Based in Stockholm, with retailers all around the world, Stutterheim’s vision remains to bring great rainwear, made with craftsmanship, passion and authenticity to people who simply love it, when it rains, and want to be well-dressed even in the worse of weather conditions.
I stumbled upon them recently, due to my adventures and loyal collaboration with Volvo Cars. And instantly fell in love. To me, Stutterheim Raincoats are the ultimate coat for this season. Being Greek, living by the sea, facing extreme weather conditions from time to time, feeling the sea in the air, there could not be anything greater than Stutterheim’s raincoats. All year around, really.
How it all began…
“My grandad was a wonderful man. He often went out fishing from Arholma (an island in the Stockholm archipelago) during stormy weather and then, later in the evening, he wrote poems and managed a big theatre in Stockholm. He scared me to the bone every time he set off to sea to catch fish (or life, as he said), defying the worst weather, the heaviest rains and the loudest of thunderstorms.
It was just recently that I discovered his old rain coat in an abandoned barn. At that moment, old memories struck me and I instantly wanted to wear his coat. It was both stunningly cool and very practical (although as big as a tent). With great care, I brought it back home to my kitchen and imagined it in an updated, contemporary version. A homage to my grandad, and the quest for life.
After my discovery, I went out to buy a piece of oilcloth. I put it on the kitchen floor and cut out a design using the old coat as a pattern. I showed the sample to a couple of friends. And after some improvements, there it was – the 60‘s raincoat from the archipelago, updated to fit the modern man and woman.
I brought the prototype to the last standing textile factory in Sweden, in the small town of Borås – rainwear has long since been engulfed by the sportswear industry, and production moved to countries with lower costs far away. As soon as I met the manager, Johan Käll and the seamstresses, Birgitta and Lena, I knew they were the right people. A perfect match. With their skills, craftsmanship and great attention to materials and detail we realised our raincoats should be handmade. A great way to honour my grandad’s durable and practical raincoat.
And there it was. The coat. With all its seams taped and sealed. In the very best quality; handmade and with a discreet, classical cut. The first 200 coats – Arholma Svart – were made and sold in my apartment. Each coat was signed and numbered by the seamstress (they still are) to really make sure the quality matched the very highest of standards”, remembers Alexander Stutterheim. “I am very happy (although I am melancholic from time to time) that I have managed to give new life to my grandad’s old coat. A coat to wear out in the countryside, at the sea or just when strolling around the city. To be well-dressed, even in bad weather conditions, is now possible”.
My favourite raincoat
It wasn’t easy to choose my absolute favourite raincoat. In fact it took me hours and hours. But then I finally ended up with two, and I really could not choose which one to order. So I decided to order both.
The first of the two is the so called Ture Charcoal: the brand’s take on the iconic trenchcoat model, with a traditional cut, but in the original Stutterheim rubberized cotton. Named after the great Swedish detective Ture Sventon, the trenchcoat is a classic, for detectives and commoners alike. Using the finest craftsmanship, materials and details, our raincoats have undergone severe testing in horrible conditions both at sea and in the city. And mind this: each coat is individually quality-controlled by their skilled seamstresses.
The second one simply had to be the Mosebacke raincoat in Light Sand: it has an A-line silhouette, which drapes beautifully and offers more room over the hips, for anyone requesting a more spacious coat.
About the notorious Swedish melancholy
Feeling blue inspires creativity. What if August Strindberg, Ingmar Bergman, Karin Boye and hundreds of other famous Swedish artists had felt happy all the time? Would they have produced their fantastic work? No. Being melancholic is an essential part of being a human being. If we try too hard to get rid of melancholy it’s almost like we’re settling for a half-life. To embrace melancholy is ultimately to embrace joy.
Melancholy shouldn’t be confused with depression. Melancholy is an active state. When we’re melancholic, we feel uneasy with the way things are, the status quo, the conventions of our society. We yearn for a deeper, richer relationship with the world. And in that yearning, we’re forced to explore the potential within ourselves – a potential we might not have explored if we were simply content. Through our melancholy we come up with new ways of seeing the world and new ways of being in the world. Melancholy and creativity go together like ebony and ivory on a piano.
Let’s embrace Swedish melancholy. Embracing rain is a good start. Shall we? I’m nodding.
You can choose your very own Stutterheim raincoat here.