IN THE HEART OF SWEDEN’S MAJOR CITY STOCKHOLM, STYLE HAS A WAY OF SHOWING ITSELF. THE SWEDES FANCY THEIR STYLE THE BEST OF BOTH SARTORIAL WORLDS, HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY BOTH BRITISH AND ITALIAN TAILORING. WHILE THERE ARE A TON OF GREAT STORES TO BUY MENS CLOTHING IN SWEDEN, ROSE AND BORN STANDS OUT BECAUSE OF THEIR ATTENTION TO DETAIL WITH THEIR CLOTHING AND EXQUISITE LOOKING RETAIL SPACE. ONE LOOK AND IT’S NOT HARD TO SEE WHY THIS MENSWEAR BRAND HAS SEEN SUCH SUCCESS. WE INTERVIEWED STORE MANAGER, FABIAN STRÖM ABOUT THE BRAND, THE STORE AND THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF ROSE AND BORN BRAND.
IS THERE A STORY BEHIND THE ROSE AND BORN NAME?
Rose & Born was established in 1989 by two men whose last names were Rosensvärd and Eishborn. Therefore, it’s a fusion of their names.
ROSE & BORN OPENED IN 1989, BUT WHEN DID MENSWEAR AS AN INDUSTRY START TO TAKE OFF IN SWEDEN? (OUR READERS MIGHT NOT BE AWARE OF STOCKHOLM AND HOW MUCH OF A STYLE/FASHION CAPITAL IT IS.) WOULD YOU MIND ELABORATING?
As what we refer to menswear today, I think its characteristic attribute started to bloom just about 10 years ago. Swedish men have always dressed well but after horrifying years of ambivalences (read from neon colors to black skinny ties) something happened around the year of 2010. People started to look back and remember what always been good looking and adapt it but with a twist.
WHAT DO YOU THINK SEPARATES ROSE & BORN FROM OTHER CLASSICAL MENSWEAR SHOPS IN SWEDEN? THE LOCATION? THE SERVICE?
Ever since the beginning of Rose & Born, our store has always been somewhat apart from Stockholm central business district. This is a deliberate choice. You have to make time to visit us, and we like that. We want you to take your time, finger the fabrics and try our clothes on. A pair of socks, gloves or a tie may be a straightforward purchase, but when it comes to a whole outfit or consultation about your entire style - it can and should take time. This separates us from other menswear shops in Sweden.
WHY DO YOU THINK ROSE AND BORN HAS FOUND SUCCESS FOR SO LONG IN THE MEN’S CLOTHING INDUSTRY WHEN IT HAS CHANGED SO MUCH OVER THE LAST DECADE? WHAT WE MEAN IS, HOW DOES A SMALL SHOP, LIKE ROSE AND BORN, COMPETE AGAINST A BIGGER CHAIN CLOTHING STORES WHOSE PRICES MIGHT BE A LOT CHEAPER?
It’s all about the value of your product. If a product is cheaper in comparison to one of ours, in one or an other way it’s less improved. It could be the fabric, it could be the construction or it could be abstract values as service or retail experience. This means that some people will never buy from us since they always are looking for the cheapest alternative. But at the same time there will always be people who are seeking for more and want something extra - and they will always be interested in what we offer.
SINCE YOU SELL YOUR CLOTHING ONLINE, WHAT DO YOU FIND IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US-BASED CUSTOMERS COMPARED TO YOUR SCANDINAVIAN CUSTOMERS?
No differences actually. We are selling clothes to certain group of customer. And those customers are having the same sense of style, regardless from what country they come from.
SINCE SWEDEN’S WEATHER IS DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, WHAT DOES THE DESIGNING PROCESS LOOK LIKE WITH YOUR GARMENTS? DO YOU GENERALLY STICK TO OFFERING HEAVIER FABRICS SINCE THE MAJORITY OF YOUR CLIENTS ARE DOMESTICALLY LOCATED?
Of Course we always need to concern the weather and our climate when making seasonal purchases. But our customers are also travelers which means that we need to offer clothes not just for the actual weather situation outside our window.
DOES BEING A MENSWEAR BRAND BASED IN SWEDEN HAVE ANY NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS WHEN TRYING TO GROW THE BUSINESS? IN MENSWEAR, GENERALLY SOUTHERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, SUCH AS FRANCE AND ITALY, ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR PROLIFIC MEN’S CLOTHING BECAUSE OF THE RICH HISTORIES AND LARGE INDUSTRIAL PRESENCE. WHAT HAS BEEN THE FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE INSIDE THE INDUSTRY?
Although we are a swedish menswear brand, we do not have any domestic production. We use to say that we collect a lot of inspiration from southern European countries but then always process it through a Scandinavian point of view. Today mostly of our production is made in Europe in general and Italy in particular. But it doesn’t mean that we adapt their style from top to bottom. I think we Scandinavians are having a quite good reputation for our style. Never compromised but neither fully replicated.
IS THERE A ROSE & BORN PRODUCT THAT PEOPLE ALWAYS COMPLIMENT OR PRAISE? YOUR SUITS? YOUR LEATHER GOODS? YOUR SHOE SELECTION?
Definitely our suits. It’s our core business and has always been our biggest seller.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SHOP LOCATED IN STOCKHOLM. FROM WHAT WE HAVE SEEN, THE DESIGN, THE CLOTHING, THE LOCATION… IT APPEARS TO BE A WELL-DRESSED GENTLEMAN’S HOME AWAY FROM HOME. WITH YOUR FOCUS ON HAVING THE CUSTOMER TAKE HIS TIME, WHAT WAS THE THOUGHT PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING THE STORE SPACE?
The upper floor is the original store space and this level has a more old and authentic gentlemens store appeal. Oak cabinets in beautiful rooms with stucco decorations and parquet flooring. The first floor is actually newer since Rose & Born took over this space from another store. With more modern interior it combines our brand and its identity pretty well - classic menswear but with modern twists.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE MEN’S TAILORED CLOTHING BUSINESS AS A WHOLE? IS IT THRIVING? IS IT OVER-SATURATED? DO YOU SEE BIG CHALLENGES MOVING FORWARD? WHAT MUST SOMEONE IN THE INDUSTRY DO TO REMAIN RELEVANT AND PROSPEROUS?
As long as you are consistent I don’t see a problem. But customers are having broader options now than before when buying tailored clothing which makes it more important for brands to communicate.
WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE OF ROSE AND BORN? DO YOU FORESEE OPENING MORE STORES IN SWEDEN OR WILL YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDING YOUR PRODUCT LINE INSTEAD?
We never race - we slowly and organically grow our business. Each year we improve our products and services.
HEAD OVER TO WWW.ROSEBORN.COM
FOR MORE ON THE SHOP AND TO BUY
EXQUISITELY MADE MEN’S CLOTHING
All Photos are courtesy of Rose and Born.