Still keeping it dressy but messy, the collection is an unholy alliance between Swedish pagan traditions and American Sportswear, yet here they are uniting like brothers.
Key pieces include a new OCBD we’re calling Windblown Oxford, which is as airy as it gets. Beaten down to the softest state of perfection. We won't be wearing anything else next summer. To fight the night-time chill, there’s a super-soft blue suede bomber with bright orange lining to throw on (Vive la Suède!).
5 questions with Fifi Hallstensson, Head of Design GANT Rugger.
Q1: Can you tell us more about the inspiration and idea behind the SS14 collection?
The idea for the SS14 collection started to take shape two years back, when shooting the SS13 campaign with #teamamericano in Italy. There we were in Florence, with our menswear muses from NYC - and all they seemed to ask us about was Stockholm! We realized right there and then that we had to mash up NYC and Stockholm in a future collection. We thought, why not just throw a Swedish summer lunch in NYC? Teaming up our friends from New York with some kick-ass Swedes. The entire SS14 collection is built with this event in mind. We wanted to create the quintessential "dressy but messy" wardrobe for those never-ending summer lunches, and on top of that, adding the gear you want to wear the day-after (a madras shirt and swim trunks...).
Q2: How did you transfer the idea into the collection?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure how some far-out ideas are translated into something physical like garments. This collection was all about designing clothes for a specific occasion, constantly having real people and American Sportswear in the back of your mind makes it easier to embody an idea I guess.
Q3: Did you encounter any problems along the way?
When it comes to the collection? Always. The discharge reflective print has been quite a pain in the ass to get right, but it all turned out pretty good in the end. Maybe there’s a #menswear god watching over us.
Q4: What are some of your favorites from the collection?
The goat suede bomber with bright orange lining and a 2 way heavy brass zip. Just realized I forgot to order it in XS for myself! Damn!
Also new for spring is a reflective printed nylon hoodie that shines bright like a diamond when snapping a selfie. Bloggers beware! The Linen/wool blend blazers are perfect for a never-ending summer affair. And when all the toasts are made and the singing has ceased, there you’ll be in a perfect white t-shirt with a Swedish midsummer flower crown print, greeting the sun as it rises for a new day.
Q5: Some tips for the two cities STO and NYC?
Tacombi Fondalita: Best tacos I’ve ever had. (In Sweden we are not spoiled with Mexican Restaurants.) Don’t miss the corn esquites, fish taco and bubbly sangria!
Bergdorf Goodman: Have a Bellini on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman. Amazing view over Central Park. Chris (Creative Director at GANT) told me to go here for people watching. So far I’ve seen Whitney Port and Nicky Hilton. Score!
Gant Rugger store: I always try to combine a visit to our Gant Rugger store on Bleecker Street with a lunch at Buvette. Love the croque madame. Last time I was there I met a Swedish guy named Håkan working there.
Toby’s Estate: When in Williamsburg, start with a coffee at Toby’s Estate. Have a second shot of espresso (and buy a shirt) at the GANT Rugger store, our first store with a full working kitchen. Then visit Gentry for #menswear nirvana. (All on N6th between Berry and Bedford Ave.).
Yale University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library: OK, this is not NYC, but if you have an extra day get to New Haven just to visit Yale University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The building is made of translucent veined marble, transmitting the most beautiful light I’ve ever seen. And the books and manuscripts they carry! The Gutenberg Bible was seriously a holy experience. (I’m missing an emoji symbol here.)
Östermalms Saluhall: A fantastic food hall from the 1880’s, family businesses that’s been around for generations. Also the best spot in Stockholm for posh-old-lady-watching.
Stockholm Archipelago: Hop on a boat from Nybrokajen and see the Stockholm Archipelago, you wont regret it.
Taco Truck: We don’t have many Mexican spots in Sweden but we do have an amazing Taco Truck stopping by our office at lunch time. These guys brought Mexican street food to Stockholm, also one of the pioneers in introducing tasty food trucks to Sweden.
Nitty Gritty: One of the first, and I would say best, independent clothing stores in Stockholm. They carry a great, very personal mix for both men & women.
Nygatan 6: For drinks, any place where Madeleine Rapp works (Right now Nygatan 6). Boss woman when it comes to cocktails. Especially If you’re a fan of mezcal!
Daphne’s: My favorite neighborhood restaurant. If you’re a party of two, you might have luck being seated in the armchairs by the bar. It’s the perfect spot. Make sure to check-out the waitresses and see how a Gant Rugger apron looks after years of use.
Thielska Galleriet: The art museum, Thielska Galleriet, carries collections from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It’s the most beautiful building, located at Blockhusudden in the royal park of Djurgården.