old copy of Woman’s Own, wearing pleated midi skirts, suede-insert leather bomber jackets and sequined funnel necks.

Backstage Nicklas Skovgaard Copenhagen Fashion Week

Nicklas Skovgaard backstage at his A/W 2024 show

(Image credit: Photography by Tonya Matyu, courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Week)

Skovgaard’s independent streak is a recurring theme throughout his career to date. After an early career in interiors, he diverted his attention to fashion during the pandemic after finding a child’s loom in a thrift shop on holiday. Having taught himself how to weave on it by watching YouTube and Instagram tutorials, he began to make his own materials. He would then made those materials into clothes, selling them via Instagram.

To this day, he still whips up his own fabrics (albeit on a bigger loom), combining them with additional responsibly sourced fabrics to meet the demands of his growing business (which he said doubled in sales and production for S/S 2024). For A/W 2024, which is his eighth collection to date, there was a continuation of hand-woven brushed wool and alpaca, though here mixed with lambskin leather, chiffon, faux fur, vinyl, lycra and mohair to achieve the mood of the 80s epoch. ‘I try to make my collections as continuous as possible,’ he says. ‘I like to keep on reworking and rethinking pieces of the last collection into the new collection.’

Nicklas Skovgaard runway show

Nicklas Skovgaard’s A/W 2024 show, shown in a deconsecrated church in Copenhagen

(Image credit: Photography by James Cochrane, courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Week)

Being the new wunderkind on the block doesn’t come without its challenges. The fashion industry has been pulled up lately on promoting new talent, and then dropping off when a designer is somewhere in between ‘emerging’ and ‘established’. But Skovgaard is all too aware of what he needs next. ‘The health of the business is good at the time being,’ he says. ’I think for my brand, I see myself very much as a maker, rather than as a businessperson [so] I think the best support would be working closely with a team that could be mentoring and guiding the business side. But of course [they] would also be someone that understands the vision of the brand.’

For now, Skovgaard is happy living out his dream playing with the aesthetics of his favourite decade. ‘The brand had quite an accidental start to it, but has been growing very organically over the past years. I never did a business plan at first, and I think following the [organic] journey of the brand, without having too many strict plans to follow, has helped the brand grow into the success I’m seeing at the moment.’

Nicklas Skovgaard’s S/S 2024 collection is available from and

Scarlett Conlon a freelance journalist and consultant specialising in fashion, design and lifestyle. Before relocating to Italy, she held roles as deputy fashion editor at The Guardian and Observer and news editor at British Vogue in London. She is currently a regular contributor Wallpaper* Magazine among other prominent international fashion and design titles.