Sebastian Dollinger

MILAN — Swedish shirtmaker Eton is going to celebrate its 90th anniversary with a special event at Pitti Uomo.

Although the company is keeping details on the celebration under wraps, Eton’s chief creative officer Sebastian Dollinger highlighted the importance of the Florentine trade show.

Pitti Uomo is the event to be at for the men’s fashion industry and we are happy and honored to fete our anniversary there,” he said during an interview in Milan.

Founded in Gånghester, a town in Southern Sweden, by David and Annie Pattersson, Eton sells its high-end shirts in 50 countries through a wholesale network of about 1,600 international retailers, including prestigious department stores Harrods, Selfridges, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Harry Rosen, Le Bon Marché, El Corte Inglés, Rinascente and KaDeWe.

“We seem an old brand, but we are just at the beginning,” said Eton chief executive officer Hans Davidson. “In 90 years we managed to build a solid label, which is known for the high quality and the style. Now, the goal is to reach new and old customers through all the channels.”

While Eton is well-positioned across Europe and the U.S., the company still has to conquer the Asian market.

“We are preparing in the right way to face the challenges of the Asian market, both in terms of the supply chain and of control of quality and distribution,” said Davidson.

Eton, which operates stores in New York, Los Angeles, London, Stockholm, Malmö, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Moscow, is going to unveil a new store concept in 2020.

“We want to be in the major cities,” said Dollinger, revealing that the company might look at Milan and Paris to further expand its retail network.

Eton Spring 2019 collection

A look from Eton’s spring 2019 collection.  Courtesy Photo

According to Dollinger, personalization and performance will be two of Eton’s guideposts for the future.

In particular, Eton introduced an online customization service, enabling customers to personalize their shirt at the company’s web site.

“We can deliver the made-to-measure orders in 10 days,” said Davidson. “Customers can pick from among 200 types of fabrics and we will soon introduce more styles to be made available.”

In addition, Eton is going to launch the new “Soft Business” range, blurring the lines between formal and casual.

“We were the first to do a crease-resistant shirt in 1991 and when we launched at Harrods, we sold 500 of those shirts in a day,” said Dollinger. “For four or five years, the athletic has been having a dramatic impact on the fashion industry. The performance segment actually accounts for 85 percent of our business.”

Dollinger added he is noticing an increased interest for printed styles.

Eton, which is closing 2018 with revenues of 97 million euros, up 12 percent compared to the previous year, expects to continue growing in 2019, reaching a turnover of 100 million euros.