It appears I’m in very good company celebrating my 40th birthday this year as one of Sweden’s most famous fashion icons is also marking the same major milestone, the Fjällräven Kånken.
Way back in 1978, 80% of the Swedish population where suffering from back problems due, in a large part, from carrying school bags that were far too heavy. So following a national debate sparked by this remarkably high figure, Fjällräven’s founder Åke Norden created the revolutionary Kånken.
Kånken, which means ‘carry’ in Swedish, was the first bag designed with two straps to evenly spread weight across both shoulders. They were also made from a super durable fabric, known as ‘Vinylon F’ and included, as they still do now, the distinctive red fox reflective badge, a removable seat pad, as well as a handy separate side pocket for papers.
Forty years on the Kånken remains as popular as ever, sold in 30 countries. It is the worlds best-selling backpack, with over 200,000 sold every year. It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn we have several different bags (along with other pieces of Fjällräven outdoor wear) in the Nordic Notes household.
To mark this special anniversary, the Kånken backpack is being joined by a new range of essentials, making it even more practical for today’s pupils, commuters, or in my case mums.
This includes a cooler bag, perfect as a school lunch box or for a family picnic, a photo insert that turns your Kånken into a camera bag (very handy for a blogger on the go), a toiletry bag, laptop and tablet case, wallet, pen case and key ring.
I wouldn’t be without my Kånken, and neither would the thousands of students I share my home city with. It truly is a Nordic design classic, optimising timeless design as well as practical functionality.
If you’d like to find out more about the new accessories range visit the Fjällräven website.
All images courtesy of Fjällräven.
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