Sandqvist: From Nordic landscapes…with style!

Fashion / Design By Stefano Guerrini

A brand born in Stockholm in 2004 which brings a functional, essential and high quality style inspired by Nordic landscapes to the rest of the world. Sandqvist was created by Anton Sandqvist, joined by his brother Daniel and mutual friend Sebastian. Together they launched a brand with solid roots in Sweden, which has managed to win a host of fans outside the nation. And its presence at Pitti demonstrates the interest of an international market. That is why we contacted Anton to tell us a bit more about his brand in this interview. 

Can you tell us how you started the brand?
In the early 2000s I was working at a big multinational company and had a dream of starting my own business. It wasn’t really a desire to be a bag designer, more a dream of doing something of my own and make a living from it. The reason it became bags was just that I wanted a good, stylish bag for work and since I couldn’t really find anything I liked in my price range, I made one myself. 

What are its main characteristics? How could we define its style? 
Sandqvist bags are made for everyday use; stylish, long-lasting, simple and made in fine materials.

Where does your inspiration come from? What are the icons of reference?
Our perpetual source of inspiration is  Nordic nature, landscapes and urban life. This provides our basic foundation. But of course there are also many iconic people who have inspired us through the years. One example is Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Kramer vs Kramer. I designed a leather briefcase inspired by him back in 2007 and we still have it in our 2016 collection,  in a new revamped version: check out our Dustin bag!

Can you give me your definition of male elegance?
For me it is a lot about self-confidence; a confident man has a good chance of being elegant. And I think the saying  “less is more” is essential, both in male and female elegance. That combined with good workmanship and materials . That’s my take on it.

How important, in your opinion, is a fair like Pitti? And what are the strongest elements of the Florence fair?
From what I have seen, read and heard, I think Pitti is perhaps the most important and inspiring scene for international male fashion of today.

Do you have any personal memories or a story about Pitti to share with us?

I haven’t been to Pitti yet myself so I’m looking forward to making some good new memories. When I was a kid, we used to go with our rusty Volvo 245 from Sweden down to Italy for vacation with the whole family: me, my parents and my two brothers. My mother always wanted to go to Florence for a visit, and so we did. I remember my mother smoking a lot, drinking amaretto and buying leather handbags and having a good time. And there were beautiful bridges over the river. I was maybe 9.