No new fashion post this week, but I'll be back next week with a post about either boots or shirts. O, the suspense.
What is your role with Troentorp?
I started working with my father who owns Troentorp about a year ago and my role is now to take care of the website, sales and to think of ways to develop the brand and our products.
Troentorp has been around for a long time. How has the company, and the clogs, evolved throughout the years?
Almost all models were actually designed back in the 60s and 70s for example: The Raphael clogs went in to production in 1962, the Wright clogs in 66, the Audubon clogs in 67 and the Durer clogs in 75 so I think we can say that our clogs are truly retro :)... Having said that, the comfort has improved over the years, first with the all wood “Original” bottoms and then with the softer “Ideal” bottoms that most of our customers buy today.
What is the secret to Troentorp's longevity?
We think it’s the comfort of our foot beds, the quality and our unique style with real nails. In Sweden we also offer two different types of lasts to make sure the clogs fit well.
When we read about major shoe brands with products manufactured by exploiting cheap Asian labour in very unhealthy environments, it's very disturbing for us fashionistas who want shoes that are made ethically and with sensitivity to the planet. But then we come across firms like Troentorp who manufacture their own shoes in excellent conditions, as the video on your website shows. Can you explain what Troentorp's manufacturing philosophy is? How important has it been to keep the manufacturing in Bastad instead of outsourcing it?
It has been really important to keep the quality of our clogs and we feel that having your own factory helps ensuring the quality and it also means we can make sure the production is good to the guys in the factory and the environment. We may end up doing some parts of the work in other European countries going forward but would want to either have our own production or work very closely with a partner to make sure neither the quality, working conditions or the environment suffers.
What is Troentorp's experience with selling and marketing clogs in the US versus Europe? Given your company's long history, how do you think European and North American fashions have, in their own ways, made the clog an icon?
We have actually always sold quite well in the USA and have a lot of American customers that have been using our clogs for 20 – 30 years. I think we managed to keep sales especially in Scandinavia and the USA because people like the fit and the comfort of our clogs.
What's next for Troentorp? Do you have any new styles planned - a ventilated clog for men, perhaps?
Yes we have a few models on their way. We are doing the final modelling work to a Troentorp clog boot and some new sandal models. We are aiming to commit to develop one new model per month after the New Year and also to expand the color options available.
How did "friends from Sweden, Italy, and Mexico" come together and create Maguba?
When I started Maguba two of my flat mates from Mexico and Italy here in London helped me a lot. They are now working with other things but we still meet up all the time and I often ask for their advice.
What did you have to do to go from concept to production?
Well I am pretty lucky in that I grew up with my father’s clog factory next to our house so when we started working with the first Maguba collection I had access to the factory and the knowledge of several guys who have been working with clogs for over 30 and even 40 years.
So you have bright and colourful clogs for young and young-at-heart women, but not for guys. It is a matter of preference or is it just the case that there's a stronger market for women?
We would love to do a men’s collection in the future but so far there just hasn’t been time. We have definitely felt that the market for women has been much stronger.
In creating Maguba, when did you decide to make the environment a key value?
It is just something we think is important so it was clear from the beginning and we are continuing to look at ways to improve with the materials we use and packaging.
What's next for Maguba? Can we get a sneak peek of what the future has in store?
We are just starting to work on the collection for next fall now so I can’t tell you much at the moment :). I have sent you some pictures of the spring collection instead.
For November we wanted to bring her all the styles she’s looking for to get her through the holiday season looking great. It’s hip and current, and true to the J.Jill brand and style. From holiday dressing to cozy sweaters, to luxury accessories and everyday pieces to live in, we have really captured that. She can just put it on and go, and always look completely put together. We also used more colors this season such as pinks, reds and purple. Adding one note of color looks fresh in a graphic way, but one that is not too sharp.
We are truly excited about our holiday dressing assortment, as it is the first real dressy collection we have done. With an elegant simplicity, we dressed up our knits and simple styles adding silk, velvet and shimmer. We’ve expanded the J.Jill heritage velvet adding more pieces for versatility, and brought in some great silk tunics and tanks, along with sparkly sweaters and dressy toppers to complete the looks. It’s dressy with a laid back ease. She can take these pieces and easily create her own looks for every occasion.
Our luxurious sweater collection is another big story for November. We have added amazing luxury fibers such as supersoft Italian wool, cashmere, and alpaca blends to this collection that includes sweaters, cardigans, turtlenecks, dresses and accessories. We also added a luxe tweed collection, which is versatile while adding elevated style. Our unique blend of extra fine wool and cashmere brings softness and quality to our collections, giving her luxurious sweaters at a great value.