13 may 2016 11:00:00
Fjällräven Kånken: comfort always matters
Talking about how Kånken backpack was created and what has allowed it to spread far beyond the Swedish schools
WAY TO THE PERFECT BACKPACK
To understand the reasons behind Kånken massive success, one should have an idea of who created it. Everything began in the 50s with a young Swedish tourist Åke Nordin being absolutely dissatisfied with the backpacks market condition where it was impossible to find an appropriate in all parameters backpack. Deciding he was bound to change the situation, Nordin found a solution in designing his own backpack – large, with a wooden frame and leather straps, sewed round with durable cotton.
In 1960, backpack design was improved (for example, wood was replaced with aluminium, “the material of the future”), while Fjällräven company was established for the purposes of official production and sales. Being Swedish for “arctic fox”, the word feels like Scandinavian forests breeze when pronounced. Åke Nordin scored huge success with this concept, though Kånken appeared later, in 1978.
ELEGANT PROBLEM SOLUTION
Almost two decades later after Fjällräven was established, the company became the most renowned backpack brand in Sweden. Meanwhile, the Swedish government was concerned with the issue of back health: to a greater or lesser degree, up to 80 percent of the population suffered from spinal curvature and coupled pains. Åke Nordin was closely following the debate, so when the Scout Association asked the company for a solution, he quickly made a sketch of a backpack that would be reasonably priced and made of durable materials, have compartments for school books and papers, and most significantly, the construction distributing the weight across both shoulders.
At first, the promotion was aimed at students and their parents, but since the backpack shoulder straps needed no holding up, which was one of its advantages, elder people loved the design as well – now they could walk freely with the stick. Although Kånken target audience, the students, loved it right away, the backpack met with the mixed, and even unexpected reaction in the society. Some people saw it as a “symbol of liberalism”, while the others called it “the communist hunchback”.
However, Åke Nordin did not even bother – his aim of creating a tool for the nation health improvement was achieved. While expecting to sell 200 backpacks in the first year, he doubled the plan and sold 400 units. A year later, the number rose beyond 30000 units sold, while the attacks at the form ceased – one could set nothing against such an upswing.
EXPLORING THE XXI CENTURY
Very soon, it will be 40 years since the first Fjällräven Kånken appeared, having become more popular over the time. Today, more than 200000 units are produced every year, and at least 3 million people have given a try to the genius design by Åke Nordin, yet the construction has barely changed over the passed decades.
Kånken is still manufactured from the unique Vinylon F fabric of natural fibers, which allows the cloth to “breathe”, while being able to protect the contents from the moisture if needed. Durability is Vinylon F another benefit – thanks to the fabric, you’ll see that your bought-at-school Kånken has lived through the university years along with numerous trips. By the way, about the trips – don’t be surprised if somewhere in Thailand, tourists come up to you and start speaking Swedish, Finnish, or Norwegian – the popularity of Fjällräven is really off the charts in Scandinavia.
At our store, you can always pick a Kånken just for you.
FJALLRAVENBackpack Kanken Black
FJALLRAVENBackpack Kanken Mini Warm Yellow
FJALLRAVENBackpack Kanken Royal Blue
FJALLRAVENBackpack Kanken Pink
FJALLRAVENBackpack Kanken Mini Sky Blue
FJALLRAVENBackpack Kanken Leaf Green
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