Gothenburg's Velour strikes a feel-good chord. By Naomi Nevitt
"Gothenburg has a big, underground indie scene," says Per Andersson, founder and head designer of men's and women's wear label Velour, of Sweden's second city. Finally rising out from under Stockholm's shadow, Gothenburg is now creating its own buzz thanks to a recent slew of emerging designers, Velour, in particular, blazing the way.
Originally launched as the in-house label of Andersson's dead-stock shop Nostalgi, Velour launched in 2001 as an extension of the store's rising cult status among the southern city's creative inhabitants. Sharing an inner courtyard with a local music studio, Nostalgi attracted the city's local musicians, models, photographers, and others who fell for Andersson's uncommon selection of never-worn vintage initially taken from his grandparents' tailor shop in Mariestad.
Learning to construct clothing from an early age as part of the family business, Andersson launched Velour to reflect the innovative ways he observed his artistic clients mixing the shop's pieces from the past with their modern sensibilities. For spring, Andersson blends his perennially preppy influences of American classics, "simple, almost naive '60s early American style," he says, of pleated trousers and jacquard button-downs, with early electronic music and computer games imagery; other graphic prints inspired by binary code are incorporated into his collection of oversized T-shirts, voluminous shorts, and rain-ready anoraks.
"Swedish fashion companies are normally built on an clean jean product," Andersson says of his peers. "But without this as the cornerstone of our company, I can feel more free to reach the Velour aesthetic—a nonchalant, contemporary, feel-good look."
Gothenburg's Velour strikes a feel-good chord.