Copenhagen has long been on my list of places I have been wanting to revisit. Not only is it a splendid and important city, but it houses Places of Interest. One of these places is Maritime & Antiques, a shop I have been keeping an eye on for a while. It’s name does give a hint to the seemingly bizarre nature of the shop, as in, yes, it is a shop dealing in maritime antiques.
Now I’m not of a seafaring mind, and while occasionally not disinterested in old stuff (see my mantiques posts for examples), I never realised how cool it would be to have an antique diving suit in my living room. I do now, though I didn’t dare ask Frans, the friendly and knowledgeable shopkeeper, how much he was asking for it. It wouldn’t fit in my carry-on anyhow, and I think security may have questioned me wearing the helmet…
As the story goes though, it was Frans’ father that started the shop some 30 years ago, as an antiques shop specialising in maritime antiques. Frans inherited it a few years back and having grown up in the shop wanted to continue the legacy. As time has passed, the antiques side has been complemented with a carefully selected selection of clothing, from brands that are either local, or are a good fit for the feel of the shop.
The shop itself is in a basement in a quit side street near the touristy area of Copenhagen, and while it may be a little hard to find if you’re actually looking for it, the window displays draw interested people in quite regularly.
This means that Danish brands Hansen Garments, SNS Herning and Andersen-Andersen are well represented, along with a few other brands, such as Germen Schiesser Revival. You can tell that Frans makes his selections by heart, supporting the quality local product proudly and stocking a good range of each brand. I am especially heartened to see a good selection of Hansen, a brand that just gets better and better each season.
Together with the Danish brands, Frans also stocks some Swedish garments by Indigofera, very much an up and coming denim brand. Not having had much of a chance previously to investigate their quality in person, I was very impressed by their rugged checked shirts. Excellent, indeed.
At the back of the shop though, there is something even more special. A whole rack full of garments by the mysterious brand Mister Freedom. The brainchild of ex-patriate Frenchman Christophe Loiron, the company is based in California. It’s safe to say that Loiron has a unique outlook to what he produces, and I strongly suspect he has a huge amount of fun doing what he does. Mostly it appears to be based on designs from the 1920’s to 1940’s, though I’m sure I will be corrected on this.
Frans has the largest selection of Mister Freedom garments for sale in Europe, and browsing the rack is an absolute delight. I’ve often heard tell of Mister Freedom, yet never had a chance to really take in the full impact of the range before. The quality and level of detail is truly remarkable, and while the prices are generally on the high side, I consider them at least almost justifiable!
Even though I spent two hours browsing the shop and talking to Frans, I was still discovering more treasures all the time. Apart from being an excellent chap to talk to, Frans obviously has a good eye for selecting stock, as well as supporting the local trade. The locally made leather belts and braces are a nice addition to the larger quality brands stocked. And I’ve not even mentioned shoes, boots and Italian leather bags.
A truly remarkable shop, and an addition to my very short list of destination shops. Highly recommended!