Melancholy is an emotion often occasioned by people or places. Melancholy also can be experienced as longing, yearning or missing something. It is considered to be a mature response to loss after the process of feeling sorrow and deep sadness. The story of the genesis of Stutterheim as a brand is the story of one man’s response to the loss of a beloved grandfather, a creative way to cope with winter depression and the desire to improve upon something that is lacking after being caught in a rainstorm. In other words Alexander Stutterheim’s acceptance and embracement of a state of melancholy was the impetus to experiment and design a garment that would serve to change the course of his professional life. As Stutterheim himself puts it, “I have never looked upon this as creating a brand with the purpose to attract people; I just mirrored what was in my heart, and saw a need for a cool-looking raincoat that protected against the outer demons”.
Two events, the finding of his grandfather’s fishing raincoat in an old barn on an island in a beautiful Swedish archipelago and being driven into a café during a rainstorm, prompted Stutterheim to enter a state of reflection about the nature of how people protect themselves in the rain and the lack of being able to do so in a garment that was stylish and contemporary. The classic lines of his grandfather’s coat had greater appeal than the more industrial fishing jackets or sportswear-like raincoats on the market and so Stutterheim drafted a pattern and the first oil cloth model was cut and constructed in his apartment. After calling on friends to help develop a more refined pattern and making a decision to be as “Swedish” as possible, the coats are now produced in Swedish factories. The coats are distinguished by their narrow, boxy cut and fit, the addition of a hood and a very sophisticated matte finished and lined oilskin. The values of the brand include crafting in ways to ensure that the garments are timeless and ageless and built for longevity, transparency and respecting and acknowledging the craft persons involved in production.
The brand has now expanded beyond the signature coat to include boots, umbrellas, capes and ponchos. To see the range of colors and looks see my Pinterest board, Accidental Icon Likes Stutterheim.
How do you use your clothes to “mirror what is in your heart”?