Culture


Playing the Field – The Icelandic Men’s Football Team

Playing the Field – The Icelandic Men’s Football Team

While Iceland first participated in the Olympic Games in 1908, it took until 1956 for an Icelander to win an Olympic medal. Considering this relatively recent foray into the international sports world, Icelandic athletes have certainly been stepping up to the plate, field, court or wherever as of late, showcasing their impressive skills in ­  various international arenas. ­  Media ­  attention has most recently been centred on the success of the Icelandic men’s football team, which, for the first time ever, secured a spot in the ­  UEFA Euro 2016 to be held in France. With this qualification, the team has secured the ­  title of ‘smallest country to participate’ in this tournament. With around 330,000 ­  people, Iceland is less than one-sixth of the size of Slovenia, which holds the title for second-smallest country to qualify for the UEFA European Championship. Though its small population doesn’t seem conducive to such a highlevel of sporting achievements, Iceland has been working relentlessly to improve its facilities. Since the early 2000s, football facilities, coaches and players have popped up all over the country, fostering a fresh new generation of skilled and dedicated football stars. While Icelandic football players have achieved a high level of fame at home, some have even carved a place for themselves in the football leagues abroad. Athletes such as Eiður Guðjohnsen, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Aron Gunnarsson play football in premier leagues in other countries. Amidst the hubbub around the men’s team, the Icelandic women´s team has aptly noted its own success. At the time of writing, FIFA ranks the women’s team 20th overall, with an average position of 17th since FIFA started its ranking system. While the participation of the men’s team is certainly noteworthy, the women’s team has already been to an impressive two Euro games….


Bon Voyage! to Reykjavik Fashion & Design

Bon Voyage! to Reykjavik Fashion & Design

Creativity is what Iceland may be best known for. From 13th century poet Snorri Sturluson, to 20th Century Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness, Icelandic intellectual property has been recognised globally. With latter-day music mavericks such as Mezzoforte, Sugarcubes, Björk, Sigur Rós, Of Monsters & Men, Gus Gus, Múm and Emiliana Torrini—not to mention film composers Jóhann Jóhannsson, Atli Örvarsson, Ólafur Arnalds and Máni Svavarsson— Icelandic music is now “googled” 20 times more frequently than Iceland itself. Music, fashion and design have always interacted with a certain type of ping-pong effect. From the white stockings of the Mozart era to the mop tops of The Beatles, let alone the platform footwear of Abba times, these related forces have proved to be vital in distinguishing the ever-evolving zeitgeists of our continents, and continue to do so. The same goes for evolutions in architecture and other forms of design. The timing of a new Icelandic fashion and design publication, dedicated to fashion and design, could not be better, in view of the fast-growing creative branches of Iceland. Presented in English, written and designed by our foremost experts, Reykjavík Fashion & Design is a most welcome addition to our somewhat limited variety of such endeavours. The newly revamped Old Harbour of Reykjavík is amongst what is being profiled in this first issue. Rightfully so. This cool new quarter truly reflects a new territory where the creative industries are successfully merged and represented in their most diverse forms: 90% of Iceland’s prolific recording studios located next to art galleries, exhibits and museums, the headquarters of authentic designers Farmers Market, top fashion designer Steinunn Sig’s workshop and boutique, CCP computer game head office and Sjávarklasinn, a dead-cool new hub for diverse creative business developments, to name a few. Bergsson, Bryggjan, Sjóminjasafnið, Valdís, Matur & Drykkur, Cocoo’s Nest,…