Zweedse melancholie op z'n droogst

Zweedse melancholie op z'n droogst

14-07-2012 | 13.04

Zit je te denken een nieuwe bikini of zwembroek te kopen? Klinkt niet echt als een goed plan met al die regen buiten. Dit jaar kan je beter investeren in een goede regenjas. En daar kan Stutterheim je mee helpen.

Alexander Stutterheim (geen familie van Duncan) is de oprichter van de Zweedse regenjassenmakers Stutterheim. Zij maken prachtige handgemaakte jassen. Elke jas is genummerd en draagt de naam van de maker. Tijdens een interview legt Stutterheim uit: "It's a quality statement but also implies a philosophical insight. The mass production, throw-away mentality isn't good for us, nor for our nature, our wallets and our sanity."

De tagline van Stutterheim - Swedish melancholy at its driest - laat zien waar Stutterheim zijn inspiratie vandaan haalt: "You can't enjoy the taste of honey if you drink it all the time. Melancholy is an active state. When we’re melancholic, we feel uneasy with the status quo and the conventions of our society.  I think at it's like a lucky heart with some burned edges. A rather withering sense that is not all bad, but enough to seek out new ways of doing things. That drives creativity."

Dat is de reden waarom, op een regenachtige ochtend, Alexander Stutterheim besloot dat er iets moest veranderen: "I was about to go to work in a downpour and I realized that I had no proper raincoat. Just a flabby, ugly goretex jacket that made me look like a golfer or mountain climber."

Niet lang daarna vond hij zijn grootvader's oude regenjas. "My granddad was a wonderful man. He often went out fishing during stormy weather, wrote poems in the evening and managed a big theater in Stockholm. He scared me to the bone every time he set off to sea to catch fish, defying the heaviest rain and the loudest of thunderstorms."

Stuttheim vervolgt: "When I found his coat, I instantly wanted to wear it. It was both stunningly cool and very practical too. Carefully, I brought it back home to my kitchen and imagined it in an updated, contemporary version."

Dat was het begin van Stutterheim's productie op kleine schaal in Zweden. "I grew up in a country where you shouldn't believe that you have any skills or something that you can be proud of. It actually has a name: The Jante Law. But I'm glad to have challenged that norm. I now have a own rain store in Stockholm and I'm expanding very slowly together with the seamstresses. Mostly new colors for the Arholma coat but also rubber boots."

Op de vraag of Stutterheim naar Amsterdam komt, antwoordt hij: "My grandfather emigrated from Amsterdam after being a spy in WWII, so I have my part of my DNA in Amsterdam. I really like the idea of having everything close to me,  so having a own store in Netherlands would be fantastic. In the mean time you can expect me to make new quality stuff focused on rain and melancholy. Well, at least if I can keep my health and make some money out of it. There is a lot of stuff that I want to do and I really really hate the fact that we are going to die soon and be dead for billions of years."

Inderdaad, Zweedse melancholie op z'n droogst.

Volg Alexander Stutterheim's open verhalen over zijn activeiten in de mode wereld op hun Facebook pagina en neem bekijk de collectie van Stutterheim op hun site. Dan kun je misschien toch nog een beetje genieten van deze verwaterde zomer: Stutterheim Raincoats.

Tekst: Martijn Savenije. Als fotograaf en oprichter van copypasteculture houdt hij ervan mooie dingen te observeren en ontdekken.