Virgil Abloh breaks boundaries with Louis Vuitton fall/winter show

In 1953 James Baldwin’s essay ”Stranger in the Village” came out. Now, in 2021, Virgil Abloh gives us Louis Vuitton’s fall/winter menswear collection ”Ebonics” based on Baldwin’s words. Stranger in the Village deals with the parallels between Baldwin’s experience as an African-American man in a Swiss village and his life in America. He uses the story as a metaphor for the history of race relations in the United States. Abloh takes Baldwin’s message and applies it to the cultural world today. ”Baldwin’s essay also deals with what it feels like to be a Black artist in a world of art created from a white European perspective,” the designer says in the show notes.

The show was a performance art piece that took place in Paris and was portrayed to the public as the fashion-film ”Peculiar contrasts, Perfect light”. It’s seen together with words such as: ”As Black people, as trans people, as marginalized people, the world is here for our taking, for it takes so much from us” delivered by Saul Williams and Kai Isiah Jamal. And they’re not the only famous names in the show, which included rapper Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, and performance artist boychild. The places from Baldwin’s essay were beautifully represented in the show scenes.

Abloh’s idea behind the collection was to explore the symbolism behind how we dress, and how we make presumptions based on the way people dress and look. The clothes in the collection are meant to represent the looks of ”normal” people like the artist, the salesman, the architect, the drifter, and more. The looks consist of African draped wraps, western hats, and kilts along with more leisure, slim cut tailoring, and statement words. Not only was the show a statement but a delight for the eye of a fashion lover. Abloh continues to keep his audience happy with his 6th collection for Louis Vuitton. The runway is a well-coordinated performance of spectacular pieces from large fur coats to new twists on classic monogrammed accessories. 

The contrast of the collection is what Abloh calls Tourist vs. Purist, his own terminology for outsider and insider that he came up with in 2018 when he first entered Louis Vuitton. The outsider who watches and aspires towards knowledge for example in culture, art, and fashion. The insider, or purist, already has the domain of knowledge and knows everything about everything. The collection strives to eliminate and neutralize the prejudice we create around people by keeping the dress codes related to certain archetypes, but changing the human values we associate with them. The digital age has democratized access to knowledge leading to a new world of fashion where tourists and purists can work together. The collection celebrates both units and the contrast they have. Abloh’s thoughts represent a perfect world of trickle up and trickle down fashion and art culture. We see more and more how digitalization is creating opportunities to be seen and heard, not least in the cultural world. 

Louis Vuitton’s fall/winter menswear collection should be seen as an inspiration to make the cultural world more inclusive and as an example of how different cultures can merge and become something spectacular. This is a discussion that has to keep moving forward and we need to be inspired by the statement Abloh is making. His message is that minority groups should be given the place in culture they deserve and that the presumptions we make about people based on how they look and what they wear needs to be changed. 


John Sterner just launched hand-knitted Bernie mittens

Entrepreneur Alexander Stutterheim is best known for reinventing the raincoat as the founder of Stutterheim Raincoats. He also runs knitwear brand John Sterner, described as ”the antidote to the disposable culture”, with locally produced, high-quality garments based on the Swedish island of Öland.

This week they launched their first mittens, named BERNIE, and handknitted on demand in ”democratic wool” on Öland, online. And, as the unofficial campaign model, the brand chose Alexander himself.


How EOE Eyewear transforms the optical industry through circularity

”A piece of the North in the heart of Stockholm.” That’s how Swedish entrepreneurs Erik and Emilia Lindmark, who founded EOE Eyewear in the picturesque village of Ammarnäs in Swedish Lapland ten years ago, describe their new concept store, opening today.

— Since the start, there was no hesitation whatsoever that nature would play a central role both in product and in brand philosophy. It really couldn’t have been in any other way. We are doing this because we grew up with it. Seriously, it isn’t more complicated than that. So, the sparse nature of northern Sweden translated into minimalistic elegance has been our trademark. The architectural feeling of the store is vigorous, built upon long-lasting material such as stone, silver birch, Swedish steel, and a snow embedded ceiling, the duo tells.

The new spring 2021 eyewear collection uses carved techniques, common in traditional Swedish handicraft, along with bulky silhouettes and 70’s-inspired styles. All made in earthy tones and some transparent colours and a sustainable mindset. 

The brand’s unique and currently patent pending Regrind concept uses a special machine to transform old eyewear into new. Introduced last year, it’s not only been used in EOE Eyewear’s own collections but also by the market-leading optical retail chain in the Nordics, Synsam, for their first line of recycled frames, Synsam Circular. Now, it attracts interest from a bunch of the industry’s leading players.

— The machine’s achieved recycling rate is a stunning 98%, says Erik and Emilia Lindmark. Hence, meaning that we could decrease a majority of virgin material within our industry, saving a lot of Co2 emissions and also become circular. It can separate different types of eyewear and different types of material, such as acetate, steel, and titanium, and make the fragments so pure that they can go back into production to make new eyewear out of the old eyewear.

The new store is located at Mäster Samuelsgatan 10 in Stockholm and will soon carry EOE’s next big launch: a luxury collection using the most luxurious materials they can find in Swedish Lapland, with prices ranging up to €7000.


Mask jewellery, hyperloop pods and fashion industry makeovers

1. Mask jewellery: mask chains are both practical and chic  Wallpaper

2. Sweden’s foodtech sector is booming – this is what to expect from the tech hub in the north  — Digital Trends

3. Pitti Through the Ages: The Enduring Appeal of Male Elegance at Pitti — Pitti Immagine Uomo

4. 7 ways the circular economy will grow in 2021 — Fast Company

5. Fashion Trends Are Often Recycled. Now More Clothing Can Be, Too — The New York Times

6. Is it Time to Invest in Virtual Fashion? — HYPEBEAST

7. Exclusive First Look at Richard Branson’s Hyperloop Propulsion Pods —Architectural Digest

8. Boeing to Use 100% Sustainable Fuel on All Planes by 2030 — Interesting Engineering

9. H&M is one of fashion’s biggest polluters. Now its foundation is on a $100 million quest to save the planet — Fast Company

10. Audio-only social app Clubhouse takes Europe by storm — Sifted

11. You raised seed — and now you want to raise a Series A — Sophia Bendz/Medium

12. Elon Musk announces $100M prize for carbon-capture technology contest — Digital Trends


”You can still find quietness and peace in the middle of the city”

Often described as the PR queen of Stockholm, Lili Assefa Wolf is naturally active on a broad marketing front. She is the owner and founder of Assefa Communications, part-owner of fashion brands Whyred and Hope, and was also the official media consultant for ASAP Rocky during his three-week jail spell in the summer of 2019.

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Stockholm: 

I really like Stockholm because of the closeness to nature and water, even in the middle of the city. 

My favourite weekend routine: 

I am a morning person, so I always wake up before the whole family, I drink my cup of coffee and read the newspaper. The calmness of the home is priceless.

My favourite cultural spot:

Artipelag, a destination of high international quality and boundary-crossing art exhibits, inspiring activities and great food. 

My favourite place for dining out:

The Chinese restaurant Surfers, when it comes to fine dining, I would definitely book a table at Franzén

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

The restaurant Taverna Brillo was like my second office for a while. 

My favourite breakfast place:

Broms or Pas D’Art. 

Pas D’Art

My favourite city escape:

Our country house in Mölle in the South of Sweden, and London, because of all the amazing urban restaurants with cultures from all over the world.

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

Gojo, the best Ethiopian restaurant in Stockholm, located in Södermalm.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

Ett Hem.

My favourite route for a run or walk: 

A morning walk at Djurgården, where you still can find quietness and peace in the middle of the city.

My favourite place for fashion:

Hope and Whyred of course, but also Acne and Bottega Veneta.

My favourite space for great design: 

Svenskt Tenn.

Djurgården. Photo: Jeppe Wikström / Visit Stockholm

My favourite local media:

DI Weekend, SvD and DN.

My favourite thing at home:

The kitchen! We have an open space where the family can gather. And then I have to say my bed.


Investors bet everything on Nothing

The Swedish tech entrepreneur left the smartphone giant last year and received a not-so-modest amount of money from investors to build a new company, which is announced today.

But why the name Nothing?

The venture’s aim for the future is a technology that resembles nothing.

Although it’s still unsure exactly what ”smart products” Nothing will release and what company they will be competing with, we do know that they are planning to release products across multiple categories. To avoid them from looking too much like their competitors, they’ll have custom made components from the start. 

— It’s been a while since anything interesting happened in tech. It is time for a fresh breeze of change. Nothing’s mission is to remove barriers between people and technology to create a seamless digital future. We believe that the best technology is beautiful, yet natural and intuitive to use. When sufficiently advanced, it should fade into the background and feel like nothing, says Carl Pei in an interview with The Verge.

Nothing’s first product is expected to be released in the first half of 2021.


How Canada Goose’s new parka aims to set the standard for sustainable outerwear to come

Last year, the brand unveiled its Sustainable Impact Strategy and introduced HUMANATURE. The latter is described by Gavin Thompson, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, as their purpose platform that unites all sustainability and values-based initiatives. Or, basically, more than a platform.

— It’s our brand philosophy that is embedded in all of our decision-making. We know that as citizens of a global community we can always do more. It’s that idea that gave us the inspiration to call our purpose commitment HUMANATURE — as we are part of nature and nature is part of us. The platform unites the brand behind a singular purpose — to keep the planet cold and the people on it warm. We keep people warm by honouring and invigorating communities, prioritizing philanthropic endeavors, and building culture through the arts. The Resource Center Program is one example, where leftover materials from our production lines are donated to Inuit communities to craft their own clothing. We recently expanded to also include the donation of repurposed parkas to deliver warmth to Northern communities. Project Atigi is a social entrepreneurship project for Inuit designers who have created capsule collections using their traditional skills and our modern materials, he says, continuing,

— The Sustainable Impact Strategy’s building on these core values and outlining our vision for the future. This purpose is embedded across every aspect of our company’s operations; from sustainably designed products with lifetime warranty, to our membership of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, to our longstanding partnership with Polar Bears International. It’s the only global organization dedicated solely to conserving wild polar bears and their habitat, for whom we have raised $3.5 million Canadian dollars to support research.

Thompson describes how Canada Goose’s products are designed to be function first, ahead of everything else.

— We’re not interested in putting our logo on something just because it might sell. Our jackets are relied on by the people who live and work in the coldest places on earth, so everything we make has to work, and has to be the best, he states.

The latest launch, Standard Expedition Parka, is based on their heritage style, the Expedition Parka, an extreme weather parka created for exactly that reason; to keep people warm in extremely cold environments. And, it will help set the standard for the brand’s future of sustainable outerwear, Thompson states.

— Innovation is at the core of everything we do, be it through introducing new materials, fabrics, processes, while still staying true to our function-first model. In terms of sustainable innovation, it’s made from recycled and undyed fabrics, lining, and interlining, 100% responsibly sourced down, and reclaimed fur. The griege colourway is a result of limited chemical use with the undyed fabrics. These fabric and materials updates positively impacted the Standard’s carbon footprint, generating 30% less carbon and utilizing 65% less water, compared to the existing Expedition Parka. This new coat embodies our strategy and commitment to sustainability.

Tell us more about your Sustainable Impact Strategy and how it’ll contribute to your sustainability work onwards.

— One of our main goals for the future is to achieve carbon neutrality. Like most businesses, we see carbon emissions derived from our use of energy and from waste. We already rely on carbon-free, renewable energy for approximately 85% of the electricity we use, which is a benefit derived from our manufacturing being based in Canada — the domestic power grid consists of mostly hydro and nuclear power. We plan to achieve or exceed our target of net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by implementing detailed action plans which include comprehensive recommendations on everything from adopting more recycled materials, to reducing waste. As part of our Sustainable Impact Strategy, we are also committed to increasing our use of renewable energy through a variety of ways, including purchasing renewable energy credits, as well as exploring new and emerging energy technologies.

— In 2019 we became a System Partner with bluesign technologies, an independent textile auditing group based in Switzerland. It uses a system of factory audits and certification to monitor the complex journey of materials at every step of the supply chain — from chemical formulation to the finished product. As well, within the report, we have announced our commitment to the global Responsible Down Standard (RDS), we are committed to being 100% RDS-certified by the end of this year. From 2022, we plan to use only reclaimed fur in our supply chain. This means that we will manufacture parkas using reclaimed fur and end the purchase of new fur. With this recent launch of the Standard Expedition Parka we have already introduced this new product innovation using reclaimed fur only, says Thompson.


Erik Martinson (Svea Solar) on the future of energy

In this episode, Martinson walks us through:

Being turned down by Tesla and using student loans as seed funding.

Will solar energy work in Scandinavia’s sun-starved environment?

How solar panels get cheaper and more efficient over time, unlike fossil fuel and coal.

Fighting poverty and climate change with local solar energy.

Solar Energy intruding the energy market faster than initially expected. 

Listen on Apple Podcast and Acast.


Brewery Dugges’ first restaurant is a must for beer and interior lovers

Holm and Dugges — one of the pioneers on Scandinavia’s constantly growing micro-brewery scene — are both based in Gothenburg, where beer bar and restaurant, run by top chef Gustav Trägårdh, Pils opened last week.

— For me, Dugges is all about quality, flavour, and experimenting, reflected in playful colour and patterns, says Holm. I usually don’t work so much with colour or patterns, but I definitely share their enthusiasm for experimentation and the quest for quality. I know how nerdy they are in everything they do and I saw great potential that this could be a very nice project. I was right! 

Tell us about the interior design.

— We started with this idea to base this one — and, possibly, all future Dugges restaurants — on one of their beers. The first one is Pils. So I just treated the project as if Pils is a person. The Pils bottle is happy, popping with bright blue and green and the beer is a great, elegant pilsner that is easy to like and drink. We wanted the place to be a sort of beer restaurant with a wine bar quality to it. So, I wanted to base the interior on calm green colours and let the bright details pop through as sharp contrast. I’m especially fond of the bar with its Pils-patterned glass front and the Terrazzo top made out of old beer bottles. And when you visit, make sure you head to the restrooms. Too often I visit restaurants that didn’t make an effort to make nice and fresh restrooms and it really feels cheap and boring. Especially if the accessibility restroom is made with minimum effort. Here I had the opportunity to make the restrooms into walk-in sculptures.

Do you think that the current situation has or will change the design of restaurants and other public areas?

— Naturally, the short-term effect has been less people at the venues and more distance between the patrons, but when the coast is clear, people will go out more than ever and then we’ll be back to packing as much people inside as possible again. This year we have seen some amazing creativity from venues with, for instance, winter outdoor seating and even Guide Michelin restaurants offering take away ”cook your self baskets” for the weekends. I hope this creativity will be permanent, says Holm.

What’s up next for you?

— Several furniture projects, both commercial and one-off ones for secret clients, and hopefully we can get started on new Dugges restaurants in the near future. I’m also waiting for a client to ask me to design a private house, museum, or large public artwork. That would be very interesting. So, don’t be shy.


Sustainability and madness when Henrik Vibskov shows at Paris fashion week

It’s been 20 years since the danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov left Central saint Martins to start his own brand, and this year it’s celebrated with a cake collection. The men’s A/W 2021 collection was shown during the digital Paris fashion week. The collection is inspired by the different colors, textures and shapes of cake as well as tablecloths, baking tools and pastry chefs. In the collection we see creamy pastels, large checked patterns and playful colors that mirror the theme. 

Other than the show the collection is portrayed in “The collection video”. The video presents a set with green gel cakes in a surrealistic baking factory, all in a fantasy world on napkin-trees and laser gel pearls. The video ends with the models celebrating with green jello cakes and green drinks at a large table showing the inspiration for the collection: cake and how it’s connected to celebration.

All fabrics for the collection have been chosen based on their sustainable qualities. The garments are made from organic and or upcycled cotton, recycled polyester and PET bottles, tencel made from upcycled cotton and cellulose fibres and European linen and virgin wool. The set for the collection video was made of the material from an old set to minimize the usage of new material and environmental impact.