If one ever questioned the impact of climate change on fashion, an answer can be found in the growth of Swedish outerwear brand Stutterheim.
After launching six years ago with a black-and-white raincoat and building on its unisex line sold at retailers such as Barneys New York, Dover Street Market, Isetan and Le Bon Marché, the Stockholm-based company is readying to open its first U.S. store on New York’s Mulberry Street in May and introduce its first devoted line for women this fall. The expansion into retail and the women’s market is expected to double its U.S. sales this year to $2 million, buoying Stutterheim’s position as a Swedish brand having a moment.
“The U.S. is most definitely growing,” said Johan Loman, Stutterheim’s cofounder and marketing director. “It’s growing on the e-commerce side for sure, and the wholesale side as well. The U.S. is definitely up there. We see huge potential. It’s not yet our biggest market. We definitely intend it to be.”
Stutterheim is no stranger to female customers, who are responsible for between 40 percent and 60 percent of its business. When it launched its minimally designed raincoat dubbed the Stockholm in 2012, it noticed that, despite a narrow fit, the rubberized cotton hooded jacket, available in a flattering array of colors, was popular among women, who scooped up pieces sized as small as XXS. Last year, it relaxed the Stockholm’s cut into an A-line silhouette for a new style called the Mosebacke. This fall, it homed its focus on the women’s market even more, offering women-specific sizes along with longer lengths, contrast pockets, capelike cover-ups and a version of the M65 jacket.
Retail prices start at $295 for its signature raincoat in rubberized cotton and go up to $995 for a parka in bonded cotton. The bonded material is part of a push by Stutterheim’s new designer, Patric Wallertz, to diversify into versatile fabrics for everyday use in warmer seasons like summer. Loman said the company plans to add lighter cotton next spring and experiment with bonded wool and nylon in the future.
Still, Loman said the company isn’t becoming too aggressive in its expansion outside of outerwear in categories such as sportswear. “We still believe there is so much more to do in coats,” he said. While Stutterheim is producing five styles of hats, scarves, bags and gloves for fall, he said the company can grow the accessories business within two years.
All the new products will be on display at its new store in downtown New York. Measuring 275 square feet, the shop will mirror the flagship that it opened in Stockholm last month. Sticking to a concept of Scandinavian simplicity, the decor is characterized by concrete, blond wood and steel placed with a light hand. “We want the coats to stand out,” Loman said.