Tiger of Sweden goes upmarket with Christoffer Lundman, targets international expansion
Tiger of Sweden’s positioning is evolving with finesse. For the first time, the Swedish fashion label founded in Uddevalla in 1903, which became part of Danish apparel group IC in 2003, has called on the services of a creative director. In June 2017, it hired Christoffer Lundman, a talented Swedish designer who was working at Burberry at the time, having notably had stints at Tom Ford and, for seven years, Acne Studios.
Having grown up in the north of Sweden, and after living 20 years in London, Lundman returned to his native country last summer, taking charge of design for Tiger of Sweden's men's, women's and denim lines. Lundman's first menswear collection for the Autumn/Winter 2018-19, unveiled at Pitti Uomo in Florence and then presented in Paris, set the label off on a new creative direction, featuring a subtler, more eclectic style.
The collection includes for example the label's signature fitted suits, though they are reinterpreted with a lighter touch, especially when combined with more daring items such as a suede and shearling reversible gilet, a zipped denim jacket, cosy sweaters with abstract patterns and navy-style, high-collared shirts. "The style is contemporary, timeless, with a formal feel but an informal attitude," said Christoffer Lundman.
"[Tiger of Sweden] is a heritage Scandinavian label, combining quality with a minimalistic style. It's all in the cuts, the proportions and the fabrics," added Lundman. In this collection, he went for a classic colour palette (navy blue, indigo, anthracite, black, white and beige) and used silk, moleskin cotton, jersey cotton, Italian flannels, cashmere, shearling and alpaca. The fabrics are mostly sourced in Italy, and the garments are manufactured chiefly in Europe (Italy and Turkey) and for a small part in Hong Kong.
The arrival of Christoffer Lundman coincided with the appointment of Danish executive Hans-Christian Meyer as General Manager last June. This marked the deployment of a new strategy for Tiger of Sweden, which is still positioned in the accessible luxury price segment but is keen to evolve its style. To achieve this goal, the label is willing to leave enough time to Lundman to "create an atmosphere around the brand, taking all elements into account."
Tiger of Sweden used to show in London, but for the time being it has decided to suspend its catwalk shows. "For me, telling a story is more important than staging an eight-minute show. We want to talk about all our sources of inspiration, especially the history of Sweden, for example through cinema, music and architecture, as I did for this collection," said Christoffer Lundman.
The label also produces womenswear, which accounts for nearly 30% of sales and is only targeted to the domestic market. Tiger of Sweden's range also includes accessories, from footwear to handbags, plus an eyewear line manufactured under licence.
Tiger of Sweden sells mostly in Scandinavia. In Europe, it has a strong following in Germany, and a little less so in the UK and France. It is also present in Canada, and currently operates 20 directly owned stores, 45 retail corners and has about 2,000 multibrand clients. The label's current objective is to accelerate its international expansion.
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