One of the best things that’s happened to men’s casual style in the past decade—along with the invention of haute athleisure and reissues of every classic sneaker design ever—is the rise of designers taking a punk-inspired approach to the clean, minimal lines of Scandinavian fashion. Thanks to them, it’s now possible to put together a fit that subtly references both mid-century design and SoCal skate culture at the same time, without having to splash out an entire rent check.
Sweden’s Dr. Denim has been part of this low-key revolution since its founding in 2004 by brothers Alexander and Johannes Graah and their father Morten. (It just expanded into the U.S. this year.) As the name suggests, the brand was launched with a focus on denim. “We held this firm belief that contemporary denim needed an affordable premium option,” Alexander tells us via email, “something which was quite controversial at the time but which has proved tremendously successful over the years.”
From the start, the Graahs have pushed back against the denim world’s dual obsessions with vintage designs and high price points. “When we started back in 2004, one of our missions was to go against the pricey premium denim grain—so I suppose you could say that we were inspired by those brands to do something different,” Alexander says. “Our take on denim is rooted in the present and the future, and not so much in the world of heritage denim. That’s how we can add something special.”
Since then the brand has expanded to include a full collection of jeans, chinos, tees, button-ups, and outerwear. The current collection refracts the Graahs’ roots in Scandinavian minimalism through a blend of influences that includes contemporary streetwear and the skate-heavy look of L.A.’s X-Large in its early days, all rendered in a super-chill palette of black, white, gray, and misty green. “Our designs have a distinct Scandinavian minimalist touch to them,” Alexander writes. “Even when we do something over-the-top, there’s an undertone of minimalism to it.”
The result is a look that’s trendy but not painfully so—somewhere between a less stoner-y Unif and a less uptight Wood Wood.
A new year means a good opportunity to take your look up a notch, and the Graah boys have your back.