Gudrun was green before it became a fad that no one seems to have gotten a hang of. Insisting on using natural fibers rather than synthetic material, Gudrun Sjödén has kept her eclectic style since the 70s and brought it into the current day. Seen on everyone from my 5th grade art teacher to 60 year old women to celebs with that Zooey Deschanel persona, Gudrun has brought goods Sweden has loved for decades, stateside. Before her store opening later this week hosted by StyleLikeU, Gudrun took a few moments to talk with me about comfortable style, show me around her store and show me some of her patterns.
Tell us little bit about your designs and how your history in art correlates to your fashion.
I started my own in the middle of the 70s and my idea from the very beginning was that it should be clothes in natural fibers. And at that time it quite difficult to find pure cotton and pure linen and so on. So it was a little bit of hard work in the very beginning because there was all these polyester and other stuff – that was the fashion that things should be made in such fibers. And my idea was that it should also be colorful and exciting combination of colors like red and pink and lime green and turquoise and so on. Now those combinations aren’t strange at all (laughs). In the very beginning I sold to other shops but after a few years I decided to open my own shop. I really wanted to make a presentation of the whole range.
And how did that work out?
I saw that a lot of customers wanted to have my style. And it was it was a little bit the same way then as it is now, with the patterns, color combinations, natural fibers and so on. This shop will be number 17.
Wow! In the US or around the world?
Around the world. So it’s in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, London, Germany and now in New York.
So who is your clientele? Are they teenagers, women in their 30s or is it everyone?
It’s more like everyone. Especially our customers abroad. In Sweden, we have been established for a long time so there the customer is maybe 40, 50, 60 years old. But if you’re coming to a new country, it’s more spread all ages, though the customers are quite similar in all the countries.
You are hand painting the walls of the store. Do you hand paint all the walls of your stores?
Yes, I do some of the painting. The girls here help me fill in, but yes. And it’s different. Some stores we paint a lot, other stores we leave more plain. It depends on how much time we have (laughs).
What’s your favorite piece of your collection?
I think this [pulls at the top she is wearing] dotted top is one of my favorites. And also this one [points to her smock] that I put on today.
Do you think being comfortable is important?
Ahh, yes that’s very important that you’re comfortable. I mean if you’re not tall and slim, it’ll make you look nicer than you are. (laughs) What do you think?
Oh yeah… you need to be comfortable.
One of the reasons our customer find us reliable and continue to come back is because we are also comfortable.
Gudrun Sjödén opens in New York, March 8th @ 12noon.