Despite being based in Copenhagen, itself a relatively vibrant hub of fashion activity, mfpen mostly keeps to itself. It's not that the label is especially unfriendly, it's more that mfpen doesn't really care for "fashion" in the traditional sense. Rather than indulge in vapid pleasantries, mfpen just makes good clothing.
The mfpen silhouette is slouchy, easy, unbothered. It's rooted in the kind of throw-on-and-go staples proffered in the past by Polo Ralph Lauren and Agnès B, from the approachable prices to the mix n' match appeal of mfpen's exquisite staples.
But just because mfpen is inspired by bygone eras doesn't mean that its design ethos are similarly old-fashioned.
On the "Production Values" tab of its website, for instance, you can read about mfpen's promise to forego any new materials in its manufacturing process.
Instead, all of the garments are made of upcycled deadstock, recycled fibers, or eco-conscious textiles like organic cotton and tencel.
There's no perfect solution to fashion's cycle of waste but mfpen also produces only a minimum number of SKUs each season, thus cutting down on the clothing left over or discounted each season.
It ain't perfect but, for an indie brand at mfpen's scale, it's the second best thing to not making anything new at all.
Note that mfpen doesn't scream about these values nor does it market itself as being a "sustainable" brand for the sake of winning empty platitudes. I only mention them because they're crucial to understanding mfpens' appeal without actually handling the garments yourself.
In fact, mfpen might even be too low-key for its own good: it doesn't care to market itself at all.
The brand instead allows its perfectly minimalist garments to do the talking, spreading the good word through a curated assortment of stockists that style mfpen's effortless shirts, professorial cardigans, thigh-length wool overcoats, and baggy pleated jeans with "normcore" leather shoes and ASICS.
The approach has worked a charm, allowing mfpen to organically expand its operation without compromising its beliefs, picking up admirers across the globe as diverse as fashion podcasters and twenty-something Japanese clothing fiends.
Sold by retailers as big as SSENSE and as small as local boutiques in cities like New York, Seoul, and Kanazawa — akin to likeminded no-nonsense designers such as Camiel Fortgens, mfpen has a sizeable following across East Asia — mfpen is keen to grow at its own pace.
And this is as good a time as any to join the bandwagon.