Interview as told to Hateff Mousaviyan of Nöjesguiden
”Malmö Clothing Co. is a shop selling Malmö branded clothing and merchandise. Everything is printed here in Malmö and is designed out of love for our city.
The shop will start off by selling t-shirts, drawstring gym bags, posters, stickers and postcards. We’re starting with these items because they’re the most universally common souvenir items. The shirts and gym bags are printed here in Malmö on sustainable & ethically produced material. The posters, stickers and postcards are also printed locally. This is important to me because supporting local businesses is essential in making our city stronger and using non-sustainable & non-ethical garments is not an option I’m willing to entertain.
Over the next few months, I’ll expand into more functional items that represent our city and give actual practical value to the customers. To start off the first designs are created by me. I’m a graphic designer by trade, so naturally I thought to create the first batch of prints. The first four designs are one’s that I’ve been thinking about making for some time, so it made sense to me to use them as the inaugural collection.
However, starting in September, I will be rotating one design out of the shop and replacing it with a design created by a local designer/artist. The point of this is to make sure that the community feels apart of the shop and that the products in the shop accurately reflect the people of Malmö. It also opens the door to reaching new hyper local communities and building a brand that practices what it preaches: “Printed in Malmö, designed with love for our city.”
I’m originally from Southern California, but have been away for almost 10 years. I was living in San Francisco and Montréal with my Swedish partner before moving here in 2011. After working as a dish washer and bar tender for a few years here, I was finally able to make the right connections and continue my work as a graphic designer full time here in Malmö.
In 2015, myself and two friends started a shop called “From Skåne” which sold products made by Skånsk designers. We found that there was a need for this type of project in the community, but the timing wasn’t exactly right for us to grow the brand like we wanted. So after a year and a half, we shut the project down.
Since then I’ve been continuing my work as a designer with various clients and with the Backyard Sessions festival and events. Being a freelance designer has allowed me to always have multiple projects on my plate.
Earlier this year I made it a point to put the time, effort and resources into the Malmö Clothing Co. project so that I could launch in the summer of 2017. Now we’re at that point and I’m incredibly excited to bring the project to life.
The concept behind the shop has come out of a constant need. Every time I show a visiting friend around Malmö, they fall in love with the city. It’s so diverse, inviting, alive and beautiful. Yet when they’re leaving and they want to get something small to remember the city by or to give to someone as a gift, there’s nothing but Dalahäst’s, moose t-shirts and poorly printed post cards. Most of the available merchandise is mass produced, aesthetically unappealing and misrepresenting the amazing city that we call home. With the sheer volume of creative, ambitious and talented people in this city, there should be someplace or someone creating interesting and representative merchandise that doesn’t involve a flag or a moose illustration. We deserver better.
I’ve been working with events and shops enough to know that it takes time to build the trust with local customers, so I’m committed to being around for a year at minimum. I’d like to see the brand and shop grow into an ever-changing hub for clothing and merchandise that represents our city.
There will be a web shop opening in the fall and collaborations with other local brands to make limited collections. The brand is meant to be about collaboration and experimentation, so you will always find something new and interesting here.
I also want the shop to be just as interesting to locals as much as tourists. It can provide a glimpse into creative pockets of your town that you might not know existed.
We’re located inside Mitt Möllan and the reason being is to put it simply, I love Mitt Möllan. It’s a complicated place, but that’s the beauty of it. It has gone through so many transformations over the years and now it feels like it’s finally finding it’s identity. I want to be a part of that and contribute to it’s place in the Malmö scene. I also love working with the talented people in Mitt Möllan (the building staff as well as the shop tenants). It’s a place that rewards hustle and genuine work. Plus the food here is obscenely good!
Since January 2017, a friend and I have been organising the Mitt Möllan Afterwork series, so I feel right at home here. It’s a natural fit for the concept and the brand.”