Back in December I began thinking, that was time for a new pair of raw denim jeans. I had been reading After the Denim regularly for some months, and had been truely impressed by Simon's knowledge I decided to email him for advice. After a few weeks of mailing back and forth with Simon I decided that a forthcoming trip to Stockholm would be the perfect place to get some new jeans and try them on before. Simon seemed interested and asked me if I wanted to write a little piece for his blog about my experience and a few shops in Stockholm. So here we are.
Stockholm (and Sweden in general) is a brilliant place to go shopping for menswear of different kinds. Shops like Nitty Gritty and Welcome, Tres Bien Shop's branch in Stockholm together with Our Legacy, are in my opinion shops which can compete with the best when looking for a more fashion-esque selection; this is where you get brands such as Nigel Cabourn, Visvim, Nanamica, Gitman Brothers, A.P.C, Adam Kimmel etc. But I decided to focus on, Mr Mudd and Mr Gold and Unionville. Both stores have a somewhat more heritage and authenticity oriented profile with a heavy selection of denim.
Mr Mudd and Mr Gold
The store is situated in Stockholm's bohemian/creative quarter called SoFo (South of Folkungsgatan) with lots of little shops and cafés. From all these shops, this one definitely stands out. It's actually two stores in one as Swedish brand Denim Demon has recently opened their own store within the store. A history of the store and an interview with the owner Mikko Engström can be found here.
The selection of brands is amazing; they have a great mix of ”real” heritage brands and brands that reproduce especially old army clothes. American shoe brands like Quoddy, Wesco and White's, Japanese reproductions like The Real McCoy's, Warehouse, Buzz Rickson and Mash are found together with a lot more American, British, Japanese and, of course, Swedish brands. And it is not only clothes but also Japanese and Swedish knives, beads and pins, various sorts of care for both your boots and skin etc. All of it is of course of incredible quality and hand picked by the store.
Unionville is the place to go if you are serious about denim. Started less than a year and a half ago by the guys from Sivletto together with the brothers behind the brand Blue Highway. Sivletto had ordered ten pairs of custom made jeans to their store from Blue Highway and as a result of the co-op they decided to open a shop together which would happen only a few months later in December 2010. The store is one part shop and one part workshop where they repair and alter jeans as well as crafting the Blue Highway jeans. Apart from creating their own jeans in the store they have also recently collaborated with Edwin and Pace.
The selection of brands is very impressive. Apart from a large collection of Red Wing boots it is mainly denim. For the traditionalists, they have a large selection of Levi's Vintage Clothing (rigid and made in USA, of course), but they also have hard-to-get (at these shores at least) Japanese brands like Momotaro, Sugar Cane, Spellbound, Studio D'Artisan, and Iron Heart. Fellow Swedish denim brands Denim Demon and Indigofera can also be found on the shelves. They also have a n extensive selection of mainly Japanese magazines such as 2nd, Free & Easy and Lightning.
Katarina Bangata 69
Personally I ended up purchasing a pair of Levi's Vintage Clothing 501 1947, which I am sure I will be very happy about. I tried on a pair of Momotaro and had had my eyes on a pair of Studio D'Artisan, but tradition and history won in the end. Although I could probably have got the jeans cheaper on sale online somewhere, I was very happy about being able to support the guys from Unionville. They seemed deeply dedicated to everything about their shop, which is something I prefer to support whenever possible.
All words and photos by Lars Engelbrecht