If you’re into denim, Stockholm is without a doubt the place to go in Scandinavia. But if you bring your girlfriend, and along the way she gets a bit bored of all the denim shops you drag her into, you can always let her browse through some of the great second hand stores of the city. I visited quite a few, but this one was definitely the best.
After one very active year as a denim reporter, I’ve often heard the Swedish store chain SOLO mentioned. Until recently I had not set foot inside one myself, but I had an expectation of what it would be like, and let’s just say it was met. I only visited one of the “mothershops” on Norrmalmstorg in central Stockholm, but in this review I will project my observations to the other stores. SOLO is stuffed to the brim with an overwhelming supply of goods, and apparently this sales strategy works. You can question the aesthetics of it and the shops are somewhat hodgepodges, but the fact is that SOLO is a success, and they truly know how to sell jeans.
Located on one of the main streets of downtown Stockholm, in the corner of the first floor inside something that looks more like a department store than a typical high-end denim supplier, you find Awesome Denim. And it is actually quite impressive. Run by the Swedish agents of Edwin and Australian up-comer Neuw, both naturally well represented in the shop, Awesome Denim also stocks Indigofera, Denim Demon, Nudie, Diesel, and new brand from founder of Cheap Monday, Örjan Andersson. The inventory and decor of the shop is ultra-minimalistic and the jeans are stacked in impressively straight and tidy piles. Now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking, please enjoy.
This is Sivletto. A little island is a sea of mass consumers that was created for those who would prefer their jeans dry and high, their hair combed back with plenty of pomade, and Elvis on vinyl. Funny thing, try to spell “elvis” backwards and you’ll get “sivle;” that doesn’t really work for a store name, but throw in a double T and an O, and there you go; Sivletto!
Spinning off from the review of Unionville, this little video shows you how the Luhanko boys hem a pair of jeans in their shop (please excuse my poor camera handling). Also, please note that this is a traditional lock stitch, if you want the chain stitch you’ll have to visit Sivletto and ask Big Freddy over there to do it for you. Here’s a picture of the final result:
Within only one single year, Unionville in Stockholm has become one of the most noteworthy denim retailers in Europe, and the shop is without a doubt the denim capital of Scandinavia. In December 2011, Unionville celebrated it’s 1 year birthday, but the road to success has not always been an easy ride. The secret is passion, and a whole lot of it. I’ve waited a long time to visit the store, and it fully met my expectations.