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Inside Steven Alan

Introducing: Schnayderman’s

  • September 17th, 2013 | In Stock, New Arrivals

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    Swedish shirting brand Schnayderman’s is new to our stores this season. Co-founder Joel Urwitz sat down to talk shirts and share his list of must-do’s in Stockholm.

    Learn more about Schnayderman’s in this video.

    Before you got into the shirting game, you were a lawyer. What made you take the leap?
    After a couple of years at a law firm in Stockholm, I wanted to pursue this dream of building a shirt brand that made the shirts I always wanted, but couldn’t find.

    What was the hardest part of the process? The most rewarding?
    The hardest part was letting go of a “safe” job – a monthly salary, an office to go to, colleagues, etc. I can’t say that everything until now has been easy but it’s definitely more fun when you get to work with something you are nuts about.

    The most rewarding thing is when you walk down the street and see a stranger wearing your shirt. That is amazing.

    Much like ourselves, your desire to create shirts stemmed from a frustration at not being able to find shirts you liked. What were your gripes with the options available to you in the European market, and what are you aiming to provide?
    Like a lot of men I know, I wear a shirt every day, but I found it hard to find good casual shirts I liked. The classic ones were too wide and too long. Or they’d make “fashion statements” with different color buttons, contrast stitching or printed under-collars. And whenever I did find a shirt I liked, it would be gone with the next season.

    With Schnayderman’s we wanted to create a go-to brand, that always provided customers with timeless shirts, which is why so many of our favorite styles are stock and come back season after season.

    The Schnayderman’s team are self-described “shirt nerds.” What are some of the design details you geek out about the most?
    First of all, we really wanted to find a timeless fit that didn’t feel too wide and long, or too trendy and slim. We geeked out about that a lot. Hundreds of samples and patterns, back and forth, just for the fit.

    We have a “less is more” attitude when it comes to design. We wanted to create a casual shirt where there were just great small details such as the a perfectly sized breast pocket and cuffs, the perfect button-down collar, the discreet Schnayderman’s engraving on the mother-of-pearl buttons, and of course the finishing of the shirt. The rest is all about the right fabrics, which we put a lot of time into. From small Japanese boutique weavers to classic favorites from Italy, and so on.

    There are three shirting styles within your line – Formal, Classic, and Leisure – with each style based on the same cut. What was the idea behind this system?
    We wanted to make it easy for the customer so we created one fit but in a wide variety of sizes from a 14.5 to a 18.5. So once the customer finds their size it is easy to get more styles, either direct from the shelf or online.

    Every season, we add some styles and many of them become favorites and come back. For instance, this fall we have some beautifully thick Italian corduroy and some brushed Oxfords that have been very popular.

    We’re happy to add Schnayderman’s to a growing stable of Stockholm-based designers in our shops, with the likes of Acne, Hope, Our Legacy, and Stutterheim. Over the past several years, there’s been a growing interest, worldwide, in a Scandinavian design sensibility and aesthetic. Why do you think this is?
    I believe there are a couple of factors coming together. Old jobs disappearing to low-wage countries have brought new creatively focused industries to life and we have a booming advertising, tech and design scene. And because we are small countries, we are driven to venture outside our borders.

    A “less is more” design approach might also tap in to a growing worldwide audience of people that feel they don’t need their clothes to make a big statement. I think more and more people feel secure and comfortable that a well-made garment, that lasts over time, will be noticed by others that are on the same page.

    What do you think it is about your design sensibility that makes it so well-suited for city life?
    I think one benefit of an understated, well-made shirt in a great fabric is that you can go from the office, to a dinner, to a party and look and feel great at all three. And I think that is how many people live their lives today, with work, family, and friends, blending together.

    How should we spend a weekend in Stockholm?
    I would definitely try to go to Stockholm during the bright months of the year, between April-September. Stockholm is so beautiful during this time.

    Stockholm is all about water and is probably the only capital in the world where you can actually swim in the middle of the city. The Stockholm archipelago is basically 30,000 little islands and inlets and is absolutely beautiful.

    Some of our favorites:

    Lydmar – One of the few boutique hotels in Stockholm. The restaurant is a bit of a scene and the rooms are nice. It’s across the water from the Royal Castle and right next to the Grand Hotel.
    Grand Hotel – The classic, old-world hotel in Stockholm.
    Nobis Hotel – A hotel situated in an old law firm. Nice rooms, and probably the best location in town.
    Rival – This is located in Södermalm, in an old movie theater.
    Ett Hem – Supper boutique, with amazingly designed rooms.
    Story Hotel – Smaller, simpler, but still very nice.

    Tjoget – A wonderful mixed-use space with a barbershop, restaurant, and bar.
    Tranan – This is an old, classic Swedish “beer cafe” with great food in a cozy, relaxed setting with good people watching. Great meatballs (which are not listed on the menu). You can also go downstairs to the basement for a drink.
    Wedholms Fish – Upscale dining. Possibly the best fish in town.
    Operakällaren – Located in the same building as the Royal Opera, there is a Cafe Opera (nightclub), Operakällaren (formal dining) and Backfickan (casual dining).
    Gondolen – Great restaurant with a magnificent view.
    Sturehof – Fish restaurant in the middle of Stureplan. Open late and good Swedish classic food. Good scene.
    Teatergrillen – Great food in a nice atmosphere. After dinner, go through the kitchen to Riche for a drink.
    Riche – This restaurant turns into a bar/lounge at night. There are two rooms, the smaller “little bar” with louder music and more people, and the “large bar” with tables and food.
    Berns – Large event space, restaurant and nightclub frequented by August Strindberg back in the day. Also a hotel.
    Spy Bar – The in-crowd end here. The “Gubbrummet” at the top floor in the corner is the hot ticket (and thus hard to get into). VERY crowded.
    Oaxen – One of the best 50 restaurants in the world. Well worth a visit.

    Djurgården – A large green island in the middle of Stockholm, filled with museums, cafes, and stuff (the Wasa, Rosendal’s Gardens, Cafe Blå Porten and Junibacken are all here)
    The Vasa Museum – A war ship that sank in 1628 and was rescued in the 1960s almost entirely intact.
    Rosendal’s Gardens
    Junibacken – Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstocking, etc.) land. Great for smaller kids.
    Skärgården  – The Stockholm archipelago is thousands of small islands and incredibly beautiful. Easy to get to by ferry and many of them have restaurants and places to stay.
    The Royal Castle – The changing of the guard happens most days at 12:15.
    Photographic Museum – Fairly new, and a big hit. A must for all the cool Stockholmers.
    Modern Museum – World class modern and contemporary art, like Robert Rauschenberg’s sheep. Nice restaurant, too.
    Stampen – Jazz and other music performances at this old classic.
    Debaser – Music and live performances.

    Schnayderman’s – Our weekend store is located at Stenbocksgatan 1. Please come by!
    NK – The main department store.
    ACNE jeans – Has its flagship on Norrmalmstorg.
    Svenskt Tenn – Classic design store, with great fabrics, etc. from Josef Frank.
    Nordiska Galleriet – The go-to place for design, especially Scandinavian.
    Galleri Asplund – Great design store, with wonderful, curated selection.
    Sibyllans Te och Kaffehandel – Great old fashioned tea and coffee shop. Well worth a visit.

    Many thanks to Joel and the team at Schnayderman’s! Check out their recent feature in the Wall Street Journal, and shop their shirting in our web store.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 at 6:29 pm and is filed under In Stock, New Arrivals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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