Some things just never get old, like Swedish clogs. Especially when they are brilliantly reinvented every year by Emy Blixt, Designer and Creative Director of Swedish Hasbeens. The brand showed its Spring/Summer 2012 collection during Stockholm Fashion Week last week, and we got a chance to chat with Blixt after the show — about inspiration, sustainability and the value of being genuine.
Since their launch five years ago, Swedish Hasbeens has firmly established themselves on the sustainable fashion scene by not only using ecologically sound materials but also by creating shoes desired by anyone and everyone, even those who couldn’t care less about the environment. Blixt says that sustainability thinking is a very natural part of their way of working. “We like that the natural materials look good, they feel fresh and they age in a beautiful way. If you look at the product and you use them you feel that the material is important.” To me, that is the future of not just eco-fashion, but fashion in general.
Am I dreaming? Maybe, but in the words of the amazing gender-barrier-breaking Wilma Rudolph — a big inspiration for this collection: “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”
“It’s a sporty collection,” says Blixt. “Do you want to see a better world? Then people need to have better health. For better health you need better shoes. We make shoes from natural materials that are comfortable to walk in.”
The shoes are all made from vegetable-tanned chrome-free leather, and in addition to the classic wood soles, Blixt is now introducing heels in other materials like natural rubber, vegetable-tanned leather and natural cork. “We try to innovate on the natural materials that you can find out there,” says Blixt. What I really like about Swedish Hasbeens is that the styles — though innovative and constantly evolving — are timeless and comfortable enough to be worn for a very long time. “I think because of the materials but also because of the traditional Swedish old style in combination with the higher heels make some kind of paradox. It became something new, and people liked it.”
There’s a lot of good design coming out of Sweden these days, I asked Blixt if she thinks there is something particular about the Swedish aesthetic that makes that possible: “I think we are kind of innovative and we try a lot. People also like new ideas. When you make something new in Sweden, I think people really support you in that. From the beginning we had really great response in stores. I think that innovative ideas, and also when you use something typical Swedish, traditional and genuine, people appreciate that.”
Watch the video (above or here) to get the full scoop from Emy Blixt on inspiration, sustainability, the appeal of Swedish design and how it still makes her happy to see people wearing Swedish Hasbeens on the street.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post, where you will see the full collection and hear Blixt talk about the different styles — including the one she calls “her baby.”