Midnight Pearls 3

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beyond Retro

Beyond Retro went beyond ALL my expectations! I've had numerous Swedish friends advice me to stop into this one of a kind boutique in Stockholm. Of course I HAD to see what all the hype was about. What I discovered is that Beyond Retro...is indeed BEYOND retro...they DEFINE Vintage Clothing. They have set the bar for consignment of vintage clothing. They have an unbelievably exhausted collection of every decade...in ONE store. I stood there in awe asking myself, "HOW and WHO was able to track down these pieces?" Their website says it best:
Our large-scale stores are packed full of thousands of one-of-a-kind vintage garments, handpicked from all over the globe, and spanning the decades from the 1900s through to the 1990s. With a century’s worth of vintage clothing to rifle through, you’re guaranteed to find a bargain!

Our eclectic and talented staff - made up of vintage clothing historians, performers, illustrators, designers and musicians - make Beyond Retro a creative hub which attracts fabulous individuals from all walks of life!
The store seems to have no end too, it's HUGE! My only complaint was the price - it was a bit out of my personal price range, but it's like buying an antique...a piece of history...so I guess I can validate that! I will forever now associate "vintage" with Beyond Retro. You just gave to experience this store for yourself. I really appreciate stores that push me beyond my comfort zone with style and fashion. I confess that I'm NOT retro enough for the majority of the pieces. BUT the store pushed me to an edge, to consider how these COULD become practical possibilities. That's when I started having fun...

Friday, June 4, 2010

IC Companys

Reading that Tiger of Sweden was bought by the Danish IC Companys perked my interest a bit. Turns out IC Companys owns:
Peak Performance
Tiger of Sweden
Part Two
By Malene Birger
Saint Tropez
Soaked in Luxury
Designers Remix Collection by Charlotte Eskildsen

Here's what the website says is their mission: "IC Companys offers a solid base for brands to grow and expand from. All brands must have international potential. Each brand must establish a clear brand identity and earn money in the long term. We work within the fashion industry." Their vision: "We want to offer brands unique possibilities to grow through talented people, professional support functoins and financial strength."

My questions always bring questions...like how is a group like this even formed? What's the history? They formed in 2001 by the merger of Carli Gry International A/S and InWear Group A/S. Together, this company ranks as one of the largest clothing companies in Northern Europe. They have 2,200 employees with sales companies in 11 countries including: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland, and Canada. The brands are sold to 11,000 distributors in more than 40 countries.

Tiger of Sweden: An Art Gallery of Fashion

Tiger of Sweden is by far Sweden's most beautiful contribution to the world of fashion. I was so excited to find a flagship store in Stockholm! After doing some quick research, I was shocked to learn that the store actually started in 1903 by the tailors Markus Schwarmann and Hjalmar Nordström. The original focus was tailoring menswear. The label that is known today didn't start until the early 1990s. Their goal has been to design modern and attractive suits for the young inner-city working crowd. In 2003 the label was sold to a Danish company. Their longstanding history is nothing compared to how impressive their collection is. It was as if I were standing in an art gallery. Beautiful pieces and quality craftsmanship! I did not allow myself to try anything on, for this would have been too cruel given Tiger is a bit out of my price range!

For those obsessed, check out their blog!


Acne. No, this Swedish Jean company wasn't obsessed with prepubescent teens, but rather "Ambition to Create Novel Expressions." A clever name actually.

So of course in Stockholm I had to locate these famous jeans! Acne was founded in 1996 and in 1997 began distributing their jeans to stores within Scandinavia. In 2003 they opened their first concept store and no have about 10 stores located in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Australia, France and the United States.

They don't advertise or publish anything in magazines - instead they have their own fashion magazine that comes out twice a year called Acne Paper. Their selection of jeans is impressive to say the least and I admire the way they live up to their name!

Yes, this is real.

I couldn't resist. Oddly enough, it's not full of clothes you might define as "skanky." (I was a bit nervous searching "skank clothing store" on google!) They actually sell street-wear with a Jamaican flavor. One website described Skank as "a world where design and expression go hand in hand, and where creativity has a rebellious streak." Come to find out - Skank is Swedish born and bred! Their lead designer is Tomas Björkén and they are centered in Stockholm!

Beauty defined?

All of these advertisements for these major stores involve beautiful women in bikinis. What message does this send to buyers? What does this say about women? Who is their target audience? Most importantly, how is beauty being defined?

The Tshirt that says it all...

This sums up my blog completely. Cubus read my mind.

The rockstar shades are my newest addition thanks to Gina Tricot!