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Uniforms for the Dedicated

The playful Swedish brand is rooted in a 15-strong art collective that is about telling stories, not selling trends.

Uniforms for the Dedicated is hip to the menswear beat and it takes just one look at its spring 12 imagery to know that this label is dancing to its own tune, a tune that the UK’s most desirable menswear stockists are listening to.

Based in Stockholm, Uniforms for the Dedicated is rooted in the creation of not only clothing, but music, film, photography, illustration … the list goes on. Co-founders Fredrik Wikholm and Lars Johan Hedberg have created a 15-person art collective rather than just a clothing label.

Refreshingly, however, and unlike some other achingly cool operations, the guys behind the brand don’t pretend they’re too hip for business. “We have a financial background and a commercial strategy. The brand is a lot about storytelling, and fashion is a tool to translate a message. It’s not about trend, it’s about our look,” says Wikholm. The product is made from beautiful natural fibres spun into comfortable yet directional silhouettes. Wholesale prices run from £16 to £108 for a leather varsity jacket.

Fashion agent Macandi has got the label into 16 UK retailers including Sarah Coggles in York and Asos. “The business plan is about synergies first and foremost and selling more garments, and Macandi is as good as it gets when transferring our core values into the market,” says Wikholm.

The brand will also launch in London department store Liberty at the end of summer or early autumn, alongside an art installation by the collective and with a dedicated shopfit. “That is the perfect example of how we can communicate with retailers,” Wikholm says. “There is an event, a live show and the clothing, and we’ll be performing during that event.”

The label’s spring 12 collection got buyers talking at Pitti Uomo, and Uniforms for the Dedicated is finding that its reticence to follow trends, or pitch itself as yet another heritage brand, is paying dividends.

Wikholm says: “We couldn’t compete with Nigel Cabourn or Haversack. It’s not ethically right for us to go around saying we’re heritage when we’ve only been around for three years. [Likewise] we don’t put a mood board together and say this season it’s all about Steve McQueen.

“The look is rooted in our experiences as ex-snowboarders and the grown-up board culture. You feel smart but the look is still draped and flexible.” 

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