There’s a huge demand for the clean cut and often sparse Scandinavian style within menswear fashion right now, the simple lines and plain designs are slowly becoming the new must have look for both men and women. Being the style obsessed people that we are here at JA, it was important for us to bring to in an accessories brand that reflects this nordic style to follow in the paths of our current Swedish brands J Lindeberg and Tiger of Sweden. So for this season we’ve brought in Swedish luggage brand Sandqvist as our new must have brand when it comes to bags, founded in 2004 by Anton Sandqvist it embodies all things nordic in regards to it’s design and durability. Instead of me introducing the brand by listing the key features and basic history (blah blah blah), I thought I’d let co-owner Sebastian Westin do the honours….
What’s your role within Sandqvist?
I’m one of the three owners, it is me, Daniel and Anton Sandqvist (the founder). I’m also the PR and Marketing manager, I’m also Editor in chief of our publication Sandqvist Journal and HR, and of course I’m also involved in our bag’s design and company strategy.
Busy man then! How did the idea for Sandqvist come about?
It was Anton’s (right) idea. He was working as a engineer at a big global company and got tired of the really ugly computer bags that where on the market at the time, so he tried sewing one himself…
Well that seems fair enough…What were you doing before starting up the company?
Me (middle) and Daniel (left) had a free lifestyle magazine that we started 2003. We worked with these two companies in parallel with each other for a couple of years but when Sandqvist kicked off we went full time with Sandqvist.
Is being a Swedish brand essential to the brand’s philosophy?
We design the bags here in Stockholm, and the design is definitely Scandinavian, and that is essential for the brands philosophy.
What are the key features we should look for in a Sandqvist bag?
Durability, functional, practical and good looking.
The Nordic landscape seems to be a huge influence for you guys, are you an outdoor wanderer or more of an urban settler?
I’m a bit of both. I love fly fishing, I’ve basically grown up sailing the archipelago and I really need to get out in the wild at least a couple of times a year. Sandqvist has got a really nice cabin up in the north of Sweden where we go to fly fish, ski or hike, or just to get away from the city. But at the same time I love the urban life, good food, good drinks and all that comes with that. So it’s the mix of these things, and I guess it is the same thing with Sandqvist.
The Scandinavian designers are at the centre of the fashion industry right now, what do you think makes Swedish brands such as yourselves so different from other European labels?
Maybe it is the melancholy. We haven’t got the easiest time, with having winter for at least 5 month a year, it’s so cold and dark. So the clothes become simple or maybe usable, nothing extravagance or for show, just clean lines, black fabric, no fun stuff 🙂 No I don’t know, I don’t think we have such a thought out [purposeful] style in Sweden.
How would you style Sandqvist into your everyday wardrobe?
I love totebags. At the moment I’m using our tote bag Sally made in lightweight ripstop material. That bag goes perfect with my otherwise wintery coat and Timberland boots.
Sweden is your home? So you must know about all the best places to go, where would you recommend we visit?
During summer you should be in Stockholm and the archipelago which is very accessible, there are boats going to basically all islands, and because of the freedom to roam you can stay in tents or in a sleeping bag on the beach. Stockholm is also quite clean, and you can go swim right in the city, which many people do, usually after the clubs are closing at night!
During wintertime you really should go up north, Sweden is really elongated, so if you go just five-seven of hours north of Stockholm you are going to see some really cool arctic environment. But after that you can keep on going maybe ten more hours on just straight icy roads going through white mountains and green forests.
Future plans for Sandqvist?
So many 🙂 At the moment we are focusing on our 10 year anniversary which we will be having this year. We have some really cool stuff coming up except that but I can’t really say yet…