Vikings and the steeped in myths culture of so-called Viking Age is now one of the most popular historical eras, especially for the European countries, where the Viking heritage is pretty much alive and well to this day. Let’s even put the popular TV series “Vikings” aside (especially since I’m not a fan) – the vikings had actually a lot more to make the modern society love them. Somebody would say the real vikings were totally different from the archetype we’re representing in our culture and that would be a pretty accurate statement, because the mass media’s interest is focused basically on myths and not on the true viking life and culture. The result seems sort of frustrating: anyone’s familiar with words like “Thor”, “Odin”, “Mjölnir” or “Valkyrie”, but almost nobody can say who the vikings were and how their history went. However, even if the mass media has created a myth-based “commonly acceptable” viking image to make money, it doesn’t mean there are no people who still struggle to keep the true viking culture known by those who’d like to dig deeper. Their deeds don’t let it vanish and as a result we still have the living and breathing viking communities, the viking music festivals and – yeah – even the viking clothing brands like Grimfrost from Sweden.
The brand was founded in 2014 by the highly-enthusiastic team consisted of three buddies: Arve, Sjöberg and Hegg. The first two were literally fellows in arms with 25 years of experience in crafting the Viking-related products, though Arve worked more on weapons and armor and Sjöberg was into crafting the reproductions of bronze and silver archaeological finds for various museums. Both were frequently the vendors at various Viking Age events, where they actually met each other for the very first time. The third Grimfrost member Hegg is widely known as the proud front man of the Viking metal band Amon Amarth and he was asked to join Arve and Sjöberg as a source of creative ideas and probably also a marketing figure to draw some major attention from the metal audience worldwide. That was actually a very smart move since the metalhead community has always been quite close to the subject, i.e. many heavy metal fans tend to find the Viking Age legacy very fascinating, especially in Europe.
Grimfrost represent themselves as a brand manufacturing and selling the “authentic viking products from Sweden”, and this statement is 100% valid with the various accessories (like jewelry, flatware etc.), but since OutOfTrend’s main subject is clothing I have to admit there’s not too much authenticity in it here. Expecting to see a viking-themed LARP store, I was a bit surprised to find so many usual things there, like t-shirts, hoodies or beanies. Their graphical design is quite awesome with various viking ornaments, pictures of battle helmets, Mjölnir or totem animals, but I really wish there was more really authentic viking apparel in their catalogue. Still when you finally come across the “Viking Clothing” category, you can observe some truly nice pieces, like wool tunics, trousers, a mail shirt and even the leather shoes. There’s also one Viking Apron Dress for ladies, simple yet very dainty. If you came for the war stuff, you might want to try the “Lifestyle” category where you’d find such things like leather armor and helmets.
Sliding away from the apparel topic, I’d say Grimfrost can be an ultimate brand for those who’s eager to add some very cool things to their costumes or even household. The viking jewelry is amazing here and I was delighted to see they sell those very authentically-looking viking forks, spoons, knives, corkscrews, bottle openers, horns, horn-mugs and so on. I believe many viking fans would love to have all these things at home! Same with the interior products, viking games (!) and even books for those who’d like to know more about vikings and their culture. Damn, they even sell the USB flash drives with the wooden bodies covered with viking runes! So much attention for these things, it’s unbelievable! I only hope at some point Grimfrost will start paying that much attention to their viking apparel, because I can clearly see their potential.