March 1, 2014 by Ville Raivio
VR: Your age and occupation?
EM: I’m 35 and run a few companies with a friend and business partner. We have a communications company (www.fyyr.se), a clothing brand (www.e-f-v.com) and our online vintage shop, En Förlorad Värld (www.enforloradvarld.se).
VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your style enthusiasm)?
EM: No children, but I have a fiancée and 2 dogs. My fiancée thinks my interest in classic menswear is “cute”, haha. She does like it that I’m passionate about things though.
VR:…and your parent’s and siblings’ reactions back in the days?
E: They’re extremely supportive. I have 2 brothers who are both very supportive. My parents have helped me out financially to be able to start up our clothing brand E-F-V. People generally tend to like it when they meet someone who’s really passionate about what he/she does.
VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides apparel?
EM: I play guitar & sing (schooled since the age of 5), build furniture, write and think out new business strategies. Sometimes I go skateboarding with a bunch of other old timers.
VR: How did you first become interested in clothes, and when did you turn your eyes towards the classics? Why these instead of fashion?
EM: I used to have an interest in fashion when I was younger. I have always loved the Mod look (influenced by ’60s bands), and found my way into classic menswear that way. I started collecting ties and suits, and soon started getting a more general interest in classic menswear. I bought all the literature I could get my hands on, I sought out online forums and learned all I could about what makes quality in shoes, suits, ties, shirts, etc. It’s an entirely different world from fashion. Classic menswear is made to last. There’s no need to get rid of last year’s clothes due to new trends. In fact, I still wear some of my dad’s Harris Tweed jackets he bought when he was my age. I also like the simplicity of only using variations of the same garments, but depending on how you combine them, you’re telling completely different things about yourself.
VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of clothing — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
EM: As mentioned earlier, I have gathered knowledge from books, online forums, new friends I have met through my interest in classic menswear. I have also learned quite a few things by learning how to sew, and picking apart garments to review different kinds of constructions.
VR: What’s the story behind En Förlorad Värld and when was the webstore founded? How do you select the goods on offer?
EM: En Förlorad Värld is actually awaiting an update at the moment, we are now mainly focusing on getting our own brand E-F-V going. The stories are intertwined though. Me and my business partner and friend, Lars Holmberg, started a company called Fyyr in 2010. It’s a communications company, through which we have helped out numerous other companies with advertising, campaigns, online marketing, etc. We created En Förlorad Värld as a trial and error project to try out different SEO strategies. I had a big interest in classic menswear, so we thought it would be a good idea to start an online vintage shop. Initially we sold stuff from my own wardrobe to get things going.
The interest for this kind of business was bigger than we had expected though. We were very successful in the SEO work we did and got a great hit status on Google. Soon we expanded our initial idea of just selling a few items to participating in vintage fairs and acquiring contacts all over the world, from whom we sourced lots of vintage clothes. It was mainly my pet project, I bought all the goods that we sold. Since both me and Lars wanted to do something creative, we started playing with the idea of launching a brand of clothes of our own design. We have now designed a line of suits and coats that will be released F/W 2014/2015. En Förlorad Värld has been in hibernation for a while but is planned to be back as soon as we have time to do a total makeover of the site.
VR: Based on your observations, how would you say the average Swedish man dresses?
EM: I think Swedish men dress with consciousness. Swedish men are generally more into fashion than classic menswear. Things have definitely changed over the past 7-10 years though. The demand for long-lasting quality garments has increased immensely. Today you can walk through Stockholm and see a whole lot more quality suits with a good fit (not to mention quality shoes) than you did just 5 years ago. People are willing to spend more money on quality. When technology and an economically unstable world has put the rest of our lives into hyper drive, I guess we start appreciating genuine things, such as handmade quality garments made in a slow-moving process, so much more.
VR: How would you describe your own dress? Which RTW makers or tailors do you favour?
EM: I’d probably describe it as a work in progress. I favour clothes from classically British, American and Italian brands. Where the rest of the world of classic menswear seem to be mostly into Italian tailoring at the moment, I can still appreciate the virtues of a British-constructed jacket at times. I can also love the look of the classic American sack suits and Ivy style. Some of my favourite garments at the moment come from Kiton, RL Polo, Borrelli, Hackett and, of course, E-F-V.
VR: Who or what inspires you?
EM: I’m inspired by everything I see around me. Not just things that are naturally connected to classic menswear, it can be through art and nature as well. Right now I’m very inspired by the DIY spirit that’s sweeping through the classic menswear crowd. The last couple of years we have seen lots of new tie makers, self learned tailors and menswear entrepreneurs spawn from the vast and very differentiated world of classic menswear.
VR: What is your definition of style?
EM: Something that is truly personal and yours. You can of course look to, and be influenced by, others but all men (and women) with great style do it with a sense of personality. This transcends (way beyond) the boundaries of classic menswear, you can see it in all kinds of fashion, music, art and life in general.
Get the basics:
- Navy suit + black oxford shoes + some repp ties with simple patterns or solid muted colours
- Grey suit
- Brown shoes of your own liking
- Navy sport coat, preferably in a non-worsted material
- Mid-grey flannel pants
- Khaki chinos
It goes without saying that all pieces must have a decent fit. Most people need to get clothes adjusted at a tailor’s to get them fit properly (if they don’t go bespoke at once, which I wouldn’t recommend as a start). When you’ve got these things down you can start increasing your wardrobe with all the things you find interesting. A good idea is to visit some of the clothing forums and get hands-on tips from experienced posters.
Some forums worth mentioning:
Some people posting on these forums are kind of harsh, so you’ve got to have thick skin when starting out.
Photos: Erik Mannby