“You can chat about your cabin in the woods and getting underfloor heating and a patio. People [are] not surprised by that – that is a common idea in the Nordics and a lot of people have a second home here,” he argues. “But to say you’d spent the same money on two Lamborghinis – you would probably get a bit laughed at!"
Akinmade Äkerstöm argues that while Sweden has fought hard to maintain a global image as a classless social democracy, many Swedes still surround themselves with people in similar income brackets. This, she says, means that the rules of Jantelagen can therefore shift depending on the company; bragging is more acceptable among those with similar backgrounds.
“Behind closed doors with others of the same socio-economic status, they [richer people] are more comfortable. They can talk about their summer homes or their cars with everybody on the same level.”
Back in Östermalm, Andreas Kensen, 33, who doesn’t live in the area but is spending the afternoon visiting its smart boutiques, agrees that Jantelagenis contextual. “I would definitely tell my friends that we've been out travelling or, you know, show it off on Instagram or Facebook. But it’s nothing I would tell a stranger I just met,” he explains.
A vocal backlash
However, growing numbers of young, successful Swedes are starting to criticise Jantelagen, and calling for a more vocal conversation about wealth and success.
These include Nicole Falciani, 22, who began earning money from blogging as a teenager and is now a major influencer, with 354,000 followers on Instagram. At a glamorous wedding-themed jewellery shoot at an out-of-town allotment cafe, she doesn’t bat an eyelid when asked to tell us her typical fee: around $20,000 per campaign. It’s money she mostly spends on designer bags and travel, having bought a city centre apartment at the age of 20.