Danish Fashion Lends Soho a Han

In 2008, Tim Hancock and Jannik Davidsen spotted a gap in the eyewear market and started their own label of sunglasses, Han Kjøbenhavn. “At the time, you could buy cheap shades with Plexiglas lenses or expensive designer glasses,” Hancock says while greeting customers sheltering from the snowstorm in their newly opened store on Prince Street in New York. In spite of the cold weather, Hancock’s wearing nothing but curry-colored sweatpants, a navy hoodie, a thin, black woolen coat, and a beanie that just covers the top of his head. A simple, elegant version of streetwear—the epitome of Danish fashion.

“When we got our first collection delivered, we hadn’t thought about packaging. We ordered a bunch of boxes and started stamping our logo onto them ourselves,” he says, admitting that they hadn’t considered all aspects of selling shades.

Two years later, Hancock and Davidsen were contacted by a jeans manufacturer to produce a clothing line. The pair didn’t hesitate to accept. “We always wanted to design clothes, but financially it just wasn’t an option,” Hancock explains. Now the design duo have their original eyewear line, the clothing line Han Blå, and a second line of street wear, Dix-Neuf, with which they explore more materials and add graphics to their otherwise solid-colored vision. 

“Jannik and I are both Copenhagen natives, and as boys we’d mostly wear whatever sweatshirt we could find in the soccer club, sweatpants, and Adidas Samba kicks; and then maybe change into jeans whenever there was a party,” he laughs. “That’s still very much the basis of our style.”

All three lines are available in their new SoHo-based store, decorated to reflect their Danish heritage: clean white walls, broken only by wooden shelves and a white bookshelf system displaying the lines in a limited range of sizes and colors. Everything is handmade by the owners and Danish craftworkers.